The Way Moles Harm Trees

It’s possible to discover a soft spot in your heart for the mole that’s consuming your yard if you recall that the tiny carnivore is controlling the pest population. Moreover, its unsightly tunnels are aerating the soil. It could be tricky to maintain this warm feeling when you notice your trophy maple sapling withering, but keep in mind that the esophagus likely is not doing the harm directly — a root-eater might have invaded the mole’s tunnels.

Food Tunnels

A mole announces its presence on your lawn with two telltale signs; those are surface tunnels that resemble raised veins, and molehills — volcano-like heaps of loose dirt. The molehills connect to main runways which have feeding tunnels branching off, and based on the activity level of the mole, there might be many of those divisions. Moles are constantly digging fresh feeding tunnels looking for grubs and larvae, and they do so at a speed of 1 foot every 3 minutes. In case you’ve got a mole, it is likely lonely, because moles don’t like to share land with each other.

Eroding the Soil

Moles don’t eat tree roots — or even any roots, for that matter — because they are carnivorous. If you’re digging around the roots of a tree in your yard, it is because there are insect larvae there, and even if there are many larvae, the esophagus might dig several tunnels to get them. This can erode the earth round the roots, which, in turn, may not get enough water, and the tree could wilt and also perish. This behavior is most likely if the tree is in loose, moist soil, because that is the kind of soil in which moles prefer to dig.

Tunnel Invaders

Moles can directly damage your tree roots by giving access to rodents, like voles, that do want to feed on the roots. Voles are about precisely the same size as moles, and they might take over an abandoned tunnel. Unlike moles, voles are social, so that there may be many of these. In case voles have invaded your lawn, you might see one, because they occasionally come above ground. Beside attacking roots, voles also go for the bark, and you might notice 1/16- to 1/8-inch wide gnaw marks to the lower trunk of your dying tree. Even though you can not see them, the roots of the tree usually have the exact marks.

Mole Control

There are lots of folk treatments for a mole problem, however, the perfect way to get one from your lawn is to trap it. You might find the notion of cutting or cutting a mole with a lethal trap disagreeable — in that case, set a live trap by burying a java can close a tunnel entry. The issue with this approach — and with trapping in general — is finding an active entry or an active tunnel. If you would like to protect a particular tree, a much more effective approach may be to build a hardware fabric barrier around it. The obstacle must extend at least 2 feet deep to be effective.

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New York's Wilderstein House Dresses Up to Christmas

Design professionals have decked out that the Wilderstein Historic Site in a stunning array of Christmas decor for 2012. Tucked away on a tropical knob overlooking the Hudson River in Rhinebeck, New York, this prestigious Queen Anne mansion is considered the Hudson Valley’s most important example of Victorian architecture and has a Calvert Vaux–designed landscape. The Wilderstein estate has also played host to important figures in American history — that the home was once home to Margaret Suckley, an intimate companion of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The pair’s near and well-chronicled relationship is the subject of the film Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Laura Linney as Suckley and Bill Murray as FDR.

Only a short drive from New York City, the 19th-century home supplies ideas and inspiration for traditionally elegant Christmas decor, either in person or through this virtual trip.

Location: 330 Morton Road, Rhinebeck, New York
Hours: Weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. throughout the end of December; open for tours May through October, Thursday through Sunday, from noon until 4 p.m.
Price: $10 adults; $9 students and seniors; complimentary for children below 12

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

Tess Casey of Aisling Flowers decorated the main dining area. Warm reds play ornate coffered ceilings and the first chandelier. Roses take centre stage on a gold-dressed dining table.

Rikki Snyder

Metallic ornaments, traditional candelabras and glittery artificial birds finish the tablescape. Pinecones, crimson roses and silver and gold decorations decorate a tree in the corner.

Rikki Snyder

Evergreen garlands draped in crimson fabric dress the fireplace.

Rikki Snyder

New flowers in the sink, vegetables in a colander and a simple hanging wreath add a sense of story to the butler’s pantry, decorated by Marijane Grassie.

Rikki Snyder

Designers in The Flower Barn gave the library splashes of holiday sparkle.

Rikki Snyder

Greenery, pink poinsettias and crimson ribbons decorate the fireplace.

Rikki Snyder

The crimson and pink color scheme has a fragrance on the desk.

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

Geoff Howell styled the salon, with a trio of all tree-decorating polar bears.

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

The combination of blue, gold and white brings a different feel to the more conventional parlor, decorated by Wonderland Florist. This miniature tree is trimmed with an unexpected combination of blue bows and dried hydrangeas.

Rikki Snyder

Gargoyles decorated the entry hall with red poinsettias and classic gold bits.

Rikki Snyder

Simple decorations are sufficient with timber this lovely. A simple pile of red and gold Christmas balls is this mantel requires for the holidays.

