Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moon Valley Nurseries Takes Us to the Gardens of Versailles

Grandiose, inspiring and breathtaking only break the surface when used to describe the Gardens of Versailles. Versailles is the most famous garden in the world. Yet 'garden' is scarcely a fitting designation. The scale is monumental and there is little sense of enclosure. It is resplendent as the prime example of the French Baroque style.

There are immaculate parterres, great basins, an orangery, vast collections of outdoor sculptures and some of the grandest fountains which have ever been made.

The park and garden were designed by Andre Le Nôtre between 1661 and 1700. The Grand Trianon, another formal garden, was built on the site of a former village. Avenues project from Louis XIV's palace towards distant horizons, enfolding town, palace, garden and forest. The Grand Trianon, a formal garden on the property was built on the site of a The Petit Trianon was given to Marie-Antoinette in 1774. She favored the irregular style, with hills, rocks and streams. The Hameau was designed in 1785, as a stage village, for Marie-Antoinette to play with her friends in the idle years before the French Revolution

How to duplicate Versailles

Although the majority of gardeners simply do not have the acreage of Versailles, duplication is still possible on a smaller scale. Baroque style when loosely translated means “ornamented with a free style”. In practical terms in your garden, it can mean placing a variety of small gardens bordered by natural barriers and boxed planters.

What to try:
Shrubs can serve as the perfect natural barriers or hedges and can be trimmed to reflect a formal feeling. Oleanders are a great choice. These shrubs are fast growers and bloom throughout the year.      

Oleanders can also be used as an ornamental tree. Its smaller size makes it a perfect choice for patios or entry ways.

Boxed gardens are used extensively throughout Versailles. Try a boxed flower, herb or vegetable garden.

When you find yourself (or lose yourself) in France, ‘promenade dans le beau jardin’ of Versailles. Until then, make your way to Moon Valley Nurseries and we will help you create your own Versailles.
                    Moon Valley Nurseries 602-938-6666

ABT Home Renovations Showcases New Products and Current Sales/Promotions. Visit ABT at the January 14-16 Maricopa County Home Show!

ABT Home Renovations
December 2010

ABT Home Renovations
Materials Showroom

15219 N. Cave Creek Rd 
Phoenix, AZ 85032 
(602) 482-8800

ABT Home Renovations
Greetings from ABT Home Renovations!

The new year is upon us and we are very excited about the predicted economic improvements in 2011. We also want to thank all of our clients who have supported us this year and the years before. We are still in business and going strong. Thank you to all of you!

Hopefully, you can come and visit us at the January Home Show. We would love to see you!


Bill & Angie
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Current Promotions

Check back each month for new promotional items. Don't see what you need? Call us, we will find it.  

Semi-Custom Cabinets
50% off Retail Price
Semi-Custom Cabinets
Silverado Hardwood

$3.89 sq ft.
Silverado Hardwood -- 8 colors
Premier Faucet
$123.00 Each
Premier Faucet Collection
Free Prospective Drawings

Free Prospective Drawings
Call for Details
Designer Pull Down Faucet

$190 Designer Faucet with Pull Down
Mirabelle Products 
$97.00 Union Square
Premier Faucet Collection
18 inch Porcelain Tile
$1.39 sq. ft
"18" Porcelain Tile
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Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value
By Linda Rusk, Coldwell Banker Residential Broker -

Rusk TeamYour home is most likely your largest financial investment. So regardless of whether you are in your home for the long run or are getting ready to put it on the market in the near future, like any investment, you should take steps to maintain and increase its value. And the good news is that you don't have to break the bank to do it. Here are a few tips for increasing your home's value in today's market.

Spend an hour with a professional. Invite your Realtor® or hire an interior designer or Contractor for a small fee to evaluate your home, and give their professional suggestions as to how you can improve the look and feel of your home.

Paint, paint, paint. It doesn't cost much but goes a long way to improving your home's appeal both inside and out. Neutral colors appeal to the most people and are your safest bet.

