Archive for the 'Lake of the Pines' Category

Getting Rid of Aphids on your Crepe Myrtles

said on October 17th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines, Whimsy

Our friend Anne Frank at Lake of the Pines called in to ask “how do I get rid of Aphids on my Crepe Myrtles?”

After a bit of research, I divided my answer into  manual, organic,  or synthethic treatments.  Synthethic is an euphemism for “chemical,” or course.

The two most highly recommended treatments are below indicated in bold italics.

 

Manual

Spay ‘em off with your hose or pick ‘em off by hand

 

Organic

Neem Oil spray or Safer’s Soap

Ladybugs

 

Synthethic

Ortho Systemic Insect Killer (spray to get rid of them instantly)

Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree and Shrub Protect and Feed (mix it and pour at the base of the plant)

 

I might start by spraying the aphids off with water, then putting a bag of ladybugs at the base (sounds entertaining!), then pouring the Bayer Advanced at the base.

 

If that doesn’t work, nuke ’em with the Ortho.

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Fabulous Lake of the Pines Home for Sale

said on September 13th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines, Localism

Pride of ownership is evident from the front door

to the shady rear court yard.

You will appreciate many interesting architectural elements in this handsome & classy home:

high and coffered ceilings,

gracious entry foyer,

arches, bull-nosed corners, and curves,

 

granite countertops in the kitchen, laundry, and baths

indoor laundry with sink and built-in cabinetry,

pretty bathrooms.

You will love the spacious patio and new spa,

private backyard,

and beautiful (low-maintenance) landscaping.

This extraordinary single-story home is located in an exceptional community and provides all of the superb Lake of the Pines amenities:  golf, tennis, a new pool, new sports lounge, (soon-to-be) new clubhouse, bocce ball, par course, sailing club, kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding, fishing, and clubs and activities too numerous and varied to list.

This home has a well-designed floorplan with 2511 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 and 1/2 baths, and a separate family room with built-in entertainment wall, fireplace, and wet-bar.

It is offered at $529,000

Take a video tour of this fabulous home (and sneak a peek at Lake of the Pines!)  Click this link:

 

 

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All-American Home for Sale

said on August 30th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines

11544 INVERNESS WAY at LAKE OF THE PINES

We are happy to present this traditional All-American home at Lake of the Pines.  Situated on a quiet, shady street, it features a new kitchen, great room and full-sized 4 car garage.  With 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths, this this lovely residence provides you with a spacious floor plan of 2337 square feet.  It is offered at $419,000.

There will be a brief video tour at the end of this article.

This well-designed residence is impeccably maintained with custom features throughout.

A rare find at lake of the Pines, 11544 Inverness is  a comfortable single story home on a level lot.

Excellent southwest sun position provides cool afternoon shade in the kitchen, dining area, master bedroom, and charming back deck.

Guests will gather at the large island in the newly-remodeled kitchen.

Look at the pretty windows around the dining table.

The back yard is just slightly sloping away from the house for good drainage.

The pool table comes with the house!

This property is an extraordinary value in an exceptional location on an excellent quiet street.

Here’s your guided video tour.

 

 

 

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Landscaping Workshop for the Sierra Foothills

said on August 6th, 2012 filed under: Auburn, Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Lake of the Pines, Localism

We will be presenting a FREE landscaping workshop at 7:00 PM on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2012 at the Generations Health Club just outside the gate of Lake of the Pines, California.  The address is 22824 Industrial Place, Auburn (unincorporated) near the corner of Combie Road and West Hacienda.

 

Immerse yourself in a fast-moving one-hour class about landscaping in the Sierra Foothills

Select a foundation landscape of permanent deer-resistant shrubs

Admire Lake of the Pines gardener Sue Baker’s list of Top Ten Annual Flowers

Steal Bob’s list of Top Twelve Perennal Shrubs for “deer country”

Spruce up your home’s curb appeal to create the Best First Impression for less than $1,000

Learn a bunch of Weird Stuff About Plants that we bet you don’t know

Bring a neighbor and your own gardening tips.  See you on Wednesday night at Generations Health Club!

 

Bob and CJ Jenkins

530-906-4715

 

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Top 10 Summer Flowers for Lake of the Pines

said on August 2nd, 2012 filed under: Gardening, Lake of the Pines, Localism

What are the Top Ten Summer Flowers for Lake of the Pines, California?

Sue Baker is the Lake of the Pines gardener.  Drive around LOP any time of year and you will spot Sue tenderly mothering her flowers.