Rikki Snyder

A wreath of dried citrus, berries, pinecones and artificial veggies by Battenfeld Christmas Tree Farm greets visitors at the entry.

Rikki Snyder

Position window baskets with evergreens and red berries bring holiday color to the porch, decorated by Joyce Meisinger.

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

The property surrounding the Wilderstein house was first bought by Thomas Holy Suckley in 1852, because his wife, Catherine Murray Bowne, wanted a construction site with striking natural features. The cedar and evergreen trees on the house gave the couple the link to nature they were trying to find.

Evergreens, crimson berries and pinecones come in a simple swag outside.

See more photographs from this holiday home tour

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Artistic Carvings Create for Cutting-Edge Architecture

While construction materials often provide plenty of personality by using their inherent properties — the warmth and texture of wood, the veining of marble, the color of tile they are also able to become a canvas for artistic expression.

Particularly, concrete allows great amounts of saying, given the way it is formed and the time needed for it to place. These homes provide inspiration for exploring artistic texture equally on exteriors and in interiors.

LineBox Studio

Modern Petroglyphs in Ottawa, Canada

Canadian artist Christopher Griffin likens today’s concrete walls to prehistoric cave walls. His markings in real are “surprisingly similar,” he says, to early cave petroglyphs and pictographs.

LineBox Studio

Scenes of character cover his own home in Ottawa, Ontario. Here is a close-up of the whale visible in the preceding photo. Griffin spent the most effort not on the whale itself but on the “water” background, which provides the wall its texture.

LineBox Studio

LineBox Studios helped Griffin recognize that the transformation of an early 1900s Prairie-style building using a commercial extension into a residence for his family. The structure also includes an “organic skincare confectionary” his spouse runs.

LineBox Studio

Since the first photograph makes clear, the home is not composed only of concrete surfaces. Reclaimed wood from inside the home was reused on the outside, breaking up the grey. A strong contrast also happens with reclaimed cedar for the fence and deck. Yet it is still the concrete regions that grab the eye, like the person with the bull on the next floor in this photo.

LineBox Studio

This detail of a concrete wall really captures Griffin’s comparison with cave walls. The simplified animals not just recall the famous pictures of cave paintings, but they also appear to tell a story. The colour of the various panels functions together with the graphics, so the animals trek across the green ground.

LineBox Studio

Zooming out a little, we can realize that the walls are a yarn for even more artistic expression.

S2 layout

Laser-Cut Designs in Victoria, Australia

S2 Design created three townhouses constructed around a landmark 1920s electric substation in Balaclava, Victoria, Australia. Of concern here is really a precast concrete wall which forms the south edge of the residences. You are able to see the undulating line of the wall in the center of the photo.

S2 layout

Most of the 100-foot-long wall is approximately 20 feet high, but in its high point it tops off near 30 feet. Rough aggregate marks the tops of almost all of the panels, but the significant expressions would be the reliefs by artist Damon Kowarsky.

S2 layout

Kowarsky’s artwork was transferred to electronic files which were used to cut the shapes into formwork. So unlike Christopher Griffin’s quick marks in moist cement, Kowarsky’s art is figured out and aided by intermediate measures ahead of the concrete is mixed.

S2 layout

In a few areas, glass blocks are put into the concrete panels, serving baths in the residences on the opposite side of the wall. Kowarsky and S2’s work comes together at those minutes.

Design Platform

A Cutting-Edge Kitchen Colorado

Colorado’s Design Platform built a midcentury ranch’s kitchen round an island confronted with reclaimed barnwood. From this perspective we could see that something interesting is happening under the surface of the cantilevered table.

Design Platform

A closer look shows an aesthetic treatment of the surface, together with abstract tree-like shapes visible through cuts from the reclaimed wood. This layered artwork is the handiwork of Tandi Venter, whose paintings and jewelry are motivated by midcentury style; a lot of her pieces actually incorporate Eames furniture and so on.

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Luxurious Contemporary Apartment in Poland

Exotic artwork; Chinese, Japanese and Spanish influences; and luxury materials such as backlit onyx make this Central Warsaw flat a stunner. The customers, a couple in finance, traveling often and wanted their residence, which overlooks Łazienki Park, to reflect their love of the Orient and Spain. Working together with them “gave me the most joy,” says interior designer Pawel Sókol. “I heard from and was inspired by their own enthusiasm for layout — down to the most minute details.”

in a Glance
Location:
Warsaw, Poland
Size: 2,583 square feet
Designer’s question:
Sókol’s customers insisted on integrating onyx, marble, metal and wood –and design changes from the East and West — under a single roof.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

A reddish, flowerlike chandelier adds drama to a space where the ceilings are not very high. Paired together with the neutral, warm and earthy tones of the space, the headboard enhances the decoration and can be admired by the adjacent living room space.

