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Winter 2012-2013 | Summer 2012 | Spring 2012 | Winter 2011-2012 | Fall 2011


Summer 2012



Growing with the Times

Nick Williams and Associates
WWW.NickWilliamsDesigns.com
1-818-222-7477


NWA Summer 2012 ENewsletter


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Click here
to view our summer 2012 newsletter (PDF document)!


Inside this issue:


  • Greetings
  • What’s New at NWA
  • Nick Williams Outdoor/Indoor Furniture Collection
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  • Nick Williams Lighting Collection
  • NW Collection Rustic Way Cottages
  • Summer Fun...
  • Summertime... Garden Tips
  • From the Garden to the Kitchen Lavender Recipes
  • “Outrageous Pools Pt 1”
  • -An Orchestral Design
  • -Nick Williams Pool Process
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  • “Kids and Summer Fun Go Together Naturally” By Tree O’Toole Williams
  • Nick Williams Designs Outdoor Pizza Ovens-perfect for Summer Fun ...And More


GREETINGS


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Welcome to our Summer 2012 Enews! We have a lot of excitement to showcase for you, with a special focus on our new Nick Williams Furniture collection. This distinctive and versatile line puts that “human element” into any outdoor setting by providing focal points for social gathering, meal sharing and simple relaxation and comfort. You can customize the look and feel of this line in so many ways! Choose from different wood stains, Viro wicker side panels, Sunbrella cushion fabrics and our innovative “furniture jewelry” accents which give each sub-line in the collection its unique name. Settle into summer in style and comfort this year with the Nick Williams Furniture Collection.

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As summer gatherings often extend into the cool hours after sunset, we’re also showcasing our popular Nick Williams Outdoor Lighting Collection and announcing a new on-line catalog, Now you can light up your garden, patio and yard areas with these artistic and elegant lighting designs by Nick.

And for some more fun, check out our new Rustic Way Cottages! They are a playful design that can add color and life to your landscape while doubling as a storage or garden shed, guest cottage, playhouse, sauna, or even a small office.

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And there’s lots more in this issue - Summer gardening tips for flowers and herbs, recipes for summer favorites like Lavender Lemonade and ice cream, a spotlight on our “Outrageous Pools” including information on the “Nick Williams Pool Design Process” - that transforms your run-of-the-mill swimming pool into an outdoor paradise and “An Orchestral Design” -each project is always a synthesis of clients, contractor, climate and the creativity of many other craftsmen on the project.

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And when it’s time to just get down to business and eat, what could be better than a homemade pizza in your own outdoor pizza oven? And More!!!

Thanks for reading our Summer 2012 Enews!

I hope we’ve covered all the bases - beauty, style, comfort and fun! That’s what summer is all about, and I hope you found something here to help make your summer season the best ever.

Nick Williams

The late summer garden has a tranquility
found no other time of year
–William Longgood


What’S NEW at NWA
Nick Williams Furniture Collection


Nick Williams has been at the forefront of landscape design pioneering new concepts in outdoor living and crafting innovative gardens, landscapes, and outdoor rooms for over 50 years. Specializing in transforming the outdoor spaces we call home, his unique styles have emphasized the merging of indoor and outdoor spaces to create natural, yet livable environments. With a keen appreciation for textures and anything out of the ordinary, Nick's landscape designs are rich with organic elements, understated elegance, comfort, functional design and innovation. These same design concepts have been extended to The Nick Williams Furniture Collection.

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Phillip Roth (left) and
Nick Williams

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This exciting new collection of furniture has been in the works for a very long time, many years of careful planning and sourcing for the very best materials and accents required to bring our vision to life.

Beauty, comfort, sustainability, and superior components are at the heart of this furniture line as the result of the collaboration between Nick and Phillip Roth. Good friends and partners, they have joined forces to create this beautiful collection of furniture

The furniture has a sturdy, solid look, with rich, warm elegance and most notably distinguished by the articulation of “Jewelry” into the furniture designs, that we believe sets our furniture apart from others. The addition of custom inlaid “furniture jewelry” - sea shells, ammonite, turquoise and metal accents such as a patina gingko leaf - makes each piece unique.

