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Garden Bugs Aren’t All Bad

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Many gardeners seem to think that any UFI (Unidentified Flying Insect) is a potential threat to their tomatoes or the spinach. When in doubt, they swat it, squish it or submerge it. But most bugs are not bad, and many are helpful. We all know that ladybugs are good. They eat aphids and some clever businesses are selling ladybugs by the thousand. My advice? Don’t bother buying them. If you’re not spraying your flowers and vegetables with insecticides, you will naturally have some ladybugs and other aphid eaters. Of course insecticides will throw off the balance of nature, and the pests may dominate. But a …

Beauty in Subtlety

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Paint your walls a bold color and friends will likely praise your creativity. Invest in a standout piece of furniture or striking work of art and your decorating is bound to earn compliments. But creating a noteworthy room with subtle, understated elegance is a bit more complicated. Understated style “rides the fine line …

Notes from the Garden: Trees and Shrubs That Thrive in the Shade

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I grew up in a small town in rural Connecticut. Behind the house there was a brook and a hardwood forest with a high canopy of old maples that created a cool space for spending hot summer days. My favorite understory tree was a small, bushy tree that had very fragrant leaves and stems, which I decided must be witch hazel, as the …

Some Veggies Can Be Planted All Summer

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I got an inquiry recently about vegetable gardens: Is it too late to start one? In a word, no. But you will have to act quickly if you want one because most garden centers are just about sold …

Choosing, Hanging Shutters

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Although glass and screens have eliminated the practical need for shutters, they’re still popular for decoration. “They add another layer of thoughtful detailing to a house,” said Ted Cleary, a landscape architect in Charlotte, N.C. But to get …

For Healthy Flower Beds, Plant Well

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I love flowers, all kinds of flowers. I probably spend more than I should on seeds, annual flowers in six-packs, 4-inch pots of trademarked annuals at $5 a pop, perennials and flowering trees and shrubs. I can get …

Tips to Make Your Shower Even Better

Sunday, June 22, 2014

No matter how satisfying, relaxing and soothing a warm shower can be, why not make it better? More intense water pressure, better organization, even music can make a shower all the more enjoyable. Here are some tips: ■ Once you’ve showered under a ceiling-mounted rain shower, it can …

Cohase Garden Tour Today Includes Tea at Lake Morey

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fairlee — The third annual Cohase Garden Tour will take place today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Maps and directions for the self-guided tour are available at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee. This year’s tour features the formal gardens of Lake Morey Resort; meandering gardens at a …

Living Smart: Can This Tree Be Saved?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trees add beauty, shade and value to your property, but they don’t live forever. Sources of damage or death include age, storm damage, drought or other extreme weather, and environmental issues. Top-rated tree experts tell our team that trees, like other living creatures, need good nutrition, a healthy …

Notes From the Garden: Chain Saw Gardening

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bill Waste likes to say he gardens with a chain saw. Bill, a Lyme resident, is a good humored fellow, and likes to joke. But I’ve seen him use the chain saw to get a growing bed ready …

Life Here: Grass Is Persistent, Ubiquitous, Essential and Oddly Comforting

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I wish I knew all the names of the types of grass that grow here. Certainly I recognize them, and could describe them, (there’s one that has spiky roots and one that has long, long roots) but other than witch grass, my father never taught me the names.I …

Notes From the Garden: Take It Easy When Taking Care of the Lawn

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I love lawns. Not big lawns, and they don’t need to be pure Kentucky bluegrass, either. I love a little bit of mowed green that has some grass and clover; it can have a few dandelions or bluets or violets, too. I can live with Creeping Charlie (also …

Notes From the Garden: Helping Plants Survive Their Early Days

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Living in a cold spot, I usually wait until June 10 to plant frost and cold-sensitive plants. But lured by perfect warm weather, I planted most of my tomatoes on Memorial Day weekend. The soil was 60 degrees …