Here are Sue’s choices for summer “colors”  Typically, these flowers are:

(1) annuals (you have to re-plant or re-seed them every year)

(2) selected for deer-resistance

(3) selected for low water usage

 

Vinca Annuals  (not the invasive ground covers Vinca major and Vinca minor)

 

 

Salvia (Sage)

Cosmos (Asteraceae)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Coreopsis (Asteraceae)

Alyssum (Brassicaceae)

Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum maximus)

Yarrow (Achillea)

 

Impatiens (Balsaminaceae)

 

Zinnia (Asteraceae)

 

Let’s give Sue Baker a big Green Thumbs Up for her flowers and her help with this post!

 

 

 

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Deer Resistant Plants for the Foothills

said on July 13th, 2012 filed under: Auburn, Country Property, Gardening, Lake of the Pines, Localism

Deer are everywhere in the Sierra Foothills, and nowhere are they more numerous than at Lake of the Pines, California, where they move around through the un-fenced yards, lordly and arrogant,  eating just about everything that grows.

Can you actually establish landscaping, green and lush, that is impervious to the plague of deer?  Yes.

These are shrubs and trees reputed to be deer resistant, though those of us gardening in our area know that some deer will eat almost anything, and that all deer will eat almost anything if they get hungry enough.  I have seen hungry deer nibbling on the needle tips of junipers, though I have never seen them touch an oleander.

The worst offenders within deer herds are the fawns.  Like most babies, the fawns haven’t yet learned what to avoid, and they put anything into their mouths.  Because of their small size, the lowest and most tender growth of almost any kind of plant gets the special attention of these youngsters.  You might think about protecting newly installed “deer resistant” plants for the first year with screen or fencing.

Other trouble makers are the bucks during the fall “season.”  These sex-crazed lads will tear up plants just for the hell of it, and they will use your new trees to tune up their antlers for the mating wars to come.  You might think about wrapping the trunks of newly installed trees with burlap until the lust dies down.

All that said, here are my 12 favorite deer resistant plants for the lower foothills.  The photos are all from my own un-fenced yard at Lake of the Pines.   I am putting my plants where the deer mouths are.  These are July photos, so most of the specimens have already lost their flowers.

A DOZEN FAVORITE DEER RESISTANT PLANTS FOR THE CALIFORNIA FOOTHILLS

Juniper.  Lots of people don’t like juniper because they are scratchy and boring, but many types have adapted to dry conditions and take little water to hang on through the summer.  Juniper can form screening hedges and hold down  problematic hillsides.

There are also “softer” and low growing species of juniper.

Oleander.  Thank God for oleanders in July.  Oleanders are profuse boomers and provide the most reliable color in the summer landscape.  They are, as you know, poisonous, so don’t eat them.  The deer are also well aware of the toxicity.

Grevillea.  Sturdy and reliable.  My favorite types have delicate pink flowers on them almost all year.  They are prickly.

St John’s Wort.  A surprise discovery.  This plant is 3 years old.

Elaegnus.  This is a new addition, a “silverberry” variety.  We put it in this year for the first time.  So far so good.

Nandina, aka Heavenly Bamboo.  Not a real bamboo, and it will not get out of control.  You can trim it like a hedge if that’s your thing.

Azelea (and rhododendrums) The deer will eat some species, and they will eat young, tender new growth, but they leave old leathery azeleas alone unless they are desparately hungry.

Abelia.  This is glossy abelia.  Takes very little water.

Barberry.  Gorgeous red foliage to contrast with the green and grey-green on most foothill shrubs.  Lots of thorns.  Ouch.

 

Wisteria.  Wisteria grows so high and so fast that it will soon grow itself out of reach.  Of couse, if you don’t keep it under control, it will eat your house.

Yarrow, CJ’s favorite,  and Lavender, my favorite.

 

Dafodils and Narcissus.  These are not shrubs, but they do come back year after year to enliven the early spring.  Each year you should plant new bulbs.

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Fourth of July at Lake of the Pines, California

said on July 7th, 2012 filed under: Cultural Events, Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Lake of the Pines, Localism

Fourth of July is the BIG DAY at lake of the Pines, California.  In the morning there’s a golf cart parade (cash prizes!) a fly-over by stunt planes, and a bunch of other stuff you don’t want to miss.

I missed it.  (A real estate “fire” ignited that I had to “stamp out.”)

But the 4th of July events last all day, so about noon Scott, Sara and I motored over to the festivities in my boat.

The celebration was a bit odd this year because the Club House is being re-built so the main events had to be moved up to the Sports Lounge parking lotb, but there was still plenty of action at the main beach.

One of the coolest things about living at Lake of the Pines is the small town atmopsphere.  You can’t go anywhere whithout knowing just about everybody.  That’s Kristine White waving.  We just represented Kristine and hubby Matt in the purchase of their first home over on Shadow Drive.