The Furniture collection uses reclaimed teak. This is wood that has been milled and harvested decades ago, offering more stability and durability than new wood, even wood that has been kiln dried. The wood is finished with a palette of unique wood stains that match easily with both stone, tile and wood floors and play wonderfully off against the stone work often used in outdoor rooms or patios. The furniture is further accessorized with a range of different “Sunbrella” Fabrics and a selection of Viro woven wicker. Everything about this furniture is environmentally friendly, from the materials used, the finishes, fabrics, side panels have all been designed with sustainability and durability in mind for an outdoor/indoor setting in any climate.

With the Nick Williams Furniture Collection, a thing of beauty is, indeed, a joy forever.

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Photography by John Alden, JA Photography

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See the NickWilliamsDesigns.com to see many other pieces of the Nick Williams Furniture Collection, including the Longridge and Adirondack Collections.

For more information, please contact:

Nick Williams & Associates Designs
23013 Ventura Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Phone: 818/222-7477
Fax: 818/222-7478
Email: info@nwadesigns.net
Website: www.NickWilliamsDesigns.com

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Photography by John Alden,
JA Photography

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The Nick Williams Furniture Collection, designed for life... designed for a lifetime! See our website for Catalog


Nick Williams LIGHTING Collection


Lighting Things Up

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NICK WILLIAMS NEW LOW VOLTAGE LIGHTING STYLES

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Poppy Amber
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Amber Mica
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Cream Mica

Check out our new lighting display on our website: the new Nick Williams catalog will illuminate you on Nick’s latest outdoor light designs. Learn how to bring the color, warmth and ambiance of light into the setting without spoiling the natural landscape. You’ll find out how you can light pathways, patio areas, entrances, garden settings and outdoor pool and spa areas in a way that keeps in harmony with nature, an unobtrusive yet essential addition that serves to make the space more comfortable and functional.

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Light Up Your World
New lighting trends offer high tech solutions in environmentally friendly designs with “Green Energy.”
This line of new lighting products offers organic styling and is engineered to be energy efficient, safe, earth friendly and sustainable, with low voltage L.E.D. Lights and natural finishes on all fixtures.

Lighting the Way
A Perfect Fusion of Design, Conception, Manufacturing, Fate and Pure Customer Delight!
You can call it fate, destiny or just happenstance, but it was clear from an early age that successful landscape lighting designers Nick Williams and Bruce Dennis were going to meet up one day, and the fusion of their interests and talents have generated an extraordinary line of exterior lights.

Candles in the Wind
New outdoor lighting offers the grace and ambiance of a candle without any of the headaches.
Who would think that you could add candlelight to your garden setting in a safe and sustainable way? With this challenge in mind exterior lighting designer Nick Williams, in collaboration with Bruce Dennis of LightCraft, set out to create lighting fixtures that had both the look and feel of candlelight, while remaining impervious to all of Nature's elements.

The most crucial part of designing a garden happens not in the ground but in the mind
–Dorothy Kalina

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Guest Bathroom/Outhouse

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Guest Cottage

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Bathroom

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Guest Cottage interior

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Guest Cottage interior

Look what Nick is adding to the NW Collection


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Nick and the Cottage's in development.

A Rustic Way

For some real fun, check out these new cottages added to the Nick Williams Collection - they are a playful design that can add color and life to your landscape while doubling as a storage or garden shed, playhouse, sauna, or even a guest cottage.

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Village and Cottages in development

These images are from a current project that Nick is working on out in Palmdale. Nick did the original landscaping on the property and just recently finished a new outdoor kitchen and BBQ area. Now this new addition of a village of 3 cottages (one as a bathroom and the other two as sleeping cottages) He is designing the surrounding landscape with wonderful trees, other plantings, a bridge, ponds and much more...Watch our Website for this next phase.

