April 23, 2016 |
Q: I have owned some string lights for a year and still haven't hung them over my deck or patio because I can't figure out how to connect them to the house and the deck. We don't have high railings, so we'd need some sort of poles, but we don't think that would look very nice. Do you have any ideas? - J. A: This is a great question. Outdoor lights add a festive touch and beautiful atmosphere to backyards. Here are several ways to make it work. I like to use strings of lights to create a "roof.
February 3, 2016
DEAR ABBY: We recently bought a new home and have discovered that our elderly neighbors are caring for their grandson's dog. The dog lives in a 3-by-6-foot area right next to our patio. The poor animal receives little attention and is rarely cleaned up after. As a consequence, our patio reeks of dog feces, and we are overwhelmed by flies. I feel bad for the couple, and I resent the grandson for allowing his dog to be neglected and for failing to have any consideration for the stench that makes our patio off-limits to us. How can I politely ask my new neighbors to clean up after their dog so we can enjoy our new home without offending them or creating a bad neighbor situation?
July 13, 2015 |
Dave Franke and Susan Dardes are outspoken in their enthusiasm for their 1,800-square-foot, glass-and-wood house hidden away on two acres near Doylestown. Franke, an architect who is now a principal with Studio Agoos Lovera, drives 50 miles round trip to his Philadelphia office each day. Despite the commute, his home is "a paradise," he says. After successfully locating the house, which might elude even the best GPS-equipped navigator, a visitor's first view is of a colorful green, red, and white enameled-steel panel attached to a garage at the end of a long driveway.
September 6, 2014 |
Friends unfailingly describe Eileen McDonnell, a retired public school speech and hearing therapist, as "quiet" and "reserved. " Except when the conversation turns to nature. Watch her eyes widen and her speech grow animated! "She effervesces," says Andrea V. McCabe, development director at Foulkeways at Gwynedd, the Quaker-affiliated continuing-care retirement community in Montgomery County. McDonnell, 83, formerly of Harleysville, has lived at Foulkeways for a decade, and from Day 1 she's been "effervescing" about the place, trying to boost awareness of the 110-acre campus' flora and fauna.
January 9, 2014 |
Hello there Erin stepped onto the patio of her friends' Ardmore home to get a little air. She saw some guys hanging out on the other side of the short wall separating the twin home's space from the neighbors'. But more important: beagles! "Oh, hi!" Erin said, bounding over the wall that August night in 2010. "I'm Erin. What's your dogs' names?" Erin was most enthralled by "this chubby little dog" named Mildred. Mildred's person, Andrew, was enthralled with Erin. "I thought she was really cute," he said.
November 9, 2013 |
Mary Metrione can't remember the names of all the ornamental grasses in her Haddonfield garden, but her affection for them makes an unforgettable impression: "I like their lines. They're taller than most plants that I have, and I just love it when the wind blows - they're all bent over - and I like the ethereal ones that are real fluffy. I like the ones that are heavy with seeds, too. Then they bend differently. I just think they give shape and form and a lot of motion to the garden.
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.