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Poinsettias have an interesting history and growers are now experimenting with different colors. (Courtesy of D.S. Cole Growers)

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 way to pink, maroon, white and red, pink and red; simple bracts are now double, double with ruffles. There is always a …

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 the table and greenery (and maybe a little chocolate). This year I decided to make …

Designers’ Advice On Decorating a Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 7, 2014

For generations, the choice was simple: 1. Strap a live Christmas tree to the roof of your car, wrestle it into a tree stand at home and hope it wouldn’t fall over. Or, 2. Put up an artificial tree that was unmistakably fake. Fortunately, the options have expanded dramatically, from realistic fake trees pre-lit with softly glowing LED lights to environmentally friendly, abstract …

Ideas for Living In a Small Space

Sunday, August 3, 2014

For many young people, a first apartment might be a cramped studio or just a bedroom in a shared living arrangement. Juggling that room’s living, dining and sleeping spaces requires creativity. Take Meg Volk, a New York-based producer and photographer who at 22 is a seasoned veteran of …

Sick of Weeding Yet? It’s Time to Mulch Those Garden Beds

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I love the musical Porgy and Bess, especially the song, Summertime, with its catchy refrain, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Clearly Gershwin was a) not a gardener, or b) he mastered the art of mulching. Mulching makes …

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 …