Landscape. Landscaping can go a long way in increasing the appeal of your home and really works with all budgets. Don't have the money to hire a professional? No problem, you can cut down on your costs by doing a lot of the labor yourself.

Update your bathrooms. Making small updates, such as tearing down wallpaper and putting on a fresh coat of paint, replacing an old toilet with a newer, water-saving one, installing a new vanity and updating your fixtures can make a world of difference. If your budget allows, consider replacing your old floors with new tile, granite or hardwood for an even greater "wow" factor.

Update your kitchen. Evaluate what needs to be done, consult your budget and go from there. Replacing old appliances with new, stainless, energy-efficient models will go a long way in helping the aesthetic appeal of your home while also putting some savings in your wallet. Updating countertops and freshening up the paint on cabinets are other ways to make the room even more attractive.

Go tankless. If your budget allows, upgrade your standard water heater to a tankless model. Tankless water heaters only heat the water as you need it-versus the older models that keep gallons of water hot at all times. This will help you save money now.

Save on air conditioning costs. Consider installing a whole-house fan-considered to be a "green" home improvement-which only use one-tenth the electricity of air conditioners.

Brighten up your space. A well-lit room not only makes your space more cheerful and welcoming, but also makes it feel larger and cleaner. You may do this with table and floor lamps, or even hiring an electrician to install recessed lights or wall sconces.

Bring the outdoors in. Consider turning two standard windows into an opening for French or sliding doors. Full-view glass doors brighten up the space and make it more attractive. As an added bonus, installing new doors that are energy efficient will help you cut down on heating and cooling costs.

If you are interested in buying a new home or selling yours, I'd be happy to meet with you to discuss your opportunities in today's
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Just Around the Corner - Maricopa County HomeShow

Maricopa County Home Show
We will be displaying at the Maricopa Country HomeShow. We would love to see you!

Booth 781 in the AG Building. We have free tickets if anyone would like them (contact us as soon as you can!)

January 14th, 15th, 16th
Fairgrounds at 19th Ave and Thomas
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Don't Let Old Man Winter Get the Best of Your Landscaping
by Tom Hulsebos -
Desert Showcase LandscapingThis year's winter weather pattern indicates a warmer and drier season.   Be aware of your irrigation needs.  If you did not seed your lawn this year, don't assume the lawn isn't thirsty.  Water the yard for a normal amount of time once every week to 10-days, depending on rain and temperature.

Plant and tree pruning should be avoided till spring as we still have the opportunity for an occasional freeze until March 15th.  Pruning exposes new growth and can stunt the plant's development.  It also encourages the plant to put out new growth which is at risk for potentially freezing.

Now is a great time to tackle those projects that have been on the back burner.  One of the most neglected is the BBQ.  You should always allow the grill to burn off residue after each cooking session.  Beyond that, here are some suggestions from Joe Padilla at Acme Grill Cleaning.
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New Products

New Toulouse Soaking Tub from Victoria + Alberta looks great in a traditional or contemporary setting!  Visit Manufacturer's Site.

Toulouse Soaking Tub

New from Hardware Resources. Excellent price point! Additional sizes and styles available.
Adler Vanities
Adler Black 60" Double Vanity with Preassembled Top and Bowls from Bath Elements
This 60" wide MDF double vanity features a contemporary design with clean lines, sleek black finish and complementary satin nickel hardware. False front drawers open to reveal two large cabinets, two center drawers equipped with full extension slides and the open bottom shelf provide ample storage. This vanity has a 2CM black granite top preassembled with two H8809WH (15" x 12") bowl, cut for 4" faucet spread, and corresponding 2CM x 4" tall backsplash. 
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About Us
ABT Home Renovations is a family-owned, licensed remodeling contractor serving Phoenix and surrounding metropolitan areas.  Since 2003, ABT has delivered quality renovations on a variety of interior and exterior home improvement projects.  From kitchens & baths to floors, doors and landscaping, ABT is the one-stop-shop to handle all your home improvement needs.  As a full-service provider, we offer design, material selection, permit, installation and construction services.  

