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Home and garden happenings — week of July 27

By Mary Beth Breckenridge
Beacon Journal home writer

Don’t throw away that broken Pocket Hose!

As my colleagues Lisa Abraham, Betty Lin-Fisher and I learned when we tested the Pocket Hose recently for our Does It Work? series, the flexible, lightweight hose is plagued by a plastic valve handle that breaks easily.

But ingenious reader John Shankle, of Cambria, Calif., has a solution.

Shankle said in an email that when the handle on his Pocket Hose broke, he repaired it with a shutoff valve he bought at Home Depot for a couple of dollars.

Voila. An almost-brand-new hose and a cheap solution to a common problem.

Passive house

The energy-saving house that was built as a temporary exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History has been certified as Ohio’s first passive house.

The designation came from the nonprofit Passive House Institute US.

A passive house is designed to be heated and cooled naturally as much as possible and use far less energy than a conventional building. The Cleveland house, called the PNC SmartHome Cleveland when it went on display in 2011, was built with ecologically sensitive materials and contained such features as high-performance windows, generous insulation and a ventilation system that captures heat from air that’s being expelled from the building.

After the exhibit closed, the house was moved to Wade Park Avenue in Cleveland’s University Circle area and sold to private owners Jocelyn and Martin Schaffer.

Butterflies and blooms

A new book explores the butterflies at Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve and the plants that support them.

Butterflies & Blooms of Beech Creek was written by Jim Nero, a board member of the Stark County botanical garden and the driving force behind Beech Creek’s Butterfly House. Nero also took nearly all the photos in the book.

The book contains information and pictures of butterflies and their eggs, caterpillars and chrysalides, as well as their host and nectar plants.

The book sells for $6.95 at Beech Creek, 11929 Beech St. NE, Washington Township.

Events, programs

• High tunnel tours, 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon today, Graf Growers Garden Center, 1015 White Pond Drive, Copley Township. Visit the greenhouse-like structure and learn about its environmental benefits. Boots or old shoes recommended. 330-836-2727 or

• Arboretum Art and Music Festival, noon to 6 p.m. today, Secrest Arboretum, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster Township. Free.

• Daylily Madness Weekend, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday, Daylilies and More, 8290 Avon Lake Road (state Route 83), about one mile north of Lodi. Thousands of daylilies in bloom. 330-948-2470 or

• Akron Arts Expo, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Hardesty Park, 1615 W. Market St. Juried fine arts and crafts show with more than 160 artists, food, entertainment and children’s activities. Free admission.

• Portage and Summit Counties Parade of Homes, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, Sunday and Aug. 3-4. Scattered-site event features 17 new homes and one house that has undergone a major remodeling. Descriptions of the homes and their addresses are at Free.

• Cleveland Botanical Garden events, 11030 East Blvd. Ask the Gardener, noon to 4 p.m. today. BotaniCool School: Little Farmers for ages 3 to 5, 1:30-2:30 Friday or 10:30-11:30 a.m. next Saturday (members $7, others $10, reservations required). Garden admission: $9.50; children ages 3-12, $4; members and younger children, free. 216-721-1600 or

• Knitty Gritters Knitting Club meeting, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Lake Community Branch of Stark County District Library, 11955 Market Ave. N., Lake Township. 330-877-9975.

• Canton Garden Center events, 1615 Stadium Park Drive NW. A Summer Herbal Medicine Chest, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday. Listen to the Garden for children ages 3-9, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Aug. 5 (advance registration required at 330-455-6172). Both free. Information: 330-844-3534.

• Antiques in the Alley, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Saturday, downtown Millersburg. Indoor and outdoor antiques show throughout downtown. or

Submit notices of classes, programs and events two weeks in advance to or Home and Garden News, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640. Please include name and phone number. All events must be open to the public.

Mary Beth Breckenridge can be reached at 330-996-3756 or You can also become a fan on Facebook at, follow her on Twitter @MBBreckenridge and read her blog at


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