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March 14, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
It's time for our annual list of spring garden tours and events, for all you planners. Be sure to check organizers' websites for more information and updates, because some events do sell out. Additions to the list and suggestions are welcome via reader comments. April 6-7: More than 40 gardens, each planted with at least 50% California native plants, will be featured in the 10th annual self-guided tour organized by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants . 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
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NEWS
January 2, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
Acorn owners Maggie Lobl, Erin Tanaka and Laura Tanaka said they wanted to open a home and garden boutique in Eagle Rock because of Colorado Boulevard's amiable vibe. “It's so friendly here,” Lobl said. “People really walk in this neighborhood and favor local indie shops.” Indeed, earlier this week, repeat visitors from the neighborhood stopped in to shop for gifts and peruse the sunny, welcoming space. Packed with terrariums, planters, books and ceramics, the former paintball supply store features a refreshing variety of accessories that won't break the bank: graphic Pehr tea towels ($13.50)
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FOOD
July 6, 2010 | By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
After Colin Archipley and his wife sold their tiny Venice house and bought 2 acres of land in Escondido in 2005, he started caring for the 200 avocado trees on the land just because they were there. That turned out to be a catalyst for a new life for the Iraq war veteran. After leaving the Marines in 2006, Archipley, 29, had a vision of replicating the teamwork and proficiency of his military colleagues. He found that business: Archi's Acres now grows herbs and greens — and avocadoes — on 6 acres, some of which he owns and some of which he rents, selling at farmers markets and to Whole Foods and other retailers.
NEWS
June 19, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
The annual Dwell on Design show returns to Los Angeles this weekend with some familiar features: prefab houses, Airstream trailers, the latest in green cars. But we're pleased to report the contemporary design expo has some new faces too -- furniture and accessories we spotted last month while covering New York Design Week . If you missed them the first time around, you can see the colorful stainless steel indoor-outdoor furnishings by the Salvadoran manufacturer MarkaModerna, inventive accessories by up-and-coming Norway design students, experimental furnishings in surprising materials by the Guatemala-based Fabrica, stunning blankets by Mandal Veveri and, at the end of the day, rest in a prototype of the comfortable reclining leather VAD AS chair.  This year's Dwell on Design Artist in Residence is Tanya Aguiñiga , who will be assembling and making furniture and accessories on site for people living in transitional housing.
HOME & GARDEN
September 25, 2010
Plotting your pots In inland areas, select thick pots to insulate roots or slip one container into another and fill the gap with gravel. Light-colored pots also help to keep roots cooler.
HOME & GARDEN
May 14, 2011 | Chris Erskine
After each game, we are asked by our little sports league — run by the usual saints and crackpots — to file a synopsis to the website that is then picked up by the weekly papers. The saints (in whispers) and crackpots (in screams) like to explain that these game reports are important tools for keeping track of our baseball season. Because people largely do what they're told, the coaches mostly follow these instructions, while making secret promises to never sign up for anything like this again.
HOME & GARDEN
April 9, 2011 | Chris Erskine
The front pasture is looking a little tall, thanks to the nearly monsoonal rains, so the 300-pound beagle is doing what he does best, eating it. It is spring succulent, his own personal salad bar. "Would you like a nice wine with that?" I ask. "Maybe some French bread?" But he doesn't answer. He's so full of himself, this dog. "Were you raised by wolves?" I ask. Actually, when you're 300 pounds, and roughly the height of a ground ball, you must graze constantly. I don't know exactly what he eats, yet he eats everything.
HOME & GARDEN
June 18, 2011 | Chris Erskine
As I write, it's three days till summer vacation, but who's counting? Everybody's counting, that's who. The teachers, the crossing guard, even me. Three days. An eternity. Since when did the school year run till almost July? "Hey, Huckleberry," I say. "What, Dad?" "Three more days," I tell him. "I know," says the little guy. "I knoooooooooooow. " It's been such a long year for him that he's taken to calling his pretty young teacher "Mom," which didn't exactly thrill her, or his actual mother, who does virtually everything for him except breathe.
HOME & GARDEN
March 12, 2011 | Chris Erskine
Youth baseball's opening day is like a cocktail party without cocktails, four hours of schmoozing and "Hi, how ya beens?" on a giant field filled with kids. I can't prove this, but at one point I'm pretty sure that time actually stood still. The sun quit moving in the sky. Human digestion stopped. Cells quit replicating. Grass stopped growing. I looked around and saw other parents taking note: "What is this, some kind of purgatory?" their expressions all said. Yes. That's not to say that opening day wasn't a roaring success, for it was. By the time it was over ?
HOME & GARDEN
September 11, 2010 | Chris Erskine
I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a dozen kids playing touch football on a California beach, as their parents cheer from beach chairs, trying to keep their fluids up with their own special Gatorade. This is football at its finest. At one point, the kids pull off a quadruple hike, the center snapping it to another center, who snaps it to the punk behind him, who snaps it to the freckled fifth-grader at the back of the line. In some 50 years of football, I've never seen anything like this quadruple snap.