ABT Remodeling Material Showroom carries more than 50 different product manufacturers in our convenient Phoenix location. We have the latest styles in kitchen & bath cabinets, kitchen & bath countertops, wood, stone & tile flooring, indoor & outdoor decorative lighting and decorative plumbing fixtures.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's going on at the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show, January 14-16, 2011, AZ State Fairgrounds

 19th Annual
Maricopa County Home & Garden Show
January 14, 15, 16, 2011
Arizona State Fairgrounds

Bring your home improvement plans, ideas, questions, sketches and measurements for ANY and EVERY Home Project you can imagine, big or small, indoors or out.

Get Answers…Get Inspired…Get the Best Price

Shop, Compare and Save All in ONE place…For ONE weekend only!

·  13th Annual Peoples Choice Landscape Display Competition:  Walk through seven gorgeous landscape displays and text-vote your favorite and enter to win a $100 Visa gift card. This is your opportunity to get ideas and speak to the landscaping experts before you start your landscape project.
·  Stop by the “Save With SRP” Booth for energy and money saving advice!
·   Meet 3TV’s “Dave the Garden Guy” Saturday at his Gardening Seminars!
·  The Classy Family of Closets & Kitchens presents the Beautifully Organized Home Display
·  Complimentary walk up landscape consultations for homeowners who bring their backyard measurements and picture sponsored by Horticultural Frontiers Landscape & Design
·  Be one of the first 250 people to stop by the APS booth each morning and receive a FREE CFL bulb!
·  Not getting a good nights sleep?  Catch some zzzzʼs on every style, make, and model of mattress!  Multiple valley mattress retailers are offering their best selection and savings only at the show!
·  Everything is coming up Roses at the Phoenix Rose Society Booth and seminars!
·  Visit the 100 Club booth for the “100 Club Officers and Firefighters Heroes Raffle benefiting families of fallen or injured officers serving our community” and choose from hundreds of fabulous to win!
·  FREE “How To” Home Improvement Seminars
·  Learn how to plant a vegetable garden, prune citrus trees, start composting and more at the FREE University of Arizona Master Gardeners seminars
·  Sample wines from around the world!

Thousands of home improvement, design and landscaping companies offering exclusive  “home show only” sales, deals and giveaways!

Show Hours:  Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm

Admission:  Adult: $5.00, 3-12 $2.00, 2 and under Free. 
Senior Day: Friday 10am to 12noon FREE admission for all Seniors 60 and over.
Customer Appreciation: Friday between 4pm and 6pm FREE Admission for everyone attending!  

Plenty of onsite parking for a fee.  Arizona State Fairgrounds is located at 19th Avenue and McDowell Rd.
For more info call 602-485-1691             Sign up for FREE tickets at

Annually, the Maricopa County Home Show is committed to supporting a non-profit organization within our community that will receive benefits and contributions from us to support its mission. We are pleased to announce the 100 Club of AZ as the January Maricopa County Home benefactor.  The 100 Club of AZ mission statement is “To provide immediate financial assistance to families of public safety officers and firefighters who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, and to provide resources to enhance their safety and welfare”.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NEWS ALERT: Hexavalent Chromium, aka Chromium 6, has been discovered in the Phoenix water supply.

This was just sent out by one of our preferred Home Show Exhibitors:

NEWS ALERT: Hexavalent Chromium, aka Chromium 6, has been discovered
in the Phoenix water supply. Chromium 6 is a known carcinogen which
has been linked to several types of cancer.  This is the contaminant
that was made famous by Erin Brockovich.

If you have a Kinetico drinking water system, you can rest easy
knowing your family’s drinking water is safe.

