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The author's meager harvest of sour cherries has called into question the future of his cherry tree. (Henry Homeyer photograph)

Notes From the Garden: Fruit Trees Need to Produce

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I try not to be too compulsive, but I admit that I counted every sour or pie cherry I picked from my tree this year. Give or take a few I ate while picking, I got 111 cherries — not enough for a pie. I planted the tree some 15 years ago, and this was my best crop. Last year, …

By Any Other Name...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Will Radler was still just an amateur rose breeder — a basement hobbyist, really — when he walked out of his home in Milwaukee carrying that fateful baby rose in a soil-stuffed cup. He didn’t realize it then, back in 1989, but he held in his hands a flower with such remarkable qualities …

How to Stop Mold After Water Damage

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Homeowners who experience even a small amount of water seeping into their homes either from flooding or a broken pipe should be concerned about mold. It doesn’t take much water for mold to grow and do a lot of harm. “All it needs is a little moisture and a little dark space, and …

Notes From the Garden: Planting Trees With Red, Purple or Black Foliage

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

When I bought my house in 1970 it had no landscaping. But I’ve lived in it ever since and have been working on the gardens pretty much all that time. The first tree I planted was a Japanese …

Notes From the Garden: High Summer and Growing Carrots

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Certainly the weather is, year after year, a source of much consternation for gardeners. It’s too dry! (May). It’s too wet! (June). It’s too hot! (today) Too cold! (yesterday). People seem to be delighted to complain about the …

The Ins and Outs Of Driveway Alarms

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Just like a security light attached to a motion sensor, a driveway alarm uses a wired or wireless sensor to inform you when someone has walked or driven onto your driveway. A few Angie’s List experts weigh in …

Notes From the Garden: Patriotic Blooms Outlast the Booms of July 4th

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Among my earliest memories is one from a Fourth of July celebration back when I was just a tadpole — in 1949, perhaps. My sister and I sat on the hood of our parents’ 1938 Buick, a big …

Some Plants Need a Pinch to Grow On Each Year

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I was presenting at an outdoor gardening event recently when a woman walked by wearing a T-shirt that said, “No Pinching!” Maybe she had young kids, or was a kindergarten teacher. Clearly she was not an experienced gardener. Pinching plants is good, and now is the time to …

Tips to Extend Life Of Home Appliances

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Show your workhorse appliances a little TLC, and they may stick around a bit longer. Replacing a refrigerator or oven range can take a bite out of your budget, as can buying a new washer or dryer. To make sure your appliances stand the test of time and …

Weeding With Iron And Fire

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I love weeding. It creates order out of chaos, something I have come to appreciate. An un-weeded flower bed is full of distractions. My brain is constantly instant messaging me: “See that dandelion? You should pull it.” The weeds distract me from the beauty of the flowers and …

Five Signs Your Roof Is on the Way Down

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Up on the roof: Here are five signs you may need to replace your roof, offered by the Metal Roofing Alliance: ∎ High winds have removed shingles from your roof, creating an invitation for leaks. Use binoculars to inspect your roof without a ladder. ∎ Shingles that are …

Notes From the Garden: June Heats Up as the Year’s Planting Begins in Earnest

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I know gardeners who rush to get their veggies in the ground, starting spinach and peas in April, carrots, potatoes and more by mid-May and then tomatoes and all the rest by Memorial Day weekend. Not me. I’m just planting many things. Sure, my peas, planted in May, …

As Economy Improves, Home Projects Increase

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The nation’s remodelers say that kitchen and bathroom redos remain the most popular, and that homeowners’ top motivation for renovating is to upgrade with newer, better features in their homes. “As the country’s financial footing improves, clients are better able to realize their home-design dreams,” said Robert Criner, …