CJ and Malina had arrived earlier in the golf cart (Lake of the Pines’ most ubiquitous form of transportation).  I persuaded the family to gather for a quick photo op.

Our own band, Lopsided, was in the middle of a Beatles set.

People were starting to dance in the parking lot.

Our Century 21 booth was in full swing, stumping passersby with patriotic questions.  “Answer a question and win a prize!”

Really expensize prizes.

“Step right up.  Everyone’s a winner!”

There were dunkers.

There were whangers (or whatever they’re called).

Eaters.

Snow coners.

Hotrodders.

Laughers (That’s a flag hat on her head).

Burger flippers  (That’s Jim and Sheilagh Goetsch, clients and friends.  Jim is also the treasurer for the LOP board of directors)

After dark, of course, the Pinesmen sponsor a fireworks display.

 

Go out in the boat and enjoy the show right on the water.   One thing better than owning a patio boat?  Having friends who own a patio boat.  Thanks Bill and Gail Tudor!

Best way to wind up the day?  Sitting on the beach under a full moon roasting marshmellows around a fire.

Happy 4th of July from Lake of the Pines!

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Lake of the Pines Dreamscape

said on June 10th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines

Another reason why we love Lake of the Pines, California.

 

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How to Build a Propane Tank Screen at Lake of the Pines

said on May 29th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines

The rules for building propane tank screens at Lake of the Pines changed in January, 2012.  Again.  These rules are enforced whenever a Lake of the Pines home is sold.

Back in olden times the propane tank screens were built to hide the ugly tanks from your neighbors,  to obscure the “visual blight.”

For that purpose I built a pretty propane tank screen at my house.

 

Here’s a screen I made for an investment property CJ and I “flipped” on Lakeshore North.

Later, I made several screens for my clients.  This one was for Kieran and Gary Gibson when we sold their house on Oakmont.

Then came the first of the major changes in Environmental Control Committee requirements.  The posts had to be pressure treated and the siding had to be fire-resistant hardi-board, or hardie-panel, or something like that.  So, I built the screens to comply with the new code.  Here’s one I made for Corey and Christina Cregar when they bought their house on St. Andrews Court.

And another one for Sheila and Tom Sellers when they bought their house on Bobolink.

Here is the most difficult to build, and the most sturdy, of all my propane tank screens.  This one was for Ken and Cheryl Tune on Lakeshore South.  You could land a helicopter on this one.

Then came the next major change in requirements from the Environmental Control Committee.  This one has proved to be a pain in the behind.  The new rule requires that the entire enclosure, inside and out, reveal no combustible materials.

Quoting from one of my previous blogs:

Before the newest set of ECC standards (2012), you would dig the holes, set 4X4 pressure treated posts in concrete, build a frame out of 2X4 or 2X2 douglas fir, and hang fire-resistant concrete hard-board sheets for siding, put a redwood rain cap on top, paint it to match the house. You might put on some decorative trim or lattice work so the screen did not look like the ugly, ungainly squat box that it is.

Cost in materials?  About $200.

Now, you can not use pressure treated posts, 2X frames, or redwood rain caps unless you rip concrete hardi-board strips (or some other non-combustible material) and then clad all the wood on all sides.  Ever ripped long strips of hardi-board?  Ever tried to make the hardi-board edges match up with each other and look crisp and professional?

Or you can build the thing out of concrete block, or brick, or stone, or some other masonry technique.

Or you can hang the hard-board siding on a metal frame that you weld or bolt together.

Here’s one of the new 2012 models.  Because the three extant sides were coated with stucco, I was able to get away with hanging a  hardi-board front panel on a metal frame.  This one was for Peggy Upson when we sold her house on Sun Terrace.

My most recent screen was made by encasing 4X4 posts on all sides with hard-board and then hanging hardi-board panels for the siding.  Squat and unattractive.  But, by george, it’s in compliance with the new rules.  This one was for Hugh Stanton when we sold his house on Sycamore.

There are two main steps to the process:

First you have to submit two sets of plans to the ECC and get them approved.  That can take from a few dfays to a few weeks.  Each set of plans will include:

(1)  plot plan indicating the location of the tank

(2)  front elevation of your proposed screen design

(3)  cover letter identifying

  • address
  • statement of purpose
  • dimensions
  • materials
  • paint colors
  • owner’s signature

I would also advise you to include the following language:

“The screen will be painted to match the house.”

“The posts will be 4X4 pressure-treated lumber encased on all sides with non-combustible material or metal posts whichever is most feasible.”

Then, you have to build it.  Or hire someone to build it for you.  I have seen quotes from contractors as high as $1800.00 for tank screens on steep slopes, in rocky ground, on welded metal frames, or with any trim or decoration.

