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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: Celeriac and Celery Require Careful Nurturing

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Here it is, officially winter, and I’m still eating from my garden. I recently made what I call a winter salad: grated carrot and celery root (also known as celeriac) with a vinaigrette sauce. Sometimes my winter salad …

Notes From the Garden: Keep My Poinsettias Simple

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I like poinsettias and buy one every year. And every year the poinsettia industry produces new colors and shapes for the plant’s bracts, the traditionally red leaves that surround the poinsettia’s less colorful flowers. Standard red has given …

Notes From the Garden: Making a Festive Holiday Decoration

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

This time of year I need all the help I can get. Cloudy, gray days do not make me cheerful. Days that end at 4 p.m. do not please me. I counteract the dark with lights, flowers on …

Designers’ Advice On Decorating a Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 7, 2014

For generations, the choice was simple: 1. Strap a live Christmas tree to the roof of your car, wrestle it into a tree stand at home and hope it wouldn’t fall over. Or, 2. Put up an artificial tree that was unmistakably fake. Fortunately, the options have expanded …

Notes From the Garden: Keeping a Tree Alive for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I know people who say we shouldn’t be cutting down trees just to brighten our houses for the holidays. Trees are, after all, sequestering carbon and making our environment cleaner, greener, and all that. I say “Bah Humbug!” and will cut a fresh tree from my neighborhood tree …

Gifts for Use in the Garden

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It’s that time of year again: time to find the perfect present for Aunt Edna, Uncle Bob and everyone else we love. Gardeners on my list are pretty easy to buy for because there are so many wonderful gifts to choose from, including selections under $10 (Atlas nitrile …

Wise to Winterize Outside the Home

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It’s wise, before the snow flies (or as soon as possible if flakes have already flown), to take the time to prep your home and property for winter. We hear often about emergency service calls that could have been avoided if homeowners had taken time to winterize or …

Notes From the Garden: Now Is the Time to Prepare Bulbs for Blooms in March

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I love to ski and snowshoe. I don’t mind shoveling snow and lugging in firewood for the woodstove that chugs along day and night these days. But there are limits to my patience, and by March I’ll ready for green growing things and some fresh flowers. So I …

Tips for Saving Water

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hauling water in a five-gallon container a couple of hundred yards from communal spigot to campsite has reinforced my tendency to conserve. You, no doubt, have reasons of your own. Here are water-saving tips, compiled from a variety of sources: Turn off the water while you brush your …

We Should Care About Skilled Trade Shortage

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It’s a fact that I’m not handy. When I need something done at home, I use the proven service providers I found on the list that bears my name. I’m grateful for the skilled professionals who use their hands and their heads to solve our home maintenance and …