More information to come on these cottages on our website under the NW Collection and on this particular project in an upcoming NW Article titled: “A Day in the Field with Nick

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Guest Cottage

Some ideas for these whimsical cottages

Guest Cottages - Looking for extra space when company is visiting? A guest cottage is a perfect addition.

Storage or Garden sheds - The perfect solution for regaining control over your yard and garage! Sheds are used to store home and garden tools and equipment such as push lawn mowers, and gardening supplies. In addition, sheds can be used to store items or products that are not suitable for indoor storage, such as gas, pesticides or herbicides. There are many different uses for a garden shed or storage shed.

Play houses - The perfect back yard addition for your kids! It's like giving them a fun little environment to call their own!

Saunas - First and foremost, saunas and steambaths should be viewed as leisure products. They provide a relaxing and enjoyable environment to help you kick back and unwind. A place to find peace of mind, relaxation and contentment. In other words, a way to deal with daily stress with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.


Summer Fun…


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  • OUTDOOR LIVING….
  • OUTDOOR BBQ’S
  • OUTDOOR PIZZA OVENS
  • OUTDOOR PARTIES
  • FIRE PITS
  • POOLS
  • SWIMMING
  • GARDENING

And oh sooooo much more!

Enjoy!!!!

Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them - Chinese proverb

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TIPS FOR SUMMER GARDENING


Summer is here and it’s time to get that soil fertile again and growing before the autumn harvest season. Learn how to select and apply fertilizer, control insects and snails that are prevalent this time of year, and how to best preserve your garden with a watering program that is best suited for this season and the individual needs of your plants. Then, as things grow in, learn valuable tips on how to best cut and prune plants and trees to help them shed leaves and promote growth.

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GARDEN TIPS


Plant Highlights
I think of ground covers as the ideal self-maintaining plants requiring very little care. As a living mulch, they protect the soil from erosion and keep it cool and moist, reducing the need for irrigation. They’re green, they cover the ground quickly without being invasive and they grow in shallow soil. Vinca (minor), also known as periwinkle, is fast spreading and hardy. One plant can send out more than 100 stems. In early spring the plants are covered for about one month with 1 inch diameter, showy blue flowers. Vinca grows beautifully in full sun or deep shade. When planted in shade, it's foliage is deeper green, it's growth is not quite as vigorous, but it still forms a nice bed. If you want to stimulate new growth you can cut back the old growth to about 4 inches high in early spring, just before the new growth is up. You can also divide mature plantings – just dig up a clump and transplant it directly into the garden.

Deadheading
Deadheading is removing faded and spent flowers. It improves the plant’s appearance and may prolong the blooming period or initiate a second flush of growth. On plants which have foliage on the flower stems, deadhead the spent flowers by cutting them off just above the foliage or along the stem just above the new flower buds. For spring flowering bulbs which have leafless flower stems, cut their spent stands close to the ground.

Pinching
Pinching is removing the growing tips of the plant, usually just above the uppermost full set of leaves. in reaction, the plant produces new branches, grows goes bushy and compact and flowers later.

Cutting Back
Cutting back means pruning a plant uniformly to reduce its height, renew its appearance or encourage a new flush of growth and flowering. Bloomed-out perennials as well as annuals and herbs that take on a rangey, sunburned appearance in midsummer will produce new growth and often bloom again if cut back. Delphiniums should be deadheaded from the time they first flower in June until they stop in late July. By the second week in August, cut the plant back to the new growth of its base and get a second flush of bloom in September. If you want larger flowers, remove a third of the delphinium stems early in spring. Pansies may flower through summer if consistently deadheaded.

Herb Tips

Lavender - should not be pruned until late spring or early summer, after new growth has broken from the old wood. With regular deadheading it will flower throughout summer.

Basil - disbud basil completely if you growing it for culinary purposes - flowering will decrease the flavor of the herb.

Mints - Disbudding mints and oregano encourages foliage production. Cut mints to the ground in midsummer and the second crop of tender leaves will develop a few weeks later. The rewards you reap from deadheading, pinching & cutting back include ornamentals with more flowers & more compact growth & herbs with more flavorful leaves.