The Kinetico K5 Drinking Water System is one of the few systems
certified to reduce chromium 6 below the legal limit. It is also
certified to remove more contaminants than any other system on the
market today. In addition, the Kinetico K5 Drinking Water System has
received the highest ratings by leading consumer magazines.

If you have an older drinking water system (or no drinking system at
all) and would like to upgrade to the state-of-the-art K5, please call
our sales department. Due to the overwhelming demand, and the news of
the Chromium 6 in our water, we have just received another truckload
of Kinetico's. We are going to offer 30% off suggested retail price on
the K5.

No other system can protect you more than the Kinetico K5. Why take
chances with your family’s drinking water?


Jen Pratt-Swick
Marketing Assistant, Kinetico Water
480.497.0488 OR

Monday, December 6, 2010

How Much Water Should you REALLY be drinking and WHEN! by Kinetico Water

Drink Water at the Correct Time
Drinking water at the correct time maximizes its effectiveness on the human body:*2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs
*1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion
*1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure
*1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack
The National Institute of Health recommends drinking a glass of water before eating as a "healthy eating habit". Their website also suggests increasing water intake to reduce constipation, avoid urinary tract infections, and avoid kidney stones.
Drink to Stay Hydrated and Feel Energized
Water is a vital nutrient, essential to every single chemical process that occurs in our bodies. Water makes up two-thirds of the human body, and 75 percent of the human brain is water. Staying adequately hydrated allows our bodies to function as best they can, yet nearly 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated without ever knowing it.
Everyone understands the importance of drinking enough water during extreme heat and while exercising, but hydration should not only be a concern for athletes or those battling summer weather. It is proven that breathing dry air in the winter evaporates more water than in the summer, but on any given day we can lose more than half a gallon of our body's water through breathing, sweating and waste removal-and even more when we exercise.
A small drop in hydration, as low as two percent, can cloud short-term memory, cause difficulty with basic math and make it hard to focus on a computer screen or printed page. Lack of water is also the number one cause of daytime fatigue. The presence of enough water speeds chemical processes, which helps people stay energized throughout the day.
Drink for your Health
People who drink enough water not only avoid the pitfalls of dehydration, they accelerate their metabolisms and help prevent overeating. A scientific study found that people who drank 17 ounces of cold water saw up to a 30 percent increase in their metabolic rate for nearly an hour and a half. Our bodies expend more energy digesting cold foods and beverages. Drinking water helps people maintain a healthy weight because thirst is often mistaken for hunger. One study found that drinking one glass of water before bed squelched the midnight hunger pangs of 100 percent of its participants. Staying hydrated may also:
*Lower the risk of bladder cancer by half for those who drink six or more glasses per day
*Cut heart attack risk nearly in half for those who drink five or more glasses per day
*Reduce a woman's risk for breast cancer by up to 79 percent
*Decrease one's chance for colon cancer for those who drink four or more glasses per day
The CDC recommends making healthier food and beverage choices, such as water, available to school children to help combat the increasing child obesity rates.
Drink Enough Water
The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board provides general recommendations for women at approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water -- from all beverages and foods -- each day, and men an average of approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces daily) of total water. About 80 percent of people's total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages -- including caffeinated beverages -- and the other 20 percent is derived from food.
MedLine Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, recommends 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water.
Drinking enough water is easy when water tastes great. Kinetico's water treatment and filtration systems remove unappetizing water additives that cause water to have a rotten egg or chlorine smell and a fishy or metallic taste. They also assist with turbidity, which can cause an unsightly, cloudy appearance in water. Because water is such an important nutrient and accounts for such a large portion of the human body's vital functions, drinking the highest quality water is one of the easiest ways to help stay healthy. Kinetico's water treatment systems can not only filter out microbiological contaminants that can lead to illness, they also reduce the additives in drinking water that can harm the body over time.
Source List
Adam Campbell, Brian Good, "100 Ways to Live Forever," Men's Health, July/August 2003, p. 154, 156, 161, 182.
"Body Talk: How to Cut Your Cancer Risk," The Daily Mirror, August 12, 2004.
"Boost Weight Loss with Healthy-Eating Secrets,",,20906,1018250_0,00.html, retrieved May 2, 2007.
"Drink up for your Health," The Gazette, January, 23, 2007.
"H2O Facts," New Straits Times , March 17, 2002.
"Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate,",,,b9zmm956,00.html, retrieved March 3, 2007.
"Importance of Water in the Diet," Duke Cruising Chemistry,, retrieved May 30, 2007.
Susan M. Kleiner, "Water: An Essential but Overlooked Nutrient," Journal of the American Dietetic Association, February 1999, p. 200-206.

