Archive for the 'Outdoors' Category

Recalled: Log swings missing nail

I don’t really know why I’ve become so obsessed with recalled home-related goods. Some kind of personality disorder? A perverse interest in the wrongdoings of others? It’s baffling. But here’s another example of something gone wrong in the manufacturing process. These log swings, made in China, are missing just one nail. But that nail holds [...]

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Q&A: Which grasses were in that award-winning landscape?

At the urging of reader “tarbubble,” I asked the designers at Pamela Burton & Company what lawn substitutes they used on their award-winning Malibu landscape (which was featured previously on this blog). I got a response from Burton associate Stephen Billings. First of all, regarding grasses in lieu of lawn, he recommends referring to the [...]

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Q&A: Which grasses were in that award-winning landscape?

<p><a href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/05/29/malibulandscapegrasses.jpg” onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=679,height=430,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”><img alt=”Malibulandscapegrasses” title=”Malibulandscapegrasses” src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2008/05/29/malibulandscapegrasses.jpg” width=”480″ height=”303″ border=”0″ style=”float: left; margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;” /></a></p> <p>At the urging of reader “tarbubble,” I asked the designers at <a href=”http://www.pamelaburtonco.com/”>Pamela Burton & Company</a> what lawn substitutes they used on their award-winning Malibu landscape (which was <a href=”http://www.kathysremodelingblog.com/2008/05/santa-monica-la.html”>featured previously</a> on this blog).</p> [...]

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Staying home this weekend? Getting the house ready for a ‘staycation’

What’s the best part of a vacation? It’s coming home, right? So why not make the whole vacation the best part and stay home in the first place. You save $50 to $120 on each tank of gas you don’t use. You save $15 on each piece of luggage you don’t put on an American [...]

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Santa Monica landscaper wins award for sustainable Malibu project

Pamela Burton & Co. won an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for the gardens and hardscape (seen above) at a Malibu beachfront home. At first, the owner wanted lots of bright green turf. But the designers explained how that would be out of place with the sand and chaparral of the [...]

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Weed problem in Ohio town, but not the smoking kind

A proposed amendment by the Canton City Council in Ohio could put homeowners who let their weeds and grass grow too high in jail. As the law stands now, according to The Repository in Canton, more than 8 inches constitutes high grass or weeds and first-time violators face a minor misdemeanor, which carries up to [...]

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Hot enough for ya? Here’s a little visual relief

SoCal swimming pools don’t seem as popular as they once were. Maybe it’s the $40,000 to $80,000 or higher price tag? But how about looking at a photo of a pool? That I can afford. And color studies have shown that we are tremendously affected by the colors we observe. Blues and greens make us [...]

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Outdoor lighting that preserves the dark sky

If this was my house I’d be really fit, and here’s why: Every evening, I’d walk back and forth, from street to front door, over and over again, just to enjoy the sensation of this lit walkway. I’m sure this would make the folks at the International Dark Sky Association happy. After all, this is [...]

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Scene from the street: What’s wrong with this picture?

Out on my daily walk around a golf course community, I watched this Craftsman house being built. I watched it being framed and plastered and sided. I watched the windows go in and the roof go on. (This is the back of the house, the angle I see from the walking path.) All the while, [...]

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New book: Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways

This week’s Home section features a new book: “Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations” by Debra Prinzing with more than 200 photographs by William Wright, Clarkson Potter, $30. Pictured here is a 124-square-foot shed, inspired by midcentury modern architecture, in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles. Designed and built [...]

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Help! Invading bamboo!

Question: Could you post an article on the responsible way to plant bamboo? Proper selection and planting could help neighbors retain friendship as well as money. My neighbor’s bamboo invaded my landscape, costing us a few thousand dollars and a huge headache. Thank you, Riley E. P.S. Thanks about the previous post on horsetail. I [...]

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The new world order: SoCal style

My entry into the world of barter — the new world order referenced above — is the result of a perfect storm consisting of (1) a broken Pottery Barn market umbrella, (2) my ridiculously fruitful avocado trees and (3) the miracle that is Craigslist. The umbrella is a delightful red and blue paisley that goes [...]

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Virtual tour of Venice backyard retreats

If your backyard isn’t what it could be, check out the Home section’s virtual tour of Venice gardens. I’m loving this simple tea house. You can see this and other Venice homes and gardens tomorrow, Saturday, during the Venice Garden & Home Tour. Tickets cost $70. (Photo: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)

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When bad solar fountains happen to good people

You don’t need to share with me the definition of insanity: trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Been there (bought junk), done that (had it fail), still slipping into it. Specifically, I’m talking about the solar fountain I bought ignorantly and impulsively at Home Depot last October. I paid [...]

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Outdoor room: Here’s what I’m talking about

Isn’t this just the most sumptuous, comfortable, amazing outdoor room? Isn’t this why we live in a Mediterranean climate? This lovely outdoor space is in a Manhattan Beach backyard, featured in the L.A. Times’ Home section, and I could move in today. See the photo gallery. My favorite elements: The cushions hanging against the retaining [...]

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Honey, who put the 90-foot power pole in front of our house?

So imagine this: One day you look out your front window and see a gleaming 90-foot power pole in front of your house that was not there before. You’re shocked because you had no notice or warning from the power company, Edison. And that’s because Edison has the right of way and is not required [...]

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In the garden, it’s Earth Day every day

Here’s a clever idea, seen in a Santa Monica garden, for paths in your own patch of paradise. You can reuse old bricks, garden tools, tiles, terra cotta pot bottoms and whatnot to make your green journey a little more interesting. (Photo: Sharon Cavanagh)

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The accidental froggery

I never planned on creating a gathering place for frogs, known as a froggery. But I did nevertheless. It started with a simple fountain on my back patio, which I set up in a pot to hear the sound of water. I added some water plants for variety. One day, as I was adding fresh [...]

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Remodeling trend: males abandoning man-caves?

Men, could this be true? You’re abandoning your man-caves for man-kitchens and man-patios? This emerging (get it?) trend was announced in a press release for ReVision, a remodeling company that won an award for the outdoor man-kitchen you see here. Todd Senft, from the Canadian remodeling company, said the project was created for “a young [...]

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New Products: deck boards in new colors, composite railing systems

In case a new deck is in your future, your decision-making-process just got more complicated. Here are some new products being introduced by TimberTech: BuilderRail (top photo) is kind of cool looking with black metal balusters and composite rails. It was introduced at the 2008 International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla., and the rails are [...]

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