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Lake of the Pines Imposes “Conditions” to Sell Your Home

said on May 27th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines

Lake of the Pines “conditions” for sale of a residence are not new.  Each time a Lake of the Pines home goes into escrow, the Environmental Control Committee (ECC) sends a “compliance officer” to the property to write a report about the exterior condition of the home for sale.  The officer does not come inside the home. Nor does he have a warrant to poke around on your property unannounced, but he does it anyway.  Possibly there is some clause in the LOP Conditions, Covenants, and  Restrictions where you gave him permission for entry onto your property, but I have not yet found this clause. *

The officer’s report will specify items that must be brought into compliance with Lake of the Pines standards, either by the seller before close of escrow, or by the buyer soon after close of escrow.

What kind of items are typically reported by the officer?  Over the past 10 years, these 6 violations appear again and again:

1.  Unsightly vegetation.  Lawns that need to be mowed, weeds that need to be whacked, dead trees to be removed, piles of brush cleaned up.

2.  Trash.  All that stuff laying around on the ground that you should have cleaned up a long time ago.

3.  Unfinished or unpainted construction.  Broken windows, primed but not yet painted trim, half-done projects.

4.  Sheds.  This category really includes all outbuildings and accessory structures.  On one of my recent sales, the officer required the removal of a tree house!  On another sale, the removal of a pre-fabricated Tuff Shed.  Can you have sheds at LOP?  Yes, but they have to be approved by ECC.  Can you have tree houses?  No.

5.  Fences.  This is a complex topic unto itself, and I wont attempt to get into it now.  Can you have fences at Lake of the Pines?  No.  (except when you can).

6.  Propane tank screens.  In the olden days, propane tank screens were built for aesthetic reasons, to visually screen the unsightly tanks from your neighbors. Not any more.  Nowadays, propane tank screens are primarily designed to keep fire away from them.  Beginning this year (2012), propane tank screens must be built so that there is no combustible material visible on the outside or inside of the screen. 

This is a real pain in the ass–and also expensive and/or time-consuming.

I’ve built numerous propane tank screens for my clients over the years, and I will tell you for a fact, the new standards are easier “mandated” by the ECC than installed by the owners or contractors.

Before the newest set of ECC standards (2012), you would dig the holes, set 4X4 pressure treated posts in concrete, build a frame out of 2X4 or 2X2 douglas fir, and hang fire-resistant concrete hard-board sheets for siding, put a redwood rain cap on top, paint it to match the house. You might put on some decorative trim or lattice work so the screen did not look like the ugly, ungainly squat box that it is.

Cost in materials?  About $200.

Now, you can not use pressure treated posts, 2X frames, or redwood rain caps unless you rip concrete hardi-board strips (or some other non-combustible material) and then clad all the wood on all sides.  Ever ripped long strips of hardi-board?  Ever tried to make the hardi-board edges match up with each other and look crisp and professional?

Or you can build the thing out of concrete block, or brick, or stone, or some other masonry technique.

Or you can hang the hard-board siding on a metal frame that you weld or bolt together.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Did I forget anything?  Oh yes, before you build the screen, you have to submit plans to the ECC and have them approved.  If you are lucky, ECC approval could take a few days.  If you are unlucky, it could take several weeks.

Let’s see, you finally get into contract on the sale or purchase of your LOP home.  Perhaps 10 days into your 30-day escrow, you get the compliance report and discover that you have to submit plans for a propane tank screen, then install it.  By the time you get the plans together, ECC reviews and hopefully approves the plans, you may already be past the scheduled close of escrow.

What do you do?

If you are the seller, you can:

  • attempt to extend the close of escrow (not likely)
  • build the screen without ECC approval and hope you get it right
  • pass the responsibility on to the buyer

If you are the buyer, you can:

  • accept the responsibility for building the screen yourself
  • require that the seller pay for it

How much will it cost to hire a contractor to build a compliant propane screen?  I have seen bids as high as $1800.

Here is the section from the CC&Rs that governs the inspection process:

 

*8.01 LOCATION OF INSPECTIONS

Routine inspections of all properties governed by these Standards may be conducted from the following locations:

(a)   From all common roadways throughoutLakeof the Pines.

(b)   From all areas of the golf course.

(c)   From all navigable areas of the lake.

(d)   From the parts of Combie Road that offer a view into Lake of the Pines properties.

(e)   From the parts of Magnolia Road that offer a view into Lake of the Pines properties.

(f)     From any other area in or around Lake of the Pines that is accessible without trespassing on private property.

(g)   From neighboring properties if permission to pass is provided by the owner(s) / occupants of those properties.

 

 

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