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The author's meager harvest of sour cherries has called into question the future of his cherry tree. (Henry Homeyer photograph)

Notes From the Garden: Fruit Trees Need to Produce

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I try not to be too compulsive, but I admit that I counted every sour or pie cherry I picked from my tree this year. Give or take a few I ate while picking, I got 111 cherries — not enough for a pie. I planted the tree some 15 years ago, and this was my best crop. Last year, …

By Any Other Name...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Will Radler was still just an amateur rose breeder — a basement hobbyist, really — when he walked out of his home in Milwaukee carrying that fateful baby rose in a soil-stuffed cup. He didn’t realize it then, back in 1989, but he held in his hands a flower with such remarkable qualities …

How to Stop Mold After Water Damage

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Homeowners who experience even a small amount of water seeping into their homes either from flooding or a broken pipe should be concerned about mold. It doesn’t take much water for mold to grow and do a lot of harm. “All it needs is a little moisture and a little dark space, and …

Don’t Let Winter Keep You Out Of Your Garage

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January, traditionally, is the month when winter comes knocking at the door. Sometimes (like this year) he just kicks the door in and sets up housekeeping. Still, it’s not too late to marshal every resource your home has to help the cold and dark months pass more smoothly. …

Notes From the Garden: Spending a Day in the Garden While on Vacation

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When I packed my bags to go to Maui recently I thought about packing my CobraHead weeder. But in the rush of getting ready I neglected to do so. I wish I had. That’s right, I like to garden even when I go on vacation. There are always …

Notes From the Garden: Author Advocates Eating Weeds

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter is when I find the time to read gardening books. I recently settled in by the woodstove with The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival by Katrina Blair (Chelsea Green, 2014, $29.95 in …

As You Make Progress on Projects, Reward Yourself

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I like the way Lisa Savoie thinks. Whenever the Kansas homeowner takes a step toward a home-project goal, she rewards herself with a mug of her favorite tea or time with a good book. If you plan to improve yourself or your home in 2015, follow Savoie’s lead …

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 …