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Notes From the Garden: Until the Soil Dries Out, Resist the Urge to Dig, Till and Rake

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring has been slow in showing its colors. Snowdrops, usually up in early March at my house, were a month late. Crocus, the early ones, and winter aconite (a flower that is a nice school-bus-yellow color) are finally blooming. But everything is slow, and the ground is still frozen a few inches down. I won’t be planting anything outside for weeks. So what can we do on a warm, sunny …

Notes From the Garden: The Subtle Floral Art of Ikebana

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Some people collect salt and pepper shakers, others license plates or stuffed teddy bears. I collect different species of flowers that I grow in my garden. Although I lost track long ago, I grow well over 100 species and varieties of flowers, probably over 200. If I see something new at a greenhouse, …

Notes From the Garden: Starting Seeds Indoors

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

After arguably the coldest, snowiest winter on record, I am ready for spring. OK, maybe the winter of 1934 was colder. So what? I still have snow, and my woodpile is pathetic. I am picking up sticks and burning soggy remnants of previous woodpiles. To keep my spirits up on raw, gray days, …

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 …

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 …