Spring Home and Garden

2018

Goldsboro News-Argus - Spring Home and Garden

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By LEE REICH Associated Press In 1827, a London physician with an interest in caterpillar metamorphosis built small glass boxes to contain the cocoons and emerging butter- flies. Peering into the "dirt" in one of the boxes one day, the physician, Dr. Natha- nial Ward, noticed that a fern spore had germi- nated. Ward became so enthralled with the way the developing plant was able to flour- ish without care in the box that he changed his course of study. In 1836, he published a book entitled "On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases." Wardian cases, as the glass boxes came to be called, became all the rage in Victorian Eng- land. Plants were protect- ed in the cases from the chilling drafts, dry air and gas fumes of Victorian homes. Plant explorers also found a use for War- dian cases. Live plants from exotic lands could be transported by ship to England, protected in the cases from salt air and changing climatic conditions. Today, we usually call such plant cases "terrariums." Carefree gardening Whether in the home or on a ship, plants in Wardian cases need lit- tle care. The small amount of water that the leaves give off in their humid environment condenses on the glass and drib- bles back to the roots. Oxygen released each day from photosynthe- sis is used each night in respiration. Ward reputedly grew ferns in one of his cases for 15 years without any care at all. A Wardian case full of lush green plants is a year-round oasis, even if today's homes are less drafty and the air is cleaner than in the homes of Victorian England. Aside from decora- tive value and ease of care, a terrarium pro- vides the humid, boggy environment essential to the cultivation of certain plants. Many options for a Wardian case Many kinds of con- tainers can serve as Wardian cases. I have made my own, using glass and silicone glue. Other possibilities include 5-gallon water jars, 1-gallon canning jars, aquariums and oversize brandy snifters. Large plastic soda bottles are easily con- verted into small ter- rariums. Some bottles have a dark plastic piece that covers the domed bot- tom. Pry that plastic piece off the bottom and then cut the bottle in half crosswise. Invert the dome over the base you initially pried off, and you're almost ready to plant. Once you have set- tled on a container, wash it thoroughly. You won't get anoth- er chance once it is planted. Soil, plants, water To plant, start with a layer of charcoal, which will keep the soil "sweet." Next, add potting soil, the amount 8 — Goldsboro News-Argus Thursday, March 22, 2018 919-735-9263 2403 N. William Street, Goldsboro www.griffingaragedoors.com GRIFFIN GARAGE DOORS COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL 737DCT0218C© Turn your garage into a pest-free space for spring. Works with your existing garage door! Call Today For Your Free Estimate! w w w . u n i v e r s i t y l i g h t s n c . c o m UNIVERSITY LIGHTS OF GOLDSBORO 225 Walnut St., Goldsboro (919) 735-1191 Mon-Fri 8-5 • Evenings & Sat. by Appointment •C eiling Fans, & Fixtures 50% Off Retail •Select Groups of Light Fixtures REDTAG •Energy Saving Lightbulbs •Lamp Repairs •Experienced Lighting Consultants on Staff LIGHTING 22DSP0318J© The staff, which also includes Pat Skelton, is on hand to answer questions and offer free consultations to develop a plan for the remodel. They also go out to the home and assess what is already there and discuss options of what the home- owner has in mind. Typically, homeowners already have some concept of what they want before they even set foot in the store, Skelton said. "Most of the time with Pin- terest and HGTV, they have all kinds of ideas," he said. "We just help and talk them through." One of the biggest items in the process is the bathtub area. Among the more popular replacement options are a ceramic shower, a four-piece gel coat over fiberglass show- er, or the combination tub and shower, Williams said. "A lot of your homes when they are built, they'll put in a fiberglass unit, one piece that's molded together," he explained. "When we go in to remodel they have to cut that into pieces. "We use a four-piece unit — a shower or tub or tub-show- er combination." The lifetime of a tub or shower is pretty long, whether it be the original unit in a house or the replacement. "We have seen them last 20 years up to 40 or 45 years," he said. "A lot of times people are renovating because they are getting older or cannot step into the bathtub." Most homes are construct- ed with a tub/shower combi- nation, he said. Some feature glass doors, while others are even more customized. As people age, for example, their needs change, Williams said, opting to get rid of the tub feature or converting it to a larger shower area. "We can go in and put in a bigger shower," Williams said. "We actually did a four-by- eight (foot) shower where they had a window over a whirlpool tub. We took every- thing out, removed the win- dow and they had a small shower and whirlpool tub. We put in a big shower." For those unable to com- fortably get in and out of a bathtub, or if there are issues with falling or balance, there are "barrier-free options." The latter features a rubber or vinyl water retainer that goes across the bottom, preventing water from spilling out onto the floor. "The 'barrier-free' one, you can actually roll a wheelchair into it," he said. "Another has a seat inside it." Those variations, and oth- ers, are on display at the store. In addition to different styles, other considerations include flooring — from ceramic tiles to vinyl as well as whatever hardware they want, from sinks and coun- tertops to fixtures and blinds. Even exhaust fans and lighting. The website for the local business is www.williamshomecenter.com . Continued from 6 A display of fixtures and accessories can be seen at Williams Home Center. Vernon Williams, owner of Williams Home Center, explains how a "barrier- free" shower option works, as an option for those in wheelchairs to have easier access. Bathroom Home decor rethinks materials The Associated Press The Earth is awash in garbage, and designers of home decor are looking at ways to reuse the waste. Among the many clever ideas emerging are tiles made out of blue jeans, and furniture made out of bottles. Detritus from timber and agriculture is being reborn as building and design materials. Sea algae is being used to cre- ate dyes and fabrics. These innovations sig- nal a shift in our relation- ship with materials, says Caroline Till of the Lon- don-based design house Franklin Till . Her firm created "The Future is Urban" pavilion at Frank- furt's Heimtextil fair last year, which showcased trends in global materi- als. "All over the world, an emerging generation (is) rethinking raw materials, repurposing waste, and presenting radical solu- tions to the challenges of designing and making," Till says. "We're potentially on the brink of a materials revolution that could help rebalance our relation- ship with our planet and reshape society for the better. Consumers are looking for brands and companies to operate in a more responsible and con- scious way." While traditional raw materials can be expen- sive and in limited sup- ply, household waste and industry scrap are abun- dant and cheap. Plastic is one of modern life's most pervasive and polluting materials, Till says. But its innate dura- bility, malleability and indestructibility can be used to create sound, hard-wearing materials. "The petroleum age's equivalent of fashioning silk purses from sows' ears," she says. Emeco, creator of an iconic 1944 aluminum Navy chair, has partnered with Coca-Cola to make the chair out of 111 plas- tic bottles. Its production keeps 3 million of them out of landfills annually. IKEA has partnered with Stockholm studio Form Us With Love for the Kungsbacka range of kitchen cabinetry, made of recycled plastic bottles and reclaimed industrial wood. The retailer is also repurposing its own waste stream. Colorful Tanum flat-weave rugs are made from scraps from bed-linen produc- tion. The Tomat spray bottle is made of plastic left over from packing material. A swirly vase designed by Iina Vuorivir- ta started life as glass waste from other produc- tion. See HOME DECOR, Page 9 Plants can thrive with little care in Wardian cases See CASES, Page 10

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