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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 less flashy leaves, you may want to plant a tree that will do ”the late show” in years to come. The oaks …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Life Here: Grass Is Persistent, Ubiquitous, Essential and Oddly Comforting

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I wish I knew all the names of the types of grass that grow here. Certainly I recognize them, and could describe them, (there’s one that has spiky roots and one that has long, long roots) but other than witch grass, my father never taught me the names.I …

Notes From the Garden: Take It Easy When Taking Care of the Lawn

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I love lawns. Not big lawns, and they don’t need to be pure Kentucky bluegrass, either. I love a little bit of mowed green that has some grass and clover; it can have a few dandelions or bluets or violets, too. I can live with Creeping Charlie (also …

Notes From the Garden: Helping Plants Survive Their Early Days

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Living in a cold spot, I usually wait until June 10 to plant frost and cold-sensitive plants. But lured by perfect warm weather, I planted most of my tomatoes on Memorial Day weekend. The soil was 60 degrees …

Countertops Are Getting Creative

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The concrete countertops in Eleanor Zuckerman’s San Francisco kitchen are hand-crafted works of art. Custom-designed by Fu-Tun Cheng of the Berkeley, California-based Cheng Concrete, they feature colors like brick, flowing lines and pictures of nautilus shells. “With concrete …

For Certain Plants, the Best Locations Are Made in the Shade

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

“The Shady Lady’s Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening” by Amy Ziffer. University Press of New England. $27.95. Shade gardens are a gardener’s conundrum — and opportunity. Plants that like full sun are numerous and brilliantly colored, and their …

Spring Reveals A Soft Parade Of Blossoms

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Each year I anticipate spring with great enthusiasm not because I don’t like winter — which I do — but because almost every day there are new flowers blooming in my garden. I’m keeping a list as they …

Wanted Dead — Garlic Mustard

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

As a garden writer I get a lot of email from people warning me about pending catastrophes: blights, bugs, invasive plants. Some are accurate, some are not. In 2012 plant experts warned that a disease that kills Impatiens …

Give a Face Lift To Your Front Door

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A front door is your home’s chance to make a good first impression. Help yours say “Welcome” with these ideas for giving your front entry a makeover for spring. Give It a Once-Over After a while, we all stop noticing the little flaws in our homes. So it’s …

The Accidental Tomato Plant

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This year I met a longtime goal of growing an edible tomato in the house, though I have to admit that it was quite by accident. Last fall I dug up an avocado plant that had started itself …