Still sizzling after 50 years


August 11, 2002|By Sara Engram | By Sara Engram,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Happy birthday, Weber grills! Half a century ago, a metalworker in Illinois was so frustrated by the uneven and uncontrollable flame of his open brazier grill that he cut a metal buoy in half, made a dome-shaped grill with a rounded lid and revolutionized backyard barbecuing.

George Stephen sold copies of his new invention for $50, quite a jump from the average $7 cost of an open brazier. But a nation of grillers recognized genius when they saw it, and the Weber Brothers Metal Works soon metamorphosed into Weber-Stephen Products Co.

Through its 50 years, Weber has offered a range of styles and variations. Does anyone remember the Flamenco from 1963? Or pine for the Wishing Well of 1966 or 1972's Barrel Bar-B-Q? A glance at these and other stylized grills is like a walk down Americana Lane.

For more information on Weber grills, see online or visit your local home and garden store.

A solution for garden clutter

This time of year, all that garden gear seems to outgrow its storage quarters, if indeed it ever had proper storage in the first place. And it's often the case that the storage, even if adequate, fails miserably on visual appeal.

If this sounds familiar, cheer up. Garden City Designs, based in Kansas City, Mo., sells handsome and versatile outdoor storage that is also environmentally friendly -- meaning that it uses cedar that does not require finishing.

The Tudor Shed is compact -- it stands 64 inches high, 24 inches wide and 15 inches deep -- making it ideal for smaller yards. But it has enough space to allow easy organizing of essential outdoor equipment.

The Tudor Shed retails for $349 and can be customized to suit your needs. For more information, call 800-598-4272 or log on to www.greencitydesigns. com.

Getting comfortable with couture cushions

If you've admired Escada clothing, you'll want to take a look at the firm's limited edition of Escada Couture decorative pillows.

Featuring Escada's signature sumptuous fabrics, from silk brocades to knits and sequined fabrics, the pillows come in four sizes, ranging from large (24 inches by 24 inches) for $150 to a small size (16 by 16) for $110. A bolster sells for $135, as does the medium-size pillow.

For more information or to order, call 800-869-8424 or visit


* Learn how bonsai is created while watching the transformation of a nursery plant into a bonsai in a one-hour workshop offered at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington. Aug. 24 and 25, 1 p.m. Free, no registration required. For more information, call 202-245-2726. Or visit online.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Liz Atwood, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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