Heights Community Congress (HCC) announces its 35th Heights Heritage Home and Garden Tour. The tour brings attendees from all over Northeast Ohio and beyond, and will feature spectacular and unusual homes as well as gardens of every size and design. The theme for this year's tour is "Cleveland Heights Gems," named in honor of HCC's 40th anniversity and the 35th year of the tour.
Home & Garden
The Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) is sponsoring a new monthly speaker series to help owners of older homes apply sustainability principles to home remodeling and maintenance projects.
"actical Sustainability: New Thinking for Older Homes" will kick off on Wednesday, April 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Lee Road Library. Cleveland Heights resident and former HRRC board member Fred Cortright, whose experience includes building energy efficient homes for Habitat for Humanity, designed the free workshop series.
The Food Not Lawns movement is both international and hyperlocal, dedicated to replacing lawns—or some portion of them—with edible gardens in the name of sufficiency and sustainability. Edible in this context broadly includes food for butterflies, birds and other wildlife as well as fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs. The same plants often serve many functions, benefiting humans and other species alike. The nonnative grass varieties that make up most lawns feed no one, with the possible exception of the Japanese beetle larvae that thrive in their roots.
Residents of all communities can now attend the Home Repair Resource Center’s (HRRC) home repair workshops. Previously, workshop participation had been limited to Cleveland Heights residents.
“Upcoming classes include HRRC’s popular electrical and plumbing series,” said Kathryn Lad, HRRC director. “Reservations are required, and I would encourage early registration—especially for these classes—as they can fill quickly.”
Individual homeowners and the Cleveland Heights nonprofit Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC) will benefit from a new program developed by Dominion East Ohio.
Using Dominion’s Home Performance with Energy Star Program, homeowners who are Dominion residential gas customers can qualify for a “deep discount” on the cost of an energy audit, receiving a three- to four-hour energy assessment – normally a $500 value – for only $50. In addition, if a caller mentions HRRC, the nonprofit will receive a donation of $35 from GoodCents, the company providing the audits. For HRRC to benefit, the call to schedule an audit must be made by Nov. 15 to Katie Schade at (800) 653-3445 ext. 1885.
Two summers ago, Audrey Miller of Noble Road Presbyterian Church and Tonya Butler, director of Discovery Preschool (located in the church) created a vegetable garden to involve the school-age kids attending the summer program at the preschool.
Miller recruited Karen Reinke, who does most of the gardening at the church, and Renke got Carolyn Sugiuchi and Joanne Westin to help. Later that summer, Westin called on Kathie Ellis, a fellow gardener and experienced elementary school teacher, for additional assistance. Supported by Discovery staff members, Rosemary Sanderfer, Annette Butts and Angela Outlaw, the first summer was fun and successful.
Saturday, April 9th at Cleveland Heights City Hall
sponsored by Home Repair Resource Center
The Heritage Home Program is a joint initiative of the City of Cleveland Heights and the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS), offering low-interest home repair and renovation loans for homeowners of properties built before 1961. Kelli Cone, a local realtor with Keller Williams, knows firsthand how beneficial the program can be.
Many Northeast Ohio homes that were built in the 60s, 70s and 80s were finished with aluminum siding. Homeowners were led to believe that the exteriors of their homes would be "maintenance free." If your home was built or re-sided during that time, you have undoubtedly realized that this is not the case. Because of exposure to the sun, most aluminum siding becomes "chalky" and faded after about 15 years. Once this happens, the original baked-on enamel coating washes off with heavy rain.
Spring and fall are great times of year to plant trees and other landscape plants. Before digging in, take time to select the right tree for the right location, to ensure your planting is successful.
Ten steps for planting a tree:
1. Transport with care: Transport your tree from the nursery by covering the canopy to avoid windburn. To avoid damaging fragile roots, keep the root ball moist if you’re not planting immediately.Do not bounce or drop the root ball.
2. Dig In: Dig your hole twice as wide as the root ball and just slightly shallower than the height of the root ball. Scuff and roughen the sides of the planting hole. Compact the bottom of the hole so the tree won’t settle lower.