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The only limit to your garden is at the boundaries of your imagination
–Thomas D. Church


FROM THE GARDEN TO THE KITCHEN… RECIPE CORNER


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Nick plants lavender in 99.9 % of the jobs he works on…

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Using Lavender in your recipes is easy, fun and a way to add unexpected. We like to use mostly the delicate buds though the leaves and stems could be used for things as well but their taste is more bitter and stronger in flavor.

You can use dried or fresh lavender... the dried is more concentrated; and when using the fresh herbs, the amount should be doubled. Always use clean pesticide free lavender for your lavender recipes. Chopping or bruising the leaves or buds will help release the flavor.

Lavender Lemonade


Ingredients


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1 tray ice cubes
1/2 cup fresh lavender or 1/4 cup dried lavender
2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup sugar
8 lemons
5 cups cold water, or as needed

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Directions


Place ice cubes into a 2 quart pitcher. Place the lavender into a bowl, and pour boiling water over it. Allow to steep for about 10 minutes, then strain out the lavender and discard for compost. Mix the sugar into the hot lavender water, then pour into the pitcher with the ice.

Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the pitcher, getting as much juice as you can. Top off the pitcher with cold water, and stir. Taste, and adjust lemon juice or sugar if desired. Pour into tall glasses, pull up a lawn chair and a good book, and relax!

Lavender Ice Cream


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2 cups milk
1 ¾ cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon, or one small tea ball packed with lavender florets, fresh or dried culinary.

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Place tea ball in a pot on the stove with milk. Scald milk until bubbles form around edge of pan. Add sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved. Stir in half and half, vanilla extract and whipping cream. (You may remove the tea ball of lavender from the liquid during the cooling process for a lighter lavender taste, or leave it in for more flavor.) Refrigerate 30 minutes. Freeze !

Making a Lavender Sachet


Simply fill an organza bag with lavender buds, perfect for your closets, drawers, party favors.


Outrageous Pools Part 1


Welcome to “Outrageous Pools,” a series of artistic pool designs to be featured throughout the summer season. One of the most inviting and comfortable additions to any backyard setting is a swimming pool! The shimmering coolness of the clear blue water beckons you to immerse yourself on a lazy summer afternoon, or just sit quietly by the poolside relaxing with a book or some music and a good glass of wine. Pool design has been a specialty of Nick Williams and Associates for many years, and in this article series, we would like to feature some of his unique designs in real client settings. As you will see, a little imagination and the stonework featured in these designs makes them truly unique. Here is a brief narrative and photo tour of some of this creative design work.

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We begin with a real natural wonder - enjoy!

Mother Nature’s Pool

The soothing natural elements of Nature integrated into a comfortable home setting is the essence of this unique pool design.

In consulting with Nick Williams on this pool remodel, the client decided to simply start over, even to the point of repositioning their old swimming pool, moving it to a more suitable location further back in the yard, which was no small task. They began by removing the walls on either side of the pool and expanding the space. This widened the property and yard in both directions, 100 feet in one direction and 50 feet in another, and it also eliminated artificial boundaries. With this more expansive space, Nick then created a relocated pool.

The result was the creation of a natural pool you might have stumbled upon on a mountain hike, nestled in a quarry of tumbled boulders, and fed by a clear mountain stream with a little waterfall. The natural shape of the design and the placement of both real and faux boulders achieved the perfect look and feel here, and each end of the pool was further accessorized by Pebble Tech to look like a natural pebble beach that gently leads you down into the cool refreshing waters.

Natural plantings on the edges finished off these alpine aquatics and helped make a seamless transition into the landscape around it. Trees were hand-picked and spot placed very thoughtfully, and grasses were planted to lead the eye out into the adjacent land, further extending the visual experience and giving the property a wild, expansive feel. With every angle given a natural, sculpted look, the pool was truly a work of art, though it appeared that Mother Nature herself was the artist! The Jacuzzi was added to look like a small adjacent pond. The addition of faux boulders was a striking element of the design, each one hand crafted, sculpted, and a virtual work of art.

