Fall chemistry turns leaves from green to gold

October 18, 2011

The mercury dips, rain starts to fall more often and leaves metamorphose from a demure green to riotous colors.

Why? The change of color each autumn involves a complex chemical process as trees prepare for the coming winter.

Throughout the growing season, chlorophyll is produced constantly. Then, as autumn starts and nights turn longer, chlorophyll production slows and then stops. The process allows the other colors in a leaf’s palette —brilliant golds, oranges and reds — to appear.

Read more

Small changes can make big differences

October 18, 2011

Interior designer Cindy Dornon (left) and Eve Ribary show off the interior of Urbanity, an Issaquah home décor store. Joining them center stage is Nike. By Tom Corrigan

A can or two of paint.

The above might be just the answer if you are looking to quickly and inexpensively refresh or renew a room or rooms.

“If you are willing to use some elbow grease, painting is one thing you can do,” said Cindy Dornon, an interior designer with Urbanity, an Issaquah home décor store.

At Issaquah’s Lowe’s, Assistant Store Manager Daniel Pena said essentially the same.

“The quickest thing to do in the area of home improvement is to paint,” Pena said.

Both also talked about not having to do an entire room, but instead applying some color to one wall or entranceway, creating an accent wall.

According to Pena, the current color trend is toward grays.

“But you can never go wrong with bright colors,” he added.

For example, red is perfect for sharpening up a room and it’s a color lots of people think of when they picture an accent wall.

Read more

State Department of Ecology is updating weed permits

October 18, 2011

The state Department of Ecology is in the process of updating a permit needed for the use of herbicides used to control weeds around or near water.

The permit requires that specific actions be taken to protect lakes, rivers, wetlands and marine waters when herbicides are used near those waterways. The permits help state and local governments manage noxious plants, such as spartina and loosestrife.

A different permit, the Aquatic Plant Algae Management Permit, covers the treatment of weeds actually within water.

Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Nov. 18.

Email comments to kathy.harnel@ecy.wa.gov. Comments must contain the sender’s name and postal address. Send written comments to Kathy Harnel, Washington State Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia WA, 98504. Permits are online at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/pesticides.

Magazine ranks bad home remodeling ideas

October 18, 2011

Every year Remodeling magazine gives its list of the worst ideas for remaking your home especially in light of resale value. Many people think large-scale remodels or additions will increase their property’s value. The magazine says that’s not always the case.

Read more

Gardeners: Prepare to endure another La Niña winter

October 18, 2011

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, Jeff Renner tells us we are in for another La Niña.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not moping around, crazy mad about the weather. Every little ray of sunshine and every little tinge of warmth have been appreciated to the max by me.

But still, I’m unable to come to grips with the big picture. The issue of global climate change is huge, impacting much more than just gardening, making it hard to comprehend.

Read more

King Conservation District offers soil testing for local lands

September 13, 2011

Homeowners can take advantage of free soil tests from the King Conservation District.

The conservation district offers up to five free soil studies per address for anyone within King County, with a few geographic exceptions. The exceptions do not affect anyone in the Issaquah area.

One main idea behind soil sampling is to prevent overfertilization, said Marcie Myers, a resource planner for the King Conservation District.

And, she added, there are several reasons why using too much fertilizer is a bad idea.

Read more

A proper birdhouse is important for attracting native species

September 13, 2011

If house sparrows overtake a swallow nest box or European starlings claim a house meant for purple martins, the problem might be in the housing provided by gardeners and homeowners.

The design flaws can allow aggressive, non-native birds to thrive and push native species into decline.

Some ready-made birdhouses may look cute, but might not be designed to keep the bullies of the bird world out.

Birds do not need perches, for example, but the features attract house sparrows and starlings.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends for design and construction of birdhouses to be species-specific.

Read more

Sip restaurant hosts free seminar

September 13, 2011

Vision Woodworks, Inc., presents “Re-Creating Your Space: Organize, Design, Build” at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at Sip Restaurant, 1084 N.E. Park Drive. Learn practical household tips for maximizing space, style and function from three local experts. RSVP to Jill Burwell at jill@visioncabinetry.com.

Nursery offers free seminars

September 13, 2011

The following free seminars are offered at 10:30 a.m. at Squak Mt. Greenhouses & Nursery, 7600 Renton-Issaquah Road S.E.:

  • Iron Clad Beauties: Sept. 17 — Learn about landscape plants that are durable, beautiful and provide year-round interest.
  • Fall Bulbs 101: Sept. 24 — Learn how to plant fall bulbs and the many ways to use them in your landscape and containers.

Protect bugs to ensure beautiful, fragrant flowers

September 13, 2011

I was down at Boehm’s Candies the other day. The weather was gray but warm, and I was feeling a little flat.

When I got out of my car, I sniffed the air to see if I could find the wonderful scent of chocolate. I couldn’t.

I couldn’t, because the smell of a fantastic rose overcame everything. It flooded the parking lot, the air, and me. It was terrific. I was uplifted just by that smell.

The sense of smell is very strong and capable of bringing back images and memories that we think are lost, including childhood experiences or maybe a fantastic meal. A nice memory can lift your mood and change a cloudy day into a sunny one. I’m not sure if you can overload your senses or not, but it would be fun to try.

Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »