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Giant hogweed

Rooting Out Some Nasty, Pushy Plants

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

If you have a wet area or a stream on your property, you might be seeing some very pretty tall pinky-purple flowers blooming now, or soon. Those are purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), an invasive plant that you should not encourage. Mature plants develop massive root systems and can produce up to a million seeds in a year. It’s one of …

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 …

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 …

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, …

Notes for the Garden: Helping Plants Survive Dry Weather

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Thank heavens we finally got some rain. I had less than half an inch in the first 29 days of May. If my plants were puppies, they’d have done a lot of whimpering during that last hot week of the month. They’d have been begging for water, complaining …

Drought or Not, Conserving Water Is a Smart Idea

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pasadena, Calif. — In dry, dusty Southern California, dealing with the worst drought in state history has become the “new normal.” Banners declaring Be Water Wise! stretch above streets. Gov. Jerry Brown recently ordered mandatory restrictions to cut urban water use across California by 25 percent. Other western …

Studio, Getaway: Backyard Sheds Are Reimagined

Sunday, May 31, 2015

When Morgaine Ford-Workman and Wren Workman bought a house with a backyard shed, they saw the potential for something more than storing garden tools. The couple transformed the 10-by-12-foot building into a bar to use during outdoor parties …

Notes From the Garden: A Salute to Garden Clubs

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I’d like to tip my hat to the unsung heroines of the gardening world, the members of garden clubs around the region. Garden club members have recently been busy planting annual flowers at their local libraries, in the …

Notes From the Garden: Don’t Neglect Shade-Favoring Flowers

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I aspire to be the Goatsbeard King of Cornish Flat. Maybe I already am. I have several, and no one else I know here grows goatsbeard (Aruncus dioecious). It is one of many flowers I grow that do well in light shade, getting bigger and better every year, …

Notes From the Garden: The Magic of Planting Seeds

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Every spring each of us must decide when to plant our tender annual plants. I am of the conservative branch of the gardening family. I do not want to take a chance damaging or killing my tomatoes, peppers, …

Charcoal or Gas?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Among outdoor grilling fans, no rivalry burns hotter: gas grills vs. charcoal grills. We asked some grilling experts to weigh in on this searing question as the spring/summer grilling season arrives.. Gas Is Convenient Aaron Nelson, owner of Quality Grill Service in Indianapolis, said grills powered by gas …

Notes From the Garden: For Mother’s Day, Consider Annuals

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Okay, Mother’s Day is coming right up, and you haven’t bought her anything. Instead of getting another electric waffle iron or promising to wash her car, just like you did last year (but haven’t done yet), head to …

Notes From the Garden: Spring Is for Wildflowers

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wildflowers have wowed me since I was a little boy. I remember seeing pink lady-slippers in a pine woods in Hingham, Mass., when I was just 2 years old and being awed by them. My mom wouldn’t let …