There is amazing attention to detail here, with every angle thoughtfully sculpted, while working to create a natural look at the same time. This design truly showcases so many aspects of Nick Williams' work: quality, attention to detail, expert choice of materials and well crafted workmanship. The emphasis is on creating a design that is beautiful, sustainable, durable, easily managed, and so well integrated into the landscape around it that one could easily believe it was entirely a work of Mother Nature herself.

(More about this Pool: see under the “Nick Williams Pool Design Process”)

Next Pool: We feature a more traditional Tudor Style country retreat with another Outrageous Nick Williams Pool Design!

OUTRAGEOUS POOLS - MORE AFTER IMAGES

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An Orchestral Design !


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No designer works alone. Nick Williams believes his effort is always a synthesis of clients, contractor, climate and the creativity of many other craftsmen on the project. Like a conductor carefully planning his composition, Nick selects each element, its scale, positioning, color, shape, and texture--there are so many things that go into the design. Then he goes to work, leading the orchestra of subcontractors and other landscape specialists in one unified harmony.

Some projects require pool companies, stone masons, earth movers, horticultural specialists or the able services of a specialized company like Pebble Tech. With such a variety of talent, part of the effort is to make sure the individual efforts of all these people do not overlap or contradict one another, and to direct their work in a harmony that always has the finished project in mind. Like a conductor leading an orchestra, Nick Williams always keeps that inner vision of the design in mind as he sets backhoes, spades, shovels, pick axes, hammers and chisels to work, and in doing so he begins by selecting the very best people he can find.

Yet unlike an orchestra, where all the instruments are gathered at one time to play the composition, more often than not these individual craftsmen work alone, never really aware of the overall design they are contributing to. They have to complete their unique task under Nick’s guidance, not really knowing how it will fit. For the "music" is all in the designer’s head, the flow of one segment of the work into the next is his to plan and assure. In fact, the work is more like a studio engineer, laying down one track after another in a composition, and then mixing the whole piece down into a finished song.

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It’s that planned orchestral score in Nick’s head that makes all the real difference, an interior command of each and every phase of the operation as the work proceeds from grading and earth moving, to stone work, accessorizing and finally landscaping with plantings and the placement of selected foliage and flowers. The creative artistry and craftsmanship of so many people are involved, but the unity of effort is achieved only by the careful guidance and direction of Nick Williams. This is quality in the mind, made into a real and living thing as the project completes.

Often times Nick likes to invite all the various specialists back to see the final result of their combined efforts and celebrate the completion of the project. They delight in the whole, seeing just how their clever mountain stream design or unique stone and boulder treatment fit into the whole scheme of things, and take pride in the fact that their effort was one instrumental part of the whole that made it perfect. That’s Nick Williams' quality at work. -A shared effort, a synthesis of imagination and talent, a community of craftsmanship that is second to none.

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The Nick Williams Pool Design Process:


Many of the pools that will be presented use The Nick Williams Pool Design Process, a new method developed by Nick that harmonizes very well with Pebble Tec finishing. “Pebble Tec”® is a brand name pool finish—the original pebble pool finish, where sides and bottom surfaces of the pool are finished with pebbles or small stones. The process delivers more natural elegance while retaining durability that combines beauty with exceptional value. Available in 18 plus attractive colors, a Pebble Tec pool interior is the perfect choice for individuals desiring a more natural look for their pools, spas, or water features.

Nick Williams has added his own process, his own flair, to the standard Pebble Tec design. In this process he mixes different types of stone with concrete, in various sizes, to create diverse surface textures, sometimes to simulate a shoreline, where some larger stones or small boulders will be added in, or on other occasions to simulate a stream bed or forest pond. The color chosen is designed to blend with the desired theme perfectly, making the finished Pebble Tec format look more natural in any setting it is adapted to.