Kinetico Quality Water

Your local source for information on water treatment options in Central and Southern Arizona. It is their sincere desire to assist you and your family in making informed water treatment decisions based on the most up-to-date information available and an educational approach to explaining and comparing your options.

Since 1970, Kinetico has coupled a range of state-of-the-art products with guaranteed lowest prices on systems of the same size, quality, and efficiency with professional service that is unparalleled. Take a look around and you'll see why Kinetico systems have consistently earned "Best Buy" ratings from Consumer Digest and major consumer publications.

For more information on Kinetico products, or to schedule a complimentary water analysis at your home or business, feel free to contact them.
PLEASE NOTE: Their Chandler office has moved! Our new address is 3304 N Delaware, Chandler 85225.

602-437-2474 or 520-399-6171

How to Prevent Freeze and Frost Damage to Your Trees and Plants by Moon Valley Nursery

What to do during periods of
Frost and Freeze Conditions

Normal winter time conditions in and around our lower desert areas include a few nights when temperatures may reach below freezing (32F) at official weather reporting stations ( In outlying and lower lying areas, actual temperatures may be even lower. During an abnormally cold period, temperatures can reach into the lower twenties or even colder. Temperatures below freezing can cause damage to certain varieties of trees and shrubs that are commonly grown in the area.

How Frost Can Damage Your Plants

Frost damage is caused by moisture condensing on the leaf and forming ice crystals by drawing water from the plant. This dehydrates the plant and is why frost damage looks like a burn. Because many trees and plants become casualties during freezes, every effort should be made protect vulnerable plants to minimize winter damage.   

Some trees and plants that are affected include, but are not limited to: Ficus Species, Jacaranda, Palo Brea, Pygmy Date Palms, Sissoo, Young Citrus, Bougainvillea, Lantana, Hibiscus, Thevitia and other varieties. If you have questions on the hardiness of your plants or how cold your particular area gets, please call your closest Moon Valley Nursery at 602-938-6666. Smaller and newly planted trees and shrubs tend to be the most susceptible to damage from cold weather. All trees and plants can benefit from the following measures to help prevent damage from frost and freezing conditions.

As weird as it may sound, the laws of thermodynamics prove that it is more difficult to cool humid air than dry air, so be sure to thoroughly water all of your trees and plants during periods of forecast frost or freeze. In addition, get your entire yard wet in the evening before forecast freeze. This boosts humidity in the immediate microclimate and will help minimize the effects of frost and freeze on your trees and plants

Where feasible, cover plants with a frost cloth or old blankets during nights of forecast freeze. It is important that you cover up before dusk. By the time it gets dark much of the stored heat in the garden has already been lost. Remove cover in the morning to allow radiant heat to be absorbed. DO NOT USE PLASTIC. Plastic actually increases the danger. For larger trees and plants, you can apply Frost Proof insulating spray. This applies a thin layer of wax-like substance that minimizes evaporation from the leaves, thus minimizing frost/ freeze damage. Both Frost Cloth and Frost Proof spray are available at all Moon Valley Nurseries .

