Flowers forever fresh
For those who love the look of fresh flowers floating in a vase, but can never find the time to keep changing the water, a clever new invention has arrived on the market -- silk flowers arranged in clear acrylic, which give the illusion of fresh blooms in water.
The silk floral company Waterlook's most recent line not only includes exotic blossoms floating in "water," but also very natural-looking grasses, birch twigs, cattails and reeds in arrangements set in rocks and acrylics.
Until recently, Waterlook's designs were available only through the Neiman Marcus catalog, but this spring they're also available at Woodward & Lothrop, Thomasville Galleries, Scan International Contemporary Furniture and Gardiner's Furniture.
@ Once, gold flecks in white laminate were the rage in countertops. Today, the stone look and other colorful options are topping America's most fashionable counters as the enthusiasm for ecologically inspired interiors continues.
Companies such as Avonite and Corian offer faux granite, gemstone and marble countertop products. Avonite also has inlaid geometric and quilt-look patterns made of a new flexible surface product that can be routed or carved into custom edges.
J.L.K. A window box full of flowers adds a pretty note, but finding a sturdy box that won't tip or topple in the winds has never been easy.
Wagon Factory's custom-made flower boxes or Topsiders' snap-on planters may be the solution for safely displaying flowers, herbs or plants.
The Wagon Factory, (800) 874-9358, will make flower boxes to specified lengths and offers black wrought-iron brackets to keep them snugly in place. All boxes are pressure-treated and finished with a primer-sealer.
Toppers, by Topsiders, (513) 489-7770, lock securely on top of wood or metal rails on porches, decks and balconies. Brass fittings are molded permanently into the bottom of each planter. Adaptable, chromium-plated, rust-resistant brackets and mounting bolts are included. Toppers are available in two sizes and a dozen colors.
J.L.K. April is the month of regreening, the best time of year for planting new trees. If the beauty they add to your home and the oxygen they add to the environment aren't reasons enough to get outside and plant, now a new program adds even more incentive.
Famous & Historic Trees, a project of the American Forestr Association, has collected seeds from historic trees around the country -- from red maples at Mount Vernon in Virginia and Walden Woods in Massachusetts, from a sycamore growing on President Eisenhower's Gettysburg farm -- and is now offering the trees grown from these seeds to individuals, schools and organizations.
The 18- to 36-inch container-grown trees come with a kit which includes planting instructions, a tree stake, fertilizer, a bird safety net, a one-year replacement guarantee, and a tree shelter in the form of a tube that will protect the tree during its first years. Certificates of authenticity are also issued with each tree.
The Mount Vernon maple and the Eisenhower sycamore are both $30, while the Walden Woods red maple is $35. Shipping costs add $5.25. Funds raised by the program help to support historic preservation groups as well as the ongoing historic tree project.
Larger kits and educational materials are available for schools, groups and communities.
SG To order trees or to obtain more information, call (800) 677-0727..
Linda Lowe Morris Before you clean out the attic or the basement, get hold of a copy of "Popular Art Deco" (Abbeville Press, hardcover, $35) by Robert Heide and John Gilman.
If you do you'll know in advance to hang onto those celluloid letter openers from the Fuller Brush Company, that Hall China refrigerator jug, that aerodynamic toaster or those Flamingo playing cards.
They're all art deco, the newest "antiques" from that period in the 1920s and '30s when art and industry merged in a modernistic style.
The authors -- who define the hard-to-define term of art deco as "modern and streamlined items designed and manufactured for the millions of consumers eager to embrace the 'world of tomorrow' as a way of dealing with the Great Depression" -- cover everything from ephemera to architecture in a well-researched text liberally illustrated with full-color and black-and-white photographs.