Sometimes a shelving design staircases from the shallow to deeper ends of the pool, and these tiers are styled with more natural stone to create a number of effects. In designing these areas, Nick also considers how light interacts with the water, to create the illusion of deep depths in certain areas of the pool, even though the physical depth maybe somewhat shallow. The contrast of color in the stone used can easily create this visual effect, with lighter colored flagstone embedded with smaller pebbles and stones on one tier, and the level just beneath it in a cooler, darker Pebble Tec finish. The transition from light warm stone to darker, cooler colors creates the illusion of depth.

Particular attention is paid to areas that will have some inflowing water, such as a natural waterfall design or fountain. Often in corner areas, these design see the inclusion of much larger boulders to round off the area and make it appear more natural. Often artistically crafted faux boulders will be combined with Nature's own.

Working back away from the pool with beds of gravel, water plants and other scatters of mixed stone and pebble make the whole scene look completely natural, as if this pristine pond was there all along, and the home was simply built around it! This type of styling is also ideal for offsetting a spa adjacent to the main pool, and serves to create a seamless blending of the two water features.

Nick often uses a “shoreline” idea, adding in some stone work that appeared to have tumbled from the edge of the pool to its new resting place in the design.

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Watch for more on this pool in upcoming article
"Outrageous Pools Part 2"

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More about this  Pool to come in the upcoming article
“A Day in the Field with Nick”

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Adding to certain areas of the pool - beautiful fish designs - different shades of Pebble Tec - flagstone and other materials for different surface textures

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KIDS AND SUMMER FUN GO TOGETHER NATURALLY
Tree O’Toole-Williams


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When I was a kid, my folks would pack me up and send me off to spend summers with my grandparents out in the country, Life out there was sure different than at home – there was a washing machine, but to dry your clothes you had to hang them out on a line between two giant fir trees that always smelled like Christmas; there were no sugary cereals, but there was fresh cow’s milk over berries you had picked down the dirt lane just that morning; and if you got sick or hurt yourself while playing, there was always a remedy growing in Nana’s garden.

You see, my Nana was “from the Old Country”, and I realized early on that folks from that mysterious faraway place weren’t too keen on visits to the doctor. Nana would always say, “Why pack up and head into town to see the doctor when everything I need is right here in my garden? Remember this – if you love and care for the herbs, the herbs will always love and care for you!”

It always seemed so strange to me that some of the plants she liked to treat me with were the very same weeds I’d just helped my Dad remove from his well-maintained lawn back home, and I’d swear that some of them looked exactly like the wild brush I’d seen growing along the interstate on our journey to her house. One afternoon I recall asking her to confirm or deny these childhood observations. She not only confirmed them, but provided me with the very basis of my herbal beliefs that I carry with me today – if you believe there is a Loving Creator responsible for all the perfection that surrounds you, why couldn’t you expect there to be a perfect plant for every illness known to Every Man?

I was lucky to learn the healing powers of herbs at a young age, and I strongly encourage parents today to plant healing gardens with their children. Kids love to explore the textures, the smells, and the tastes of herbs in a garden, and it gives them the opportunity to share in their own healthy wellness by involving themselves with the very plants that will heal them. We all know how kids hate to be sick, and that they hate taking their medicine even more. It tastes “icky”, and sometimes it can even make them feel worse! But get a child to plant a seed, tend a plant and watch it grow, then observe how they innately “know” the wellness connection and how they’ll be much more receptive to accepting their cure.

Now don’t fret if you don’t have yard space for a garden to grow your herbs – potted herbs are just as fun (and can even be easier to grow), and all you need is a sunny windowsill! But if you’re a busy parent with not a lot of time to wait for your herbs to grow, you can get your herbs like a lot of folks by visiting a local health food store. (Of course, I personally believe that the best way to learn about herbs is by associating yourself with a local herbal guide or herbalist.)

Now that you’ve decided to try the “natural way”, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with trying to remember which herb you heard about, what it did, and, “Oh m’God, what if I give them the wrong thing?!” Remember, herbs are phytonutrients – PLANT FOODS! – and all of the herbs we’re reviewing here are “kid friendly”.

