Their business is picking upSay you have...


Their business is picking up

Say you have a dog. A big dog. Or a little dog. Five or six of them. And you have a yard. You have a problem.

Especially if you want the dogs to share the yard with children, neighbors, family, yard maintenance workers and other creatures.

You need Scooper Troopers.

A husband-and-wife team from Perry Hall, Sharon and Jeffrey Higgins (that's Sharon at left with her dog Max), will take care of those, uh, messes the dogs leave behind. They bill themselves as a full-service scooping company: "We'll clean the yard and dispose of the waste. Once a day, week or month." Most of their customers are in Harford and Baltimore counties, but, as Sharon Higgins says, "We haven't turned down anyone yet."

The service, which is strictly limited to yard cleanup, is ideal for people who are extremely busy and don't have time to "police the area," or who simply aren't able to clean up their yards on their own. Or for people who are planning to entertain outdoors and want the lawn at its neatest. The service, for once-a-week cleanup after three dogs or fewer in a yard less than 1/4 acre is $55 a month. Two cleanups a week are $65; three times a week, $85. Customers are billed monthly. More dogs, more yard and more service cost somewhat more. For information, call Scooper Troopers at 410-529-8717.


* Visit the Maryland Home & Garden Show and Maryland Holiday Craft Show this coming weekend for holiday gifts, ornaments and home-decorating items from 500 vendors. Hours for the show, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission for adults is $6.50. To check out some of the items available beforehand, log on to the Web site at


* The works of more than 100 artists will be available at a juried show, the Bethesda Row Arts Festival, now in its third year. The festival takes place at Woodmont and Bethesda avenues, west of Wisconsin Avenue and south of Washington Beltway Exit 36 (Old Georgetown Road). Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. There also will be live music and activities for children. Admission is free. For recorded information, call 703-683-5452.


Simply Scandinavian

The clean, spare lines and light colors of Scandinavian design have been a hit with decorators and homeowners in recent years. Part of the inspiration comes from a resurgence in popularity of watercolors by the late-19th/early-20th-century artist Carl Larsson, whose scenes of home life feature painted and stenciled walls with color combinations such as blue and yellow and red and green.

Older Swedish homes were built of logs, and the interiors lined with canvas, on which the owners painted faux finishes or floral motifs. Now Eisenhart Wallcoverings' Color Tree Design has introduced a line of more than 100 wall coverings and textiles called Swedish Country that aim to duplicate those looks. There are crackled finishes and stencil-look borders in muted reds, blues and yellows. Prices range from $28.99 to $32.99 for single rolls of wallpaper or borders, and from $28.99 to $36.99 for fabrics. To locate the source nearest you, call 800-931-WALL. Or check out the company's Web site at

-- K. M.

Inside British homes

Here's an alert for Anglophiles -- or for people who just appreciate a classic interior. A new book, "Historic Interiors of England, Wales and Northern Ireland," with photos by Nadia Mackenzie and Andreas von Einsiedel and text by Margaret Willes (Abrams, 1999, $29.95), offers glorious views of public and private rooms of stately homes owned by Britain's National Trust. The book is arranged by spaces, beginning with halls and proceeding through staircases, long galleries, living rooms, eating rooms, bedrooms and rooms for contemplation (chapels and libraries). The view is through time as well as through space, with changing lifestyles apparent in houses dating from medieval times to the 20th century. There are grand marble halls, as at Kedleston Manor in Derbyshire; amazing staircases, as at Sudbury Hall, also in Derbyshire; and intimate glimpses into bedrooms and boudoirs, as at Basildon Park in Berkshire. And a few enlightening details, such as this one about the staircase at Knole, in Kent: "The snarling Sackville leopards on the newel posts would have held lanterns on staves to light the staircase."

-- K. M.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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