Chandelier: Flower of Life, Willow Lamps

EXIT Interior Design Studio

A luxe custom drapery track is hidden underneath a header and glows from panel lighting; silk drapes breaking at the floor give a puddled appearance and some motion to the draperies.

In the front end of this space is an Alhambra carved-wood divider, one of the select pieces brought home to Poland from the customers’ journeys to Spain.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

Silver velvet sofas and an armchair contrast against the warm wood tones of the side tables, coffee table and floors. The metallic impact of this draperies and upholstery up the glam factor of this living room tastefully; the metallic motif extends to the circular centerpiece, silver frog figure and die-cast brass lampshade trio (the third lamp is not visible in this picture).

Lamps: Pasha, Luminara by Ceccotti

EXIT Interior Design Studio

The study has a serene view of the foliage from nearby Łazienki Park, which is home to many classical-style gardens and palaces.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

The customers’ love of Eastern layout is evident in this chinoiserie-inspired vignette: a pair of guardian lions, a Chinese porcelain plate and an altar table adjacent to a wood divider produced by a Polish carpenter employing a Japanese blossom print.

How to Insert Touches of Chinoiserie

EXIT Interior Design Studio

The Eastern influence extends itself into the restroom. A white lantern hovers over a vessel sink; red and white glass panels are placed between black iron frames with a Chinese geometric pattern.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

Sókol points out that the absence of cabinets, shelves and cabinets in the bedroom. “The bedroom is used for rest and sleep. Clothes, accessories, additional possessions have their place in the wardrobe in another room.”

EXIT Interior Design Studio

Sókol’s clients especially requested to integrate onyx to the interior layout. This picture shows backlit onyx panels at the ceiling, which include a visual richness that is preferred by luxury hospitality and commercial spaces. A small nook next to a center pillar with modular closets is used for coffee and afternoon tea.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

This shiny kitchen sink area looks like it could also belong within a luxury suite.

EXIT Interior Design Studio

This stunning receiving area by the flat elevator would be fitting at a contemporary hotel. It reflects the customers’ need for the same sleek look they enjoy while traveling abroad.

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Handmade Holiday: The Modern Wreath

Deck the halls (and doors) with wreaths of grandeur this holiday season — and all year. There is no shortage of creative wreaths nowadays. From unusual stuff to unexpected contours, I really like the contemporary spins on this classic Christmas decoration. Here’s inspiration to your wreath-making, whether you want a rustic contemporary wreath made of fresh greens or an eye-catching wreath crafted together with the pages of a vintage book.

More: Fall wreaths for inside or outside

Agnes Blum

Our grandparents may have crafted wreaths made of yarn back in the day. However, this yarn wreath feels present — the choice of black and white yarn adds a contemporary spin.

See more of this homeowner’s home and creations

The Happy Home Blog

Old pages from a vintage book are glued and attached to a ring to make this vintage paper wreath. This wreath could easily decorate a room year-round.

Living With Lindsay

Here’s another wreath utilizing vintage pages. The newspaper is clustered together in several layers for added drama.

Pullga

Here’s one you do not see everyday: an ice wreath! I really like this thought. The pops of red cranberries and greens floating in the ice feels so festive.

Tip: Wreaths are not limited to holiday décor. A simple wreath similar to this could be an easy way to dress up an entryway for a winter wedding.

Between Naps on the Porch

There is a contemporary simplicity to this set of boxwood wreaths, simply adorned with a bell and brown decoration. The green wreaths are stunning against the black doors.

Tip: This, the wreath hangers are the same colour as the doorways, so they disappear against the black paint.

Lemons are the primary element of this wreath, which can be much more yellow than green. It is a fresh alternative to traditional evergreen wreaths.

TruexCullins Architecture + Interior Design

This brown twiggy wreath includes a country modern fashion — and could definitely work as yearlong decoration.

Jeanette Lunde

Following is a wreath which you may keep up all year. A ring of pine cones makes for a simply contemporary twist on the timeless. The spare amount of pine cones adds to the rustic contemporary style of this wreath.

It’s hip to be square with those green wreaths. The shape is absolutely unexpected. I like how these square foot wreaths were hung over the window molding. It reminds me of eyeglasses hung over bookcases to break up the grid of shelves.

Stephanie Woody

This contemporary wreath looks like it is made from birdseed. It is a unique spin on the holiday decoration, but it fits right in with a mantel decked out in traditional greenery and silver mercury glass.

The Happy Home Blog

Two contemporary DIY wreaths: a wreath made of red tinsel along with a wreath made of rolled up book pages attached to a foam wreath. I like the balance of shiny new tinsel and vintage book pages.

Here’s just another DIY twist in the newspaper wreath idea. This wreath is made up of vintage pages of a publication. The grade of this paper wreath is dramatic — there are layers and layers of rolled pages glued together.

More: Decorate Your Door for Christmas
Make a Candy-Cane Striped Wreath

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