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Peter Henderson plants a spruce outside his home in White River Junction, Vt., on Monday, April 20, 2015. "Hopefully, a snow plow won't hit it this year," he said. Henderson, who plants a vegetable garden each spring, plans to plant peas next week if the weather cooperates. (Valley News - Sarah Shaw) <p><i>Copyright © Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.</i></p>

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Peter Henderson plants a spruce outside his home in White River Junction on Monday. “Hopefully, a snow plow won’t hit it this year,” he said. Henderson said he plans to plant peas next week if the weather cooperates.Valley News — Sarah Shaw …

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 …

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, …

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 …

Notes From the Garden: Clearing Away the Harvest’s Remains

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

By now, Jack Frost (or Jill Frost, if you prefer) has wielded the scythe of death in my garden — and probably yours, too. He came early in September, treading lightly but knocking off my tomatoes, basil and squash plants. Then in late October, he came again, finishing …

Lead Paint Remains A Threat in Homes

Sunday, November 2, 2014

If you or someone you know is planning work on a pre-1978 home, please make time to take precautions against the possibility of lead poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 500,000 U.S children ages 1 to 5 have elevated lead levels in their …

Notes From the Garden: For Subtle Fall Colors, Look to the Oaks and Beeches

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I took a walk this week along a country road and was delighted by the colors of the fall leaves. The reds — maples, largely — have fallen, but the yellows and brown are still on some trees and lovely. And once you develop an appetite for the …

Before You Have a Plumbing Crisis ...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Plumbing has always been one of the most frequently searched categories on Angie’s List. Naturally, if the sink is stopped up or the commode’s kaput, you want it fixed, and fast. That’s why I advise homeowners to establish — before an emergency — a connection with a highly …

Tips to Cut Risk of Fire

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Here are some tips from Leviton, manufacturer of electrical devices and lighting controls (dimmers, switches), to help reduce the number of electrical fires. ∎ Extension cords are intended only for temporary use. Each year 3,330 residential fires originate near extension cords, the Electrical Safety Foundation International says, often …

Brassicas From the Garden Go Straight to the Table

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

At this time of year I eat one of the “three B’s” from my garden every day: broccoli, Brussels sprouts or kale. All right, don’t get on my case. I know kale doesn’t start with a B. But …