HERB ENERGY


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Here’s an easy way to think about the way herbs work – herbs will affect the function of the body in two directions – HEAT AND COOL. They’ll either INCREASE the activities of the body by stimulating or speeding up the metabolic processes in a tissue (HEATING), or they DECREASE activity by soothing or slowing down excessive function (COOLING).

-AROMATIC herbs are often spicy and pungent, and will increase activity of tissues they come in contact with (ie: – what happens when you eat a red hot pepper or horseradish – HEAT!)

-MUCILANT (MEW-sill-ent) herbs cool and soothe tissues they come in contact with, and will reduce irritation of the tissues (ie: – think of cool cucumber slices on your eyelids when your eyes are sore – ahh, COOL!)

Herbs will also affect the structure of the body by either making it softer, more pliable, more relaxed, loose and open (MOISTENING); or they may tighten It making it harder, more rigid, tenser, firmer and more closed (DRYING).

-BITTER herbs will relax and loosen tissue and promote discharge (ie: – remember the last time you bit into something bitter, like a lemon, and your mouth filled up with saliva? – MOISTENING!)

-ASTRINGENT herbs will tighten and tone tissue. They’ll stop bleeding, discharge and swelling (ie: – have you ever eaten a not-quite-ripe persimmon?? – DRYING!)

To remember the herbal actions (aromatic/hot, mucilant/cool, astringent/dry, and bitter/moist), I take the first letter(s) of each action and use the phrase – Aren’t Herbs My Choice AS Disease Befalls Me?


SUMMER FUN HERBS


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Bearing these actions in mind, let’s review a list of the herbs and their uses that would most likely appear in a Kids’ Herbal Summer First Aid Kit. You’ll notice that a number of these herbs can be used for a lot of different situations –

HERBS FOR THE SKIN - Firstly, a child’s skin can really take a beating during the summer. Sometimes summer fun can lapse into “excess”, and kids will be affected by too much sun, too much heat, and maybe even too much horseplay. Let’s start by taking a look at a few skin conditions and the herbs to have on hand:

For sunburn, prickly heat/rashes, poison oak or ivy, minor cuts and scrapes you would want to use a mucilant herb like ALOE VERA to cool and soothe. If you grow this plant, you can simply break off a leaf and apply the gel-like substance directly to the skin. Otherwise, aloe vera gel can be purchased at most drug and health food stores. COMFREY is another mucilant herb that can be applied to the skin in a lotion or crème to speed wound healing, and will guard against scar tissue developing incorrectly. At the same time that you’re cooling and soothing, you also want to be using astringent herbs as anti-inflammatories - ST. JOHN’S WORT applied to the skin in a lotion or crème will speed the healing of wounds, bruises, and mild burns (it is especially useful in a lotion for healing sunburn). CALENDULA as a lotion can be used for any inflammation of the skin whether due to infection or physical damage, and used for any external bleeding, bruising or strain, minor burns and scalds.

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Another group of skin problems can be bruises and black eyes when the horseplay turns to rough-house.

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Now this is IMPORTANT!**** - if the skin IS BROKEN, apply CALENDULA oil or gel or crème to the area. If the skin IS NOT BROKEN, apply ARNICA oil or gel or crème directly to the bruise to ease the pain. This wondrous herb, arnica, will actually prevent the bruise from getting any larger than when it is applied. It is also very important to bump up your child’s intake of Vitamin C to promote healing by building up the blood vessel walls and thereby minimizing future bruising.

Insect bites and stings can be a “real pain” at a summer barbeque. Be sure when removing the stinger that you first scrape it out in a sideways motion with your fingernail versus pulling, which can squeeze more venom into the wound, Wash the area thoroughly. Again, ALOE VERA gel will not only cool, but will actually reduce the spread of histamines; and CALENDULA lotion or crème will soothe and calm the irritation. Another non-herbal, but natural, remedy to keep in your kit is activated charcoal capsules. Open a cap, moisten the charcoal with a small amount of water or saliva and apply the paste to the bite or sting to adsorb poisons.\

HERBS FOR TRAVEL AND MOTION PROBLEMS – Moving away from skin problems, travel is usually a big part of a family’s summer fun, and sometimes mixed messages can come from the inner ear to the brain causing motion/travel sickness.

