I usually feature new home-related businesses in this column, but it doesn't hurt every once in a while to point out one that's almost a historic landmark. The American Shade Co. (815 N. Howard St.,  728-5891) certainly qualifies; it's been in business since 1916 making custom blinds and shades.
"We get most of our work by word of mouth," says company vice president Dick Tillman. All blinds and shades are made on the premises in the latest colors and materials. The craftsmanship may be old-fashioned, but the styles aren't. The American Shade Co. is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.
Tour of tours
There are house and garden tours, and there are house and garden tours. Then there is the Garden Club of Virginia's Garden Week, April 20-27, the oldest and largest program of its kind in the nation.
Few places are more beautiful than Virginia in the spring. During tour week visitors will get a chance to visit more than 250 properties, ranging from city townhouses with charming pocket gardens to large estates in Virginia's horse country. A detailed tour book is available for $3 from the Historic Garden Week headquarters, 12 E. Franklin St., Richmond, Va. 23219, (804) 644-7776.
Doesn't just the thought of a rose garden cheer you up? All-America Rose Selections, a nonprofit group for rose research and promotion, has the following tips to get yours started.
Plant roses only where they will get at least six hours of sun daily.
Pick a site that has good drainage and rich, loamy soil. Spade in compost.
Roses need to be fertilized several times a season, once when they begin to leaf out, again after each period of blooming.
Water frequently, early in the day.
Mulch your rose bushes. It helps them withstand temperature extremes, keeps the ground moist and discourages weeds.
Commemorate family milestones by planting an AARS award-winning rose from that particular year.
On the Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, On the Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or fax to (410) 783-2519.
Pub Date: 3/24/96