Category Archives: Home and Garden

The importance of old seeds

Any population of plants, whether a natural population or a cultivated population, has a certain amount of genetic diversity. Genetic diversity is important for a species’ ability to adapt to a changing environment, including abiotic and biotic conditions. Abiotic conditions include warming temperatures, decreased water availability and contaminated soil. Biotic conditions include competition from other… Continue Reading

Creating a chef’s kitchen

Creating a chef’s kitchen

Homeowners can cook like experienced epicures by