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Notes From the Garden: The Gentle Horticultural Art of Kokebana

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This time of year I am champing at the bit, all set to garden, but without much I can do outside. So I was delighted to visit a friend in Maine who was experimenting with an art form/planting technique that was new to me: kokebana. This is a Japanese method of hanging plants indoors, without using any sort of pot, instead wrapping them with moss and strings. Doing some online …

Notes From the Garden: Apple Tree Pruning Starts Late This Year

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Often the snow on the hilly south side of my house has melted by early March, allowing snowdrops to push their little noses out of the ground and permitting me to pick buds that open up indoors. That means that most years, by mid-March the snow has melted enough to allow me to …

Harsh Winter May Mean a New Roof

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A harsh winter has taken a toll on many roofs. Maybe there’s a tell-tale leak, but sometimes problems are harder to spot. When the snow melts, it’s a good time to take stock. Identifying Problems John Galeotafiore, associate director of home improvement testing for Consumer Reports, recommends that homeowners take out a pair …

Notes From the Garden: Flower Shows Offer a Respite From the Cold and Snow

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This winter, I’ve been a bit spoiled: Spending 10 January days in Maui will do that. You would think that I’d be ready for all the icy roads and driveways, having been given some respite. But I’m not. …

Snow Removal Gets a Lot Easier

Sunday, January 25, 2015

That familiar refrain of winter is back. Do you hear it? Metal shovels scraping snow-covered driveways and sidewalks. The industrious whir of snow blowers. The grating sound of scrapers chiseling cars out from beneath layers of ice. Snow …

Notes From the Garden: Raising the Next Generation of Gardeners

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My love of gardening comes from my grandfather, John Lenat. He introduced me to his garden and fed me tasty things right from it. He never made me pull weeds, a sure way to discourage young gardeners. In …

Don’t Let Winter Keep You Out Of Your Garage

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January, traditionally, is the month when winter comes knocking at the door. Sometimes (like this year) he just kicks the door in and sets up housekeeping. Still, it’s not too late to marshal every resource your home has to help the cold and dark months pass more smoothly. …

Notes From the Garden: Spending a Day in the Garden While on Vacation

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When I packed my bags to go to Maui recently I thought about packing my CobraHead weeder. But in the rush of getting ready I neglected to do so. I wish I had. That’s right, I like to garden even when I go on vacation. There are always …

Notes From the Garden: Author Advocates Eating Weeds

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter is when I find the time to read gardening books. I recently settled in by the woodstove with The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival by Katrina Blair (Chelsea Green, 2014, $29.95 in …

As You Make Progress on Projects, Reward Yourself

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I like the way Lisa Savoie thinks. Whenever the Kansas homeowner takes a step toward a home-project goal, she rewards herself with a mug of her favorite tea or time with a good book. If you plan to improve yourself or your home in 2015, follow Savoie’s lead …

This Is the Year To Resolve Your Home Problems

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The holidays are done — you survived, congratulations. Now it’s time to focus on you. Some may call it a “resolution,” but that term can be intimidating. Instead, let’s call it a to-do list of tweaks that can help improve our lives — whether it’s today, tomorrow, or …

Notes From the Garden: Reflecting on the Year in the Garden and Looking Ahead to 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Each year after the winter solstice I take some time to think about my garden of the past year and to make plans for the upcoming garden season. What worked? What didn’t? It’s good to think about such …

A to Zzzz Guide for Mattress Shoppers

Sunday, December 28, 2014

There is no better time than year’s end to evaluate certain areas or items in your home, and one of the most important is your mattress. It directly affects your ability to get a good night’s sleep, which is tied to your health and wellness. If you need …