HomeImprovementHome and garden showcases more than 300 exhibits

Published on Thu, Mar 8, 2007 by Jack Kintner

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Home Improvement
Home and garden showcases more than 300 exhibits

By Jack Kintner

Alpine Pond
Dave Misterly sells water gardens and ponds with waterfalls that become the focal point of your yard and will operate with very little care once installed.

Additionally, for ponds of 18 square feet or less (roughly 11 by 16 feet), homeowners can buy a kit that comes in two easily carried boxes.
That, and a shovel can put you in business.

Misterly said the cost is about the same as a hot tub. The system includes a skimmer pump that removes debris from the water before sending it to an above-ground filter concealed in a box that also serves as a form for holding rocks to make a waterfall.

The liner is flexible to avoid cracking, and once established in ecological balance with the right bacteria, fish and plants (much like a home aquarium) the only maintenance is a twice-monthly cleaning of the skimmer and an annual filter change. The moving water not only makes a pleasant sound but helps keep it clean, as does gravel on the bottom.
With the exception of Larrabee State Park, all of Whatcom County west of Kendall is in climate zone four.

There are many plants that can live either in or right next to the pond, and fish can be kept in this zone in as little as two feet of water depth.
For more information contact Misterly at 360/927-3646 or go to www.alpineponds.com.

Secret Garden Design
Debra Olberg has been designing and constructing gardens in Whatcom County for over 30 years, and is also a horticulture teacher at Whatcom Community College.

Her process is very much hands on, including a client interview, a nursery visit, a rough draft and final design and plant list.

She coordinates the design by contacting landscape contractors and in interpreting the client’s design by laying out beds and hardscape features (drainage, stone work, etc.) and plant positions.

For more information call 360/647-7849 or e-mail her at s.g.designs@juno.com.

Photographers and opticians have long used microfiber cloth for years to clean sensitive surfaces because the tiny little fibers will take dirt particles off without harming delicate coatings that help the glass transmit rather than reflect light.

Regular cotton fibers are much bigger and cannot pick up such small pieces of dirt any more than a windshield can be cleaned with a presto log.

Cotton also does not have the ability to hold as much of a static charge, an additional cleaning advantage in situations where keeping surfaces dry is an advantage.

StarFiber makes pricey but effective large microfiber cleaning and dusting cloths, and mounts the material on a simple light mop that makes use of the material’s impressive cleaning ability.

Here, the demonstrator marks up some ceramic tile and composition flooring with color crayon and then is able to cut through it with microfiber on a mop used dry.

It can be used and cleaned with just water since cleaners that contain bleach or home laundry fabric softeners will fuse the fibers and turn it into just another rag.

For more information, visit www.starfibers.com.

Mold Busters
Kevin Enderle specializes in mold prevention, structural drying and moisture control using a variety of non-toxic products – an EPA-registered fungicide, a mold preventive coating with a 25-year certification and a concrete sealer than is also used to seal dams and other high-pressure applications.

“Water seepage is a big problem in Whatcom County due to our high water tables,” Enderle said, “and we offer two products, one for on-grade concrete like a garage floor and other for below-grade sealing.”

For mold and also for the grunge that builds up on concrete driveways, Enderle advises against using bleach because it’s too viscous to seep down to where the mold fungus grows.

“The active ingredient is sodium hyper chlorate, and when that dissipates all that’s left is water, and that does penetrate and actually can nourish the mold and grunge.”

He works with homeowners who want to do their own work and says his products are “DIY” (do-it-yourself) friendly.

Enderle uses MycoDyne products. For more information contact him at 360/312-4236 or go to www.deadmold.com.

New Edge Design
Leslie Chala (pictured left) and general manager Tara Moncrieff of New Edge Design on the Guide in Lynden show a concrete countertop that’s been both etched and polished and which has a gentle slope built into the top to be able to sweep crumbs and pieces into the clean-up sink. They also make lamps and lavatories out of concrete, more varied than granite and much tougher in day-to-day use. For more information call them at 360/318-8005 or go to www.newcountertops.com.

The ReStore
Imagine a cross between Bellingham’s Hardware Sales and the Goodwill. That’s the ReStore, a second-hand building supply store that has an amazing variety of quite useable pieces of everything you can imagine pass through its warehouses in Ballard and at 2309 Meridian Street (Meridian and Broadway) in Bellingham.

Started years ago by two Bellingham women who wanted to promote recycling, the store grew quickly by salvaging parts from construction sites and offering them for sale to homeowners.

They also pay for useable equipment and fixtures, and will pick up and deliver anywhere in the county. The ReStore can be reached at 360/647-5921. Their web site is www.re-store.org.