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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 rated local plumber. I also urge you to find your home’s main water shutoff valve (it’s usually near the water meter). Quickly …

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 because homeowners are using them incorrectly. ∎ The average light fixture can accommodate only a …

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 it’s a brassica, the family that contains those other two, plus cabbage, rutabagas, cauliflower, kohlrabi …

Garden Bugs Aren’t All Bad

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Many gardeners seem to think that any UFI (Unidentified Flying Insect) is a potential threat to their tomatoes or the spinach. When in doubt, they swat it, squish it or submerge it. But most bugs are not bad, …

Beauty in Subtlety

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Paint your walls a bold color and friends will likely praise your creativity. Invest in a standout piece of furniture or striking work of art and your decorating is bound to earn compliments. But creating a noteworthy room …

Notes from the Garden: Trees and Shrubs That Thrive in the Shade

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I grew up in a small town in rural Connecticut. Behind the house there was a brook and a hardwood forest with a high canopy of old maples that created a cool space for spending hot summer days. My favorite understory tree was a small, bushy tree that …

Some Veggies Can Be Planted All Summer

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I got an inquiry recently about vegetable gardens: Is it too late to start one? In a word, no. But you will have to act quickly if you want one because most garden centers are just about sold …

Choosing, Hanging Shutters

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Although glass and screens have eliminated the practical need for shutters, they’re still popular for decoration. “They add another layer of thoughtful detailing to a house,” said Ted Cleary, a landscape architect in Charlotte, N.C. But to get …

For Healthy Flower Beds, Plant Well

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I love flowers, all kinds of flowers. I probably spend more than I should on seeds, annual flowers in six-packs, 4-inch pots of trademarked annuals at $5 a pop, perennials and flowering trees and shrubs. I can get …

Tips to Make Your Shower Even Better

Sunday, June 22, 2014

No matter how satisfying, relaxing and soothing a warm shower can be, why not make it better? More intense water pressure, better organization, even music can make a shower all the more enjoyable. Here are some tips: ■ Once you’ve showered under a ceiling-mounted rain shower, it can …

Cohase Garden Tour Today Includes Tea at Lake Morey

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fairlee — The third annual Cohase Garden Tour will take place today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Maps and directions for the self-guided tour are available at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee. This year’s tour features the formal gardens of Lake Morey Resort; meandering gardens at a …

Living Smart: Can This Tree Be Saved?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trees add beauty, shade and value to your property, but they don’t live forever. Sources of damage or death include age, storm damage, drought or other extreme weather, and environmental issues. Top-rated tree experts tell our team that trees, like other living creatures, need good nutrition, a healthy …

Notes From the Garden: Chain Saw Gardening

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bill Waste likes to say he gardens with a chain saw. Bill, a Lyme resident, is a good humored fellow, and likes to joke. But I’ve seen him use the chain saw to get a growing bed ready …