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Homework: Free tree-care workshop; Easter flower sale

Niles Audio makes outdoor audio speakers that are hidden in planters, so the source of your outdoor music isn't obvious.

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Friday, March 7, 2014, 5:24 p.m.

Planters as audio speakers

Is that music coming from the plant? Possibly.

Niles Audio makes outdoor audio speakers that are hidden in planters, so the source of your outdoor music isn't obvious. They're available in planter box and pot styles that can accommodate live plants, in either a weathered concrete or terra cotta look.

Each planter speaker has separate left and right channel inputs to provide stereo sound from a single speaker. If you have two of the planters, they can be wired to separate the sound between the two speakers.

The speakers can be installed on a deck or a stone or concrete patio. They're weatherproof, but they shouldn't be placed near the path of an automatic sprinkler.

The speakers' suggested retail price is $459.95. Sound and Vision is the local dealer for Niles Audio products. Other dealers can be found through the distributors listed at

Tree-care workshop

The North Hills Community Outreach's Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden in Bellevue will be the site of a free workshop on grafting and pruning fruit trees on March 15.

The workshop, presented by master gardener Chris Condello, is an introduction to spring maintenance of fruit trees for homeowners. It will include a grafting demonstration and hands-on pruning, and cover the topics of tools, safety for the pruner and the tree, and general fruit-tree care.

The event is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The garden is at 119 Davis Ave.


Easter flowers for sale

The Villa Maria Farm, run by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, is taking orders for Easter flowers through March 20.

Flowers, including Easter lilies, hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, mixed bulbs, hydrangeas, mums, azaleas, peace lilies, begonias, cyclamens and Gerbera daisies, will be available at the farm's greenhouse from April 14 to 18. The plants come in green, gold, silver or red foil pot covers. Prices range from $4.50 for small tulips to $29.50 for large peace lilies.

The farm is 11 miles west of New Castle, one mile south of U.S. Route 422 on Evergreen Road in Villa Maria.

Details: 724-964-8920, ext. 3385, or

Heat kit melts snow

Imagine never having to shovel snow again — without moving to the tropics, that is.

EasyHeat Sno-Melter Cable Kits can be embedded in a driveway, sidewalk or other concrete or paver surface to warm it and melt snow and ice.

Cable kits are available in sizes that cover 10 square feet to 100 square feet. Multiple kits can be combined for bigger areas.

The system, from Emerson Industrial Automation, is designed for use with an automatic controller, which is sold separately.

The cable kits are available from some electrical distributors, building-supply stores and online retailers. A 100-square-foot kit sells for about $250.

— Staff and wire reports

Send Homework items to Features in care of Sue Jones, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax 412-320-7966; or email

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