People have had success in preventing frost/ freeze damage by stringing up Christmas lights in their trees. The older style lights (incandescent) provide the best warming effect. Sometimes it's only a few degrees that will make a huge difference. Although these methods are proven to minimize the effects of abnormally cold weather on trees and plants, due to the uncontrollable nature of weather, there are no guarantees of success.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tile and Grout Cleaning Specialists! Spoltlight on our Home Show Exhibitor: Grout Magician Phoenix Valley Area

Looking for an affordable solution to face-lift your home? A complete overhaul isn't always the best option. Full kitchen and bathroom remodels can price way into the thousands. Grout Magician Phoenix can get you the same fresh and new feel at a fraction the cost. By sprucing up your tiled areas, you'll enhance the aesthetics, value and cleanliness of your entire home.
Grout Magician knows how quickly kitchen and bathroom floors become tarnished and dirty. With clean, new or refinished grout they will get your kitchen and bathroom looking good as new. Let them save you the time and headache of self-cleaning. They will effectively clean your tile and grout and rid it of dangerous molds and mildews, leaving you, your family and your pets in a safe and healthy environment.

Not only will cleaning your grout and tile improve the look and feel of your home, it can increase resale value between five and 10 percent. Putting up your home in this unpredictable market can be a huge stress. A dingy kitchen or bathroom can bring down the whole feel of your home. Give yourself the edge with a clean, good as new environment.

Be it in the kitchen, bathroom, or hallway, dirt and mildew build up fast on clean tile and grout, causing discoloration and mold. Dirty tile and grout can make it seem like your home needs a complete remodel, if not just a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Fortunately, after a visit from Phoenix Valley-based Grout Magician, your dirty, moldy or mildewed grout and damaged tile will shine like new.

Image 1 slideshowSince 1997 GMP has provided affordable and dependable tile restoration services and renovation to the Phoenix Valley, and their Arizona grout cleaning and tile sealing business continues to grow! No matter how tough the task at hand, their highly skilled Phoenix Valley grout and tile cleaning team are equipped to clean, seal, and restore tile and grout – they even remove dangerous mold and address water damage! These child and pet-friendly services offer an affordable and effective alternative to the remodeling of bathrooms and kitchens, as well as to office and commercial building renovation. Image 2 slideshow
Why not take the guess work and back-breaking labor out of cleaning your tile and grout? From your first contact with their tile restoration team to the end of your grout cleaning project you'll be amazed at what Grout Magician Phoenix can do. Along with tile and grout cleaning, GMP also offers re-coloring and resealing, to prevent future grout and tile trouble in Phoenix Valley homes and businesses.
Image 4 slideshowCleaning and Sealing of Existing or New Grout
Revive old grout! Their grout cleaning and sealing service can transform the tile in your home or commercial location. Have new grout? Protect your investment with their sealing and prevent the stains of daily use!

Image 7 slideshowComplete Re-Grouting Services
If the current grout is beyond repair, they are able to re-grout around the tile to save you from the costs of installing all new tile.

Image 12 slideshowRepairing of Settlement Cracks
Settlement cracks can occur any time, even to new tile installations. Cracks can allow water to seep through causing further damage. Properly mixed and applied grout is essential to help prevent these cracks. Let the Grout Magician Phoenix make sure your tile receives the best moisture protection.
Image 13 slideshow
Re-Caulking around Bathtubs and Sinks
Bathtubs and sinks experience the most contact with moisture. They can repair the long term damage caused to the grout, helping to extend the life of the tile in your bathroom.

Image 15 slideshowElimination of Mildew
They can rid the grout of all mildew that can develop over time.

Change of Grout Color
Tired of the same color grout or looking to update an installation without a complete remodel? They can update the look of your tile without its removal. This process leaves your grout virtually stain proof and the results are easily maintained.

They are the grout and tile restoration specialists in the greater Phoenix Valley and surrounding Arizona. For your home or commercial needs, visit Grout Magician at the Maricopa County Home & Garden Show, January 14, 15, 16, 2011 at the AZ State Fairgrounds booth 506 in the Wesley Bolin Building

Call the Grout Magician Phoenix today for a consultation at 602-326-6333.