Acting with aromatic herb energy, GINGER and CHAMOMILE stimulate the stomach to produce gastric secretions which will help control the nausea. GINGER can be taken internally by chewing the crystallized form found in the fruit or baking sections of most supermarkets, or chewing on a raw piece of ginger root found in the produce section. It also comes in capsules, or can be made into a delicious tea. If your child is a bit of a nervous traveler, CHAMOMILE can be taken either in capsule or tea form to calm and soothe their stomach. (Remember how Peter Rabbit’s mom gave him chamomile tea after he’d eaten Farmer McGregor’s garden? Well, it works on human children, too!)

Another handy trick I like to use is to put a few drops of peppermint oil, ginger oil, or cinnamon oil onto a handkerchief and hold it up to the child’s nose (but not touching the nose) and have them breathe in the vapors of these calming herbs. Herbal inhalation is a passive technique that doesn’t require much from the child when they’re experiencing an unsettling state of nausea. Finally, these two herbs also work great for headache relief, particularly if they are taken as a warm tea.

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HERBS FOR EARS AND NOSES - Swimming pools are a big part of most kid’s summer, but if the chlorine is not dried out of their ears properly, they can develop an inflammation of the outer ear called Otitis Externa, better known as Swimmer’s Ear. By fixing up 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 2 drops of either CHAMOMILE or LAVENDER herbal essential oil, you can drop 2 drops of the mixture into the infected ear at night and plug the ear GENTLY with a cottonball. You can continue this application with two drops per night until the whole mixture has been used. If you don’t want to involve yourself with the “concocting”, you could simply take a GARLIC oil perle (a gel-like capsule), puncture it with a pin, and place two drops directly into the infected ear. Garlic is one of Nature’s most effective anti-microbial plants, meaning that it acts on bacteria and viruses, and so I use it frequently for many ear/nose/throat infections.

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It wouldn’t be right for me to close without addressing another major concern for a lot of children, that being problems with pollens and hayfever. Allergies are over-sensitivities of mucous membranes in the respiratory tract, and actually relate to over-susceptible immune and respiratory systems. One of the first things to do is remove wheat from your child’s diet because it is a member of the grass family, and grasses contribute largely to respiratory allergies. If you REALLY want to see dramatic results, also remove dairy from their diet (remember that the cows eat grass!) – you will see startling results after only one week without wheat and dairy !

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It’s always a good idea to build up a child’s immune system before pollen season arrives, and so I like to use a tea mixture of CHAMOMILE, ECHINACEA, and ELDER FLOWERS served three to six times a day (depending on the severity of the allergies). The combination of these herbs will break up particularly persistent mucous, at the same time tone the mucous membranes. I also like to have a child inhale the vapors of the tea just before drinking it as an added treatment for the mucous membranes in their nose.

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So now you’re ready to face Summer in all her glory and you’re prepared for all her little surprises. Enjoy your summer and your kids with herbs, and don’t forget the words of a wise old woman – “If you love and care for the herbs, the herbs will ALWAYS love and care for you!” ENJOY AND BE WELL…


Outdoor Pizza OvenS by Nick WILLIAMS


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For more Summer Fun OUTDOOR PIZZA OVEN

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A Nick Williams Design
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To see more of this project -
go to our Online Garden Tour:
"Suburban Paradise"

Critter free!!!
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Nick looking over the garden.
European Style Vegetable Garden
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Summer Veggie Garden...

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One of Nick's recent
Garden Designs...

There is nothing ... as satisfactory or as thrilling as gathering the vegetables one has grown. –Alice B Toklas


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Coming soon: “A Day in the Field with Nick”

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Morning and Evening Meditation


Nick Williams and Associates
23013 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Phone: 818/222-7477; Fax: 818/222-7478
Email: info@nwadesigns.net
Website: www.nickwilliamsdesigns.com