June 7, 2013 |
Question: I have a dry-laid brick patio bordered on three sides by flower beds. Over the years I have noticed that the bricks are turning black on top. This is not from garden soil or mud, and it is not uniform in its coverage. I have thought about scrubbing the bricks with a water-bleach mix, but I am afraid that it will bleach the bricks. What is the black stuff, and how do I get it off without changing brick color? Answer: You can try Oxy-Clean, the oxygenated bleach that we use to clean mildew off 18th-century headstones in our churchyard.
February 22, 2013 |
I N THE SPRING and summer, Marie Zienkewicz, 89, could often be seen on the patio of her apartment in a sprawling, lush Bucks County complex watering her prim flower garden. But Tuesday night, authorities say, the senior citizen's peaceful existence came to a violent end. A bullet from a gunbattle between police and an apparently unhinged resident there found its way into the woman's apartment and killed her. "He didn't solve anything. His life's over," resident Barbara Sussman, 65, said of Andrew G. Cairns, 49, the man accused of barricading himself in the apartment above Zienkewicz's at Jefferson on the Creek apartments, on Street Road near Davisville in Warminster.
November 24, 2012 |
Brenda Sullivan cautions up front: "You can really get carried away by this. " She's talking about miniature gardens, which can include pint-size fairy gardens - hugely popular, snobsters - and rock and trough gardens, railway gardens and even some Zen gardens. "They're so adorable!" says Sullivan, obviously carried away. They're also way easier than traditional gardens for anyone challenged by age, health, or physical limitation. You don't even have to be mobile to be part of the trend, which parallels others, namely: Container, trough, terrarium, and patio gardening, which are all part of a growing interest in landscapes for small spaces; green roofs and walls, which use some of the same plants; and floral designs made of natural and recycled materials.
August 24, 2012 |
A reader said there was a 20-foot crack running across her 15-year-old concrete patio that had been repaired with caulking. She asked if she should have the patio repoured. Another reader, who has been in residential construction and building supplies for 45 years, wrote that any 200-square-foot patio that has lasted 15 years with only one crack means the patio was built right in the first place, but with one exception. "The crack tells me the original builder did not put in the correct expansion joints.
July 21, 2012 |
Question: We have had natural hardwood floors for five years. During that time we had a rug under a coffee table. This week we removed the rug and the wood floor was a much lighter color. What can we do to have the floor return to its original matching finish? Answer: It probably would involve less work if you just let the area darken to match the floor that was exposed to the sun's UV rays. I've seen homeowners use bleach to lighten wood floors with some success but I wouldn't do it myself.
July 3, 2011 |
Seven years ago, Len and Mary DeMenczuk decided they were getting too old to run Bristol Borough's landmark King George II Inn, so they sold it and retired to Florida. But the economy conspired against the new owners, so the DeMenczuks are back. Now in their mid-60s, they are working as hard as ever to reopen one of the country's oldest inns, dating to 1681. Yes, George Washington slept there, long before he became president. "We've been working 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week for six weeks," Mary DeMenczuk says during a break on the brick patio overlooking the Delaware River.
September 3, 2010
Dear Martha: How should I prepare my patio furniture for winter storage? A: Although most outdoor furniture is built to withstand the elements, proper maintenance and storage in the offseason helps it last much longer. First, remove the cushions and umbrella, and clean them according to the directions on the label. If there are no instructions, wash them using a sponge and 1/4 cup mild dishwashing liquid, such as Ivory, mixed into 1 gallon of warm water. Rinse the fabric, and then stand the cushions on their sides.
May 23, 2010 |
On a warm spring night, Sara and Harry Robbins and their friends from the 80 Percent Old Time Spring Band sit on their gracious porch and play Appalachian mountain music. A melody fills the air, and neighbors, accustomed to these impromptu concerts, wander over to listen. Some bring harmonicas, guitars, fiddles, or mandolins and join in. Some just bring their children. It's a scene repeated on many a pleasant evening on this quiet street in West Mount Airy. "I've lived a lot of places," said Harry Robbins, "but this is the best neighborhood I have ever lived in. " For Harry and Sara Robbins, music and the outdoors have as much to do with their home life as the antiques that fill their rooms.
May 21, 2010
Anthony E. DeSantis, 79, of Runnemede, former co-owner of a ceramic tile company who was marshal of the Runnemede Fourth of July parade for 15 years, died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Monday, May 17, at home. After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, Mr. DeSantis went to work for his father and uncle's company in Camden, DeSantis Ceramic Tile Co. Mr. DeSantis helped the company expand until it had 13 employees, his wife, Florence, said.
May 13, 2010 |
On Osage Avenue, trees stretch into a green archway. Flowers and bushes decorate front patios, and neighbors look out for one another. Earnestine Rice keeps the place neat by sweeping her sidewalk. The chore is a small effort at normalcy, but the horror that happened here 25 years ago remains palpable. Then, a fiery confrontation between MOVE and Philadelphia police left 11 people dead, and Rice's 6200 block of Osage and neighboring Pine Street in ruins. Thirty-seven of the 61 homes here, including those on either side of her redbrick rowhouse, sit dark, bought up by the city and left abandoned.