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Briefs: Wheeled shovel takes strain out of snow removal

| Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005

It's hard to get past the appearance of the Wovel, which looks a little like one of those weird high-wheel bicycles from the 19th century. But there's nothing old-fashioned about this snow-removal device.

The Wovel, or wheeled snow shovel, puts physics to work to make clearing snow easier and less strenuous. The design uses leverage to allow the user to throw three times as much snow as a traditional shovel with less stress on the heart, joints and muscles.

It can be adjusted to the person's height and the snow conditions, and it breaks down for off-season storage.

The Wovel is manufactured and distributed by Structured Solutions II in New Canaan, Conn., and has a suggested retail price of $119.95. It can be ordered online at www.whovel.com .

150-year-old house dressed up for holidays

People looking for ideas on how to decorate their houses for the holidays can catch a shuttle on Nov. 19 to a 150-year-old family farmhouse, which will be decorated by five local floral designers and two nurseries.

Shuttle buses will regularly depart from the Greensburg Garden Center, 951 Old Salem Road in Greensburg, to take ticket-holders to the seven-room house on Martin Road near Hannastown from 2 to 6 p.m. The tour will take people from the outside entryway, spruced up by the nurseries, through the first floor of the home that the floral designers will decorate.

Music will be provided by a piano soloist and an antique music box.

Tickets to the tour cost $20 and are available in advance at the Greensburg Garden Center.

Details: 724-837-0245.

Daffodil variety can be forced into bloom

The tazetta is the easiest of all daffodils to grow, and is especially suited to forcing. Forcing the flowers to bloom is simple.

  • Pick the best bulbs. Bigger is better.

  • Choose an appropriate container. Having a drainage hole or not makes little difference to the future of the bulb. For the best show, choose something that is low and wide and at least 3 inches deep.

  • Fill the container to two-thirds from the top with potting soil, sand, gravel, pebbles, or marbles. Potting soil in particular, though, holds the right amount of moisture for these plants.

  • Place the bulbs, point up, on top of the fill, and pack them tightly.

  • Fill the container to a half-inch from the top. If the bulb peeks through the soil, it won't affect the bloom.

  • Keep bulbs consistently moist, but not wet.

  • Grow outdoors, then bring them in for special occasions. To prolong their life, put them back outside again. Pick a place in bright, filtered sun. Turn your containers every two to three days.

  • Tazettas can be forced to bloom any month of the year, but some months take a little longer than others, due to the amount of daylight and warmth. The closer you get to their natural bloom period, the quicker they will get up and grow. If you are forcing bulbs in November and December, allow five weeks from start to bloom.

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