June 2014

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26 BRAVA MAGAZINE | JUNE 2014 Fescue to the Rescue As summer takes hold, the growl of lawnmowers is a regular neighborhood soundtrack. Jeff Epping, Olbrich Botanical Gardens' director of horticulture, suggests a way around that weekly chore: Replace your Kentucky bluegrass lawn with a meadow populated by a mix of fi ne fescue grasses and wild flowers. After adding a flowering meadow garden at Olbrich, Epping replaced most of the lawn at his Sunset Village home with a similar garden. Now he only has to mow the wavy fescue grass a couple of times in the spring. "I'm not some kind of lawn mafi a," he jokes. "People's minds were blown when I removed most of my lawn," he says. Now, says Epping, his neighbors ask how he gets his lawn to swirl the way it does. Popular gardening books describe a meadow as a mixture of grasses and wildflowers. Epping cautions that a true meadow must include mostly perennial grasses to act as a groundcover and weed barrier. At Olbrich and his home, Epping constructed a winding flagstone path to make it easier to traverse the uneven fescue. After all the Kentucky bluegrass and weeds are removed, and the fescue seed mix planted, it can take a couple of seasons for a meadow to become established. Then it's easy street. No watering or fertilizers necessary. Gone, too, is that angry lawnmower growl. Find Care-Free Fine Fescue mix at Jung Garden Center and the Middleton Farmers Cooperative. SAVE THE DATE HOME TOURS THRIVE DWELL 1 NARI 2014 REMODELED HOMES TOUR Indulge your inner voyeur on this tour including 18 homes around Madison. From small facelifts to major renovations, see what others have done with their sunrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and landscapes. Experts will be on-site to answer all your remodeling questions. June 1, 9:30 a.m. Locations vary. 14-29 2014 PARADE OF HOMES Take in the latest innovations in landscaping, décor and energy-effi cient features on this tour of 27 homes in Waunakee, Deerfi eld, DeForest, Bristol and Oregon. Sponsored by the Madison Area Builders Association, the event off ers discounts from local suppliers and builders. June 14-29, time and locations vary. WORTH THEIR SALT Saltwater swimming pools are making a big splash lately, accounting for well over half of all new pools built in the Madison area. But Duane Farwell, owner of Far- well Pools and Spas in Madison, wants to dispel a rumor: Saltwater pools aren't chlorine-free. A special device converts the salt into chlorine. Users say saltwater pools feel easier on the eyes and softer on the skin than traditional chlorinated pools and have less chemical odor. And while they're not maintenance-free, upkeep costs are lower since chlorine is constantly regen- erated. Fred Bachmann of Bachmanns Pools & Spas, says that can save some $300 a year. Adding a modern automatic cover to keep debris to a minimum saves cleaning time, too. nŀ ESE ˬRENmT YOUR GRˬNDMOTHERmS SWIMMINGPOOLSŀ EYˬREMOREEǝCIENT in every way," Farwell says. SWIMMING POOLS GARDEN

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