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Notes From the Garden: Don’t Neglect Shade-Favoring Flowers

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I aspire to be the Goatsbeard King of Cornish Flat. Maybe I already am. I have several, and no one else I know here grows goatsbeard (Aruncus dioecious). It is one of many flowers I grow that do well in light shade, getting bigger and better every year, and requiring very little of me. Long ago, decades ago, I bought my first goatsbeard. The plant tag said it would grow …

Notes From the Garden: The Magic of Planting Seeds

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Every spring each of us must decide when to plant our tender annual plants. I am of the conservative branch of the gardening family. I do not want to take a chance damaging or killing my tomatoes, peppers, cukes, or annual flowers if a late frost comes along. I know gardeners who are …

Charcoal or Gas?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Among outdoor grilling fans, no rivalry burns hotter: gas grills vs. charcoal grills. We asked some grilling experts to weigh in on this searing question as the spring/summer grilling season arrives.. Gas Is Convenient Aaron Nelson, owner of Quality Grill Service in Indianapolis, said grills powered by gas or propane turn on faster and offer more options and control than charcoal grills. “You …

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 …

Pop Art Can Pack Big Design Punch

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mid-century modern style is now firmly planted in the home decor landscape. And one of its elements, pop art, is cultivating a 21st century following. Eye-catching, graphic, often tongue-in-cheek or sassily whimsical, pop art decor plays well off …

As Winter Gets Closer, Time to Organize the Garage

Sunday, October 19, 2014

With fall here and winter on its way, it might be time to straighten out the garage, so you can at least find the snow shovels when you need them. “Will it be another bad winter, Al?” you ask. I’ll tell you when it’s over. In the meantime, …

Notes From the Garden: Now Is the Time to Plant Garlic

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Garlic is one of those magical ingredients that give foods depth of flavor and the richness of another world. Italian food, French food, Indian food, these all include liberal use of garlic. Why the English decided on fish and chips and boiled dinners as their staples is a …

Outdoor Decorating for Fall

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homes in the northern U.S. are treated to a measure of effortless outdoor decorating for fall: Nature does most of the work by turning the trees a vivid palette of reds, oranges and golds. Add a pumpkin or …