NEWS
March 14, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
It's time for our annual list of spring garden tours and events, for all you planners. Be sure to check organizers' websites for more information and updates, because some events do sell out. Additions to the list and suggestions are welcome via reader comments. April 6-7: More than 40 gardens, each planted with at least 50% California native plants, will be featured in the 10th annual self-guided tour organized by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants . 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
HOME & GARDEN
December 24, 2011 | Chris Erskine
So Christmas is finally upon us. We surrender to it the way disoriented French soldiers used to surrender to thunderstorms, humbled and with arms pointing to the sky. "Please, God, no more boom-boom-boom. Merci . " I was in Target the other day, not long, only seven or eight hours, a soldier on his last legs looking for where they hid the ground coffee. One of the things you've probably noticed about L.A. store clerks, particularly now, is that they will not ever look you in the eye. It's like you're a spirit, an angel, an abstraction — something they cannot see nor fathom.
HOME & GARDEN
December 10, 2011 | Chris Erskine
I was putting up the outdoor lights the other day when my wife, Posh, came along and pushed me off the ladder. I thought she was just being playful in that cute, physically intimidating way she has. But no, she really needed the ladder. Her plan: to jump off the roof and spare herself the agony of another holiday season. I thought about it a bit — 20 minutes max — then picked up a bullhorn. To leave me alone with our kids during the holidays, I pleaded, would go against the spirit that the season represents.
HOME & GARDEN
December 3, 2011 | Chris Erskine
You know my favorite drinking glass? The skull of a fallen enemy. I buy them in sets of eight. I mention this because it's so difficult to find the right gift. Another thing I'd like for Christmas is brain surgery. A recent MRI found that my brain rests in what medical experts call "the missionary position," toes to the ceiling, in the laziest cranial pose a brain can assume. They never explained why my brain had toes. Or why it was wearing socks. "I really have a brain?" I asked, "because for years …" "Look here," the doc said, pointing to the scan.
HOME & GARDEN
October 15, 2011 | Chris Erskine
For me, exasperation is a form of exercise. You should've seen me at the soccer game Saturday, big gasping breaths as if drowning. I recommend it to anyone looking to lose a few pounds while tiptoeing the fine line between sanity and suburbia. "You look like you've lost weight," our friend Barbara said after the game. "I'm mostly wasting away," I explained. "You look good," she said. Thanks. The team performed well, except that in the second quarter I realized that my players seemed unable to run sideways.
HOME & GARDEN
October 8, 2011 | Chris Erskine
Like that revelatory moment when martinis start to taste good or summer turns with one chill breeze to fall, that's how chicken farming entered my synapses — synap, crackle, pop. Our friends Mitch and Teresa were taking the kids on vacation for a few weeks, leaving their pre-pubescent hens in the hands of several neighbors, who tag-teamed the task. One neighbor one week, another the next. I found our stint with the chickens just long enough to fall in love with the whole concept.
HOME & GARDEN
October 23, 2010 | Chris Erskine
We call our Honda minivan the Honey Fitz, which is the name John F. Kennedy gave his presidential yacht ? you might remember, you might not. The parallels are obvious. Both are sleek vessels used for family getaways. Both of them reek of old world elegance. When people climb aboard the minivan and it wobbles a little, as if afloat in a big tub of goo, there is just the expectation that memories are about to be made. Usually, what we do is send out vellum invites: "Please join us aboard the Honey Fitz, for a memorable evening of conversation and drinks under the stars.
HOME & GARDEN
September 5, 2010 | By Lauren Beale
A gated estate that was once home to producer David Wolper and then composer Jerry Herman has come on the market in Bel-Air at $23.45 million. The compound sits on an acre overlooking the 16th hole of the Bel Air Country Club. Built in 1951, the "French inspired" house has been redesigned with extended families in mind. Its 19,000 square feet of living space include a kitchen with great room, a formal dining room, a library, a bar and cocktail area, a catering kitchen, a gym, a sauna, a screening room, nine bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.
HOME & GARDEN
September 17, 2011 | Chris Erskine
Our house is so loud that it's beginning to kill off the landscaping. Shrubs are dying, and there's this ring — almost a solar corona — where the grass is browning around the foundation. Lately, even the spiders are clinging to life, that's how loud our house is. The other day the little guy runs in, slams the door so hard that all the 8-penny nails in the house pop a quarter-inch out of their sockets … baaaam, zip. He is breathless and carrying a lacrosse stick just because.
HOME & GARDEN
September 7, 2011 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
Reality TV star Lauren Conrad has listed a Sunset Strip-area home for sale at $2.25 million. The renovated 1920s Spanish-style house was featured on MTV's "The Hills. " Entered through a gated courtyard, the 3,000-square-foot home has wrought-iron work, an original Spanish tile floor, four bedrooms and 31/2 bathrooms. There is a lap pool and an outdoor fireplace. Security includes 10 cameras. Since her stint on "The Hills" (2006-09), the 25-year-old Conrad has started two fashion lines and written several books.
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