Category Archives: Home and Garden

What to do for August

Inside: Make pesto! Use all your fragrant basil to make pesto. Put out some new colorful place mats for the table. Wash windows inside and out; inspect windows for damage, re-caulk and paint if necessary. Don’t let the fresh corn go to waste. There is plenty now but the season winds down soon. Slice kernels… Continue Reading

Window leaks likely caused by improper installation

Window leaks likely caused by improper installation

 Our semi-contemporary house has cathedral ceilings on most of the roof. The original roof was replaced in 2005. It was a clean re-roofing job. The decking was found to be in good condition, except for some loose nails. Owens Corning 50-year architectural shingles were selected, with added attic ridge vents. Ice and water shield was… Continue Reading

Not your average veranda

Decorating outdoor spaces has become an important part of summer. With the advancement in great indoor/outdoor rugs and more synthetic fabric, furniture and all weather decor, design seems to come out of nowhere. Even more important is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get good, easy-to-care-for designs. I think outdoor spaces should… Continue Reading

A concrete design

A concrete design

Homeowners thinking outside of the traditional wood-framed residential box are pouring on the creativity when building houses with precast concrete walls. Not only used in below-grade applications, concrete shows its durability and energy efficiency from the ground up in new home construction, says James Baty, executive director of the Concrete Foundations Association, based in Mount… Continue Reading

Column: Native fruiting shrubs of the Bighorns

Wyoming has a wealth of diversity in native plants, many of which provided nutrition and medicine to Native Americans before ranchers and farmers settled here. Native food sources include a wide variety of fruiting shrubs found throughout the Bighorns. Native shrubs flower in the spring and slowly set fruit that are usually ready to harvest… Continue Reading

Column: How to save tomato seeds

If you find a tomato plant you really enjoy or have found an heirloom variety that you want to continue to use, this easy way to save seeds will come in handy. A master gardener friend once gave me tomato seeds from seeds her grandmother had brought over when immigrating from Europe in the late… Continue Reading

Get certified: The garden signs of the times

Get certified: The garden signs of the times

Deep in the concrete jungle of New York City, in an exuberant community garden surrounded by tall buildings and enclosed by a chain-link fence, a sign proclaims that this block-long space is a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Step inside. The birds are singing. Certifications such as the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Habitat program are raising… Continue Reading

Column: An end to laundry?

Science fiction or science fact? Will science put an end to the job of doing laundry? Scientists in Australia — one of the sunniest places on earth — have discovered a way to rid clothes of stains by exposing them to sunlight. The researchers embedded minute flecks of silver and copper, invisible to the naked… Continue Reading

Column: What to do for July

Inside: Too hot outside? Spend the morning cleaning the basement. Give some thought to having curtains or drapes laundered. Take drapes to the dry cleaners one week then launder kitchen and bathroom curtains the next. Don’t forget to give your windows a wash too. Dust blinds weekly. Once or twice a year clean wooden blinds… Continue Reading

A BARN ABODE: Large open space, classic farmhouse architecture

A BARN ABODE: Large open space, classic farmhouse architecture

Rustic charms roost in timber-framed homes that resemble barns. Rooted in American agrarian architecture, barn home designs have an expansive “cathedral” quality, says Kevin Durkin, president and founder of Heritage Restorations, based in Waco, Texas. “Barn-style homes are popular for their large, open areas and classic farmhouse architectural style,” Durkin says. “The beauty of the… Continue Reading

Making a miniature pond

Having a pond or large water feature is great but if you don’t quite have the acreage, try a smaller more manageable feature by making a miniature pond from a large watertight container. You won’t have to deal with a pump or a bubbler. Supplies: watertight container water plants garden soil (heavy clay or aquatic… Continue Reading

Make the most of your front yard

For years and years front yards were just for show, most of the work went into the more private backyard. Nowadays though, front yards are looked at in a different light. If it is good enough for the back yard then it’s good enough for the front yard. And, just because it is the front… Continue Reading

Rain barrels at the ready

Rain barrels at the ready

Rain barrels are hot garden accessories. A rain barrel connected to a downspout lets you collect 50 gallons or so of free water every time it rains. It’s also the mark of an environmentally sensitive gardener. With a rain barrel, you’re conserving a precious resource and setting a good example at the same time. You… Continue Reading

How to decorate with antiques and heirlooms

How to decorate with antiques and heirlooms

In this age of minimalism and decluttering, the common response to an offer of a family heirloom or antique might be, “I don’t have space,” ‘‘It’s not my taste,” or simply “No thanks.” Well, “pull yourself out of that as fast as you can and start saying yes,” urges Susan Sully of Charleston, South Carolina,… Continue Reading

Lots of small fruit options for Wyoming gardeners

All small fruit prefers a sunny location with good drainage and preferably a neutral ph or slightly acidic soil, with plenty of moisture and fertilizer. Therefore, before planting, incorporating plenty of organic matter in the soil will really help, and using a fertilizer with sulfur will help temporarily lower the ph. Strawberry varieties are classified… Continue Reading

Column: For the birds

Making your yard appealing to birds is a win win for you and the birds. Enjoying nesting birds on your property brings with it a responsibility to make your birdhouses and surrounding areas as safe as possible. Here are a few guidelines to follow when thinking of hanging a birdhouse. • Birds use houses all… Continue Reading

What to do for June

Inside: On warm days, keep salads and veggie plates crisp by serving them on chilled plates. Place a stack of plates in the refrigerator (not the freezer, which can crack ceramics) for an hour or more before using. Wash your windows with a solution of hot water and dishwasher detergent. Use a squeegee to wipe… Continue Reading

Vegetable gardens can be pretty as well as functional

Vegetable gardens can be pretty as well as functional

Considering the superior flavor of fresh-picked vegetables and the choices you get when you grow your own, it’s a wonder that more people don’t have vegetable gardens. Even a local farm or farmers market can’t offer vegetables as fresh as those straight from the back yard. Perhaps if vegetable gardens were more ornamental, they would… Continue Reading

Column: Spring lawn care

Now is the time to begin some of those spring lawn care activities we have been waiting for. We can start by core aerating the lawn after we have picked up all those tree branches and pruned the broken branches. Core aerating is an essential management tool for turf areas, especially those that have thatch… Continue Reading

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