I am often asked how to educate oneelf about wine. My answer is to drink as much as you can as often as possible. Although this usually meets with a few chuckles, it is the truth. I get this question a lot, I thought I would outline a few strategies for those of us living in the Heights.
First, pay attention. If you like a wine, jot down the name and as much information about the wine as you know. Chances are, you will like other wines that have something in common with this one, e.g. grape variety, origin, style.
Overwhelmed by too much paper or too much stuff? Don't know where to start to clean up your home or office?
January is National Get Organized Month, and Organizing 4 U has some simple tips on how to achieve your New Year's resolution of becoming more organized.
University Heights, the “City of Beautiful Homes,” could also be called the “City of Neatly Landscaped Lawns.” But one resident, bucking conventions, has turned her property into a certified wildlife habitat site, providing an oasis for the furry and winged residents of University Heights.
Liz (who requested that her full name be withheld to maintain her family’s privacy) and her husband are 12-year residents of Glendon Road. The heard about the National Wildlife Federation program on HGTV. The program’s goal is to foster local wildlife. The species that find refuge in Liz’s back yard are not
Gardeners and farmers alike know that regularly adding organic matter builds healthy soil allowing plants to flourish. In the natural environment, plants die and decompose, returning nutrients and organic material to the soil. We interrupt this natural cycle in our urban landscapes because in most cases it’s necessary to clean our yards of landscape debris, piling leaves, sticks and grass clippings on the tree lawn for the city to haul away to a nearby compost facility.
A few gardeners compost yard and kitchen waste, but rarely generate enough compost to impact more than a small garden area. In most cases the bulk of our yard waste is composted at some facility and is returned only when we buy composted products and spread them in our landscapes. However, homeowners often do not return enough compost to replace the material that has been removed or that is necessary to sustain healthy soil.
Will your lawn survive the summer heat? Here are some tips for growing and keeping it healthy.
1) Mow the grass tall, at least 3 inches, even 3 ½. The taller the better. Longer leaf blades collect more sunlight for increased photosynthesis, which is how the plant creates food for itself. More food means more energy and stronger grass plants and healthier roots. Tall grass shades the soil, keeping it cooler, and minimizes sunlight that weed seeds need to germinate.
Gina Keeler of Saybrook Road, University Heights, makes it look easy. When Gina invited me to her backyard at the Saybrook Block Party, I expected to see a typical garden with pretty flowers. What I saw was a small space charmed, cajoled, sprinkled with magic dust and turned into a mini version of an estate garden. Part illusion, part choice of plants, but mostly imaginative love of flowers and gardens.
Heights Garden Center has been a popular destination since 1995 when Cleveland Heights resident Ken Hadden worked with the city and transformed an old parking lot into a garden center. With roots that have grown deeply in our community, Heights Garden Center will thrive under the careful hand of its new owner, Bob Bremec.
Hadden said Bremec, owner of Bremec’s Greenhouses and Nursery in Chesterland for 22 years, had been asking him to sell Heights Garden Center for some time, and this year he felt that the time had come to do so.
As a longtime landscaping professional, I am often asked "What's the best way to kill my plants?" Well, there are a lot of answers to that, but few techniques offer more paths to certain plant death than extreme mulching. Just follow these mulching tips. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t kill them right away. Your stunted and unhealthy plants may just be exerting their will to survive - but eventually they will succumb.
1) Be cheap and undiscriminating. Anything labeled “mulch” should do the trick, no matter where it comes from. Look for the least expensive mulches. Raw mulch, which has not been aged or begun to decompose is best. Raw mulch readily draws nitrogen from the soil and will do a swell job of "burning" tender plants. Fully composted and aged hard wood bark mulches, leaf humus or other organic compost materials like SweetPeet, however, will actually benefit the plants, so be careful!
A great flood of insecticides has been unnecessarily directed at ants, which are fairly easy to discourage without using toxic pesticides.
Ants find food by licking things. To make your house, especially your kitchen, less hospitable, clean ferociously, store food in sealed containers, don't leave dirty dishes or garbage around and rinse sticky containers. Wipe counters with vinegar.
