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August 14th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

espalier

Although the details of the first garden may forever remain unknown, it’s safe to assume that gardening has been around for hundreds of years. For many, gardening is seen as an art form and an expression of self and home. Gardens can be made to be beautiful, filled with flowers and trees to provide shade on a sunny afternoon, but a garden can also be a source of food and in the past, maybe even survival. Traditionally, gardens were fenced off in some way to provide a barrier of protection against animals. The practice of fencing off a garden led to the art of espalier.

Espalier is the training and pruning of a plant (typically a tree) to grow flat against a barrier such as a wall or fence. This art form can be used in your home garden as an architectural accent. Use it to dress up stone walls or a fence. Try using fruit bearing trees such as apples or pears to add a pop of color to your perimeter.

Some garden centers sell plants that have already been trained, but if you’re looking to train a plant start by planning out your pattern. Common themes include traditional designs that have the plants growing horizontally, vertically or crisscrossed. Once you’ve planned your pattern determine a suitable location and what type of plant you’d like to use. Depending on your pattern, additional equipment may be required such as posts or wires. Consider talking to a local professional at your garden center for additional information and advice on your specific property. Remember, training can take months to years, so be patient and continue to prune as needed!

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August 13th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

8530 Hedges LA

The Wolff Residence is on the market and represented by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties’ agents Simon Salloom and Tyson Park. The home, designed and built by John Lautner, AIA in 1961 is a modernist architectural masterpiece that blends elements of wood and stone and features stunning views from 16’ floor to ceiling windows. The awe-inspiring four-bedroom home sits on a private cul-de-sac, includes a beautiful pool and one-bedroom guesthouse.

Taking full advantage of the terrain, The Wolf Residence climbs down a steep hillside and is reminiscent of a tree house. Lautner often stated that this was his finest homage to his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. Expressive engineering and design seamlessly integrate the residence into its natural environment. The home is so impressive that in 2006 actor Vincent Gallo purchased the home and had it classified as a historic building under the Mills Act; a special designation that allows the city to award homeowners breaks on property taxes in exchange for restoring and maintaining their properties.

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August 12th, 2014 at 10:00 am

 

140127 Presale Private Sewer Lateral Inspection Flow Process_Final

There’s a new ordinance affecting the residents of the City of Ventura that also impacts home sales. Effective February 3, 2014 inspections of private sewer laterals are required prior to closing. This new ordinance came about due to a lawsuit involving the City of Ventura’s sewage overflow and in an effort to prevent disruptions in operation of the public sewer. The required inspections are aimed at helping residents identify timely inspections and repairs or replacements of private sewer laterals. A private sewer lateral is the pipe that connects a business or home’s plumbing system to the City’s wastewater collection pipeline. The homeowner is responsible for the entire pipe length, not just the portion underneath their property. Although Ventura Water is responsible for maintenance on the main pipelines, private property maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner.

If you’re a real estate agent or someone that is considering selling your home, you are encouraged to have a licensed plumber inspect your home prior to the opening of escrow. This will ensure you that you have plenty of time to complete the inspection and required paperwork. Sellers are required to submit the Private Sewer Lateral Inspection Report to the city’s Building and Safety Division prior to closing. (more…)

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August 11th, 2014 at 9:00 am

Dine_out_for_the_Cure_t250

Coming up on August 14th is the second annual Dine Out for the Cure event brought to you by the Susan G. Komen Foundation of San Diego. Eat at participating restaurants and anywhere from 25-50% of the restaurant’s profits for the day will go to Komen San Diego.

According to the American Cancer Society about one in eight women in the US will develop breast cancer. Almost everyone knows someone affected by cancer and we all want to know what we can do to help. By enjoying a night of delicious food you can help breast cancer patients become breast cancer survivors.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is a global breast cancer awareness group that has invested more than $1 billion in breast cancer research since 1982. The San Diego branch, Komen San Diego, was founded in 1995 and has awarded grants totaling more than $9 million to local organizations for contribution to breast cancer awareness, support, treatment and education. Learn more about the local foundation and how you can get involved or donate by visiting http://komensandiego.org/.

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August 8th, 2014 at 9:00 am

grassAs temperatures start to rise during the summer, so does water consumption. Across the U.S. people water their lawns and run sprinklers in an effort to keep their lawns alive and green. In Southern California this fact is no different; however the continued drought has urged many residents to seek out ways to more effectively conserve water. New regulations prohibit excessive lawn watering – considered excessive if there is runoff onto nearby sidewalks and streets. Understanding your lawn and how much water it needs can go a long way in helping you to conserve water.

A recent article by Brightnest encourages homeowners to first find out what kind of soil is in your area. The type of soil will determine how much water you need, typically between 0.5-1.5 inches. The next thing you’ll want to do is figure out how long it takes to distribute the amount of water your lawn needs. Brightness recommends setting out jars marked with your needed water level throughout your yard. Once the jars reach their mark, stop watering. You can remove the jars as soon as you become accustomed to how much time you should spend watering your lawn. If you use an irrigation system, set out jars and run your system for 15 minutes and adjust your time based on the jar measurements.

Other efficient lawn watering tips include watering your lawn in the morning or later in the evening, never between 10 am and 6 pm. If you use sprinklers, set them on a timer during ideal watering times. Be sure to look at your irrigation system and ensure that you are not watering non-grassy surfaces such as driveways or walkways. Keep your grass mowed to a height of 2.5-3 inches to shade the roots and soil and prevent water loss from evaporation.

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