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A white clematis in the author's garden. (Henry Homeyer photograph)

Notes From the Garden: Patriotic Blooms Outlast the Booms of July 4th

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Among my earliest memories is one from a Fourth of July celebration back when I was just a tadpole — in 1949, perhaps. My sister and I sat on the hood of our parents’ 1938 Buick, a big black sedan, and watched fireworks way past my bedtime. Red, white and blue rockets zoomed skyward, filling us with awe. Now, all …

Some Plants Need a Pinch to Grow On Each Year

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I was presenting at an outdoor gardening event recently when a woman walked by wearing a T-shirt that said, “No Pinching!” Maybe she had young kids, or was a kindergarten teacher. Clearly she was not an experienced gardener. Pinching plants is good, and now is the time to do it. Let’s start with fruit trees. Many apple trees are loaded with small fruit …

Tips to Extend Life Of Home Appliances

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Show your workhorse appliances a little TLC, and they may stick around a bit longer. Replacing a refrigerator or oven range can take a bite out of your budget, as can buying a new washer or dryer. To make sure your appliances stand the test of time and continue to perform, follow these pointers: Keep Your Fridge And Freezer Clean Besides regularly cleaning …

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 …

Notes From the Garden: How to Nurse a Rosemary Through the Perilous Month of March

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This month, I’m planning not to kill my rosemary plant. It is so easy to do, and most of us who grow rosemary have done it at least once. We get a perfectly nice rosemary plant through the …

Notes From the Garden: Finding ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ in the Dead of Winter

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter trudges along, bringing us snow and sub-zero temperatures, seemingly ignoring the calendar that tells us spring is officially less than a month away. In between shoveling and carrying firewood I’ve spent considerable time reading this winter. My …

How to Sell that ‘Unsellable’ Home

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Do you think your house is unsellable due to its location? Highly rated real estate agents on Angie’s List explain how to sell a house, even in the most undesirable spot. If the most important thing in real estate is location, location, location, how do you sell your …

Notes From the Garden: Growing Mushrooms at Home

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

About 20 years ago, I started growing mushrooms outdoors on logs. It’s a simple process that involves drilling holes in freshly cut logs and inserting little wooden plugs that I buy called plug spawn. Then I let them …

A Handyman for That Honey-Do List

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tired of waiting for that honey-do list to get done? Consider hiring a handyman instead to tie up all those loose ends around your house. Just make sure to follow these five tips: ∎ Understand pricing. Many handyman services, but not all, charge an hourly rate and a …

Notes From the Garden: Tired of Winter? Time to Start Forcing Blossoms

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I’ve been hearing from friends who are sick of winter. We’re only about half way done with it, but we haven’t had a break — no January thaw this year — and the snow keeps building up. I have to admit that I’m a little tired of shoveling …

Outdoor Furniture’s New Looks for 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Outdoor living spaces have come a long way from the days when “outdoor furnishings” meant a few inexpensive folding chairs around a flimsy plastic table. Today’s outdoor chairs might be wrought iron or wrought aluminum, with upholstered seats. The table might be stone or wood or an elegant …

Notes From the Garden: Even Mature Trees Can Be Uprooted and Replanted

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The snow is deep, the temperatures well below freezing. It’s a good time to think about what projects to undertake this year. My friend Evan Schneider, who was in the Peace Corps with me in Cameroon, recently bought …

Notes From the Garden: Growing Your Own Food Can Mean Healthier, and Safer, Eating

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

We’ve come a long way from the day when most families grew their own vegetables and had a few chickens and a cow. From the day when fertilizer was manure of some sort, and when bug control consisted largely of picking them off garden plants by hand. My …