Ah, yes, springtime – lush lawns and gorgeous gardens. Your spring cleanup is a vital first step to good lawn health. Removing all of the leaves, sticks, nuts and other debris out of the lawn will help the grass to breathe. Once you’ve raked over the yard, take the next steps to build a healthy lawn. It's the best defense against pest-related problems and it will reduce the need for pesticides.
Top five healthy lawn-building activities this spring:
2007 Torres Sangre de Toro White Wine
From Catalunya along the Mediterranean in the extreme northeast corner of Spain, comes this refreshing white wine made from the Parellada grape. I purchased it for $9.99 at Zagara’s on Lee Road. The name means “son of the Bull,” a reference to the Roman God of Wine, Bacchus, and the bottle has a tiny white plastic bull attached to it. I am not sure I get that, but the wine has lovely aromas of cantaloupe, lemons and even some crushed sea shells. Drinking it provides a crisp bite of refreshing lemons and minerals. This would be great as an aperitif or with seafood or rice dishes. I think you will find it an excellent value for a wine of this pedigree.
May is Historic Preservation Month and three free events will celebrate and recognize Cleveland Heights as a special place:
Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. to noon
“Lecture & Walking Tour of Grant W. Deming’s Forest Hill Allotment”
Led by Dr. Mark Souther, Associate Professor of History at Cleveland State University.
Meet at Superior School House, 14391 Superior Road at Euclid Heights Boulevard.
Spring time means home improvements and yard projects, which may mean hiring a contractor to help. Hiring a contractor can cause fear, anxiety and increase stress. Who can you trust to do a good job, stand behind their work and do it at a fair price?
The process of hiring a contractor for a project varies on the type and scope of work, as well as the budget. With a deepening recession, homeowners will likely see more offers from unfamiliar individuals and companies. Many unemployed or laid off workers have started entrepreneurial ventures with the hopes of making ends meet. Don’t rule out these newer contractors who may be qualified for your job, but consider the risks. Taking the time to select a reputable and professional contractor may save you time, money, emotional energy, and will dramatically increase your odds for a positive outcome.
Three key points to consider when hiring a contractor:
My good friend Raoul found himself in an elevator stuck between two people wearing wool sweaters. He almost passed out. Why? Because the two people used an outdated and dangerous method to repel moths: they stored the sweaters in mothballs.
You may not know that mothballs contain incredibly toxic carcinogens, such as paradichlorobenzene and naphthalene, that can damage the kidneys, liver, eyes, and nervous system. Children and adults have been poisoned just by wearing clothes treated with mothballs, and children have ingested mothballs, mistaking them for candy.
On a gray, cold day at Seitz-Agin Hardware Store, it’s still too early to tell how business will be for the spring home-improvement season. It’s not the weather that’s the cause of the uncertainty; it's the economy.
“We’re still in unchartered waters,” says Bill Sheck, manager of Seitz-Agin on Lee Road.
Seitz-Agin (www.seitz-agin.com) has been through many recessions and, according to Sheck, homeowners often use an economic downturn as an opportunity to work on their homes. “Hopefully, since people are likely stuck in their homes for the next three to four years, they’ll fix up their houses themselves,” he says. “We’re here to offer advice.”
Burrrr.... who would venture into the cold and snowy weather this time of year to work in the yard? The brave souls that don their long johns, scarves and parkas to do some dormant pruning will be rewarded with healthier landscape plants and less work in the long run. Many people fear damaging plants and avoid pruning all together, but with a little knowledge and practice, anyone can achieve positive results.
Pruning is the removal of plant parts to improve plant health. You should remove dead, diseased or damaged plant material at any time. And, there is no time like the present.
This is the time of year that the true health of a lawn is exposed. If your lawn is a little sadder than you want it to be, fear not! Fall is the ideal time to rejuvenate it. Heights’ yards are often saddled with shade from mature trees. However, turf grass needs at least four hours of sunlight to be healthy. Shade also impacts available moisture, generally contributing to increased drought conditions. In the long run, proper cultural practices will have the biggest impact on the health of your lawn.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Foreclosures in the Heights - League of Women Voters Heights Chapter presents the issue at June 12 meeting
Can you be an environmentally responsible gardener even when yard work is only one of the many tasks to fit into your already busy schedule? Yes, you can. Here are some simple tips for a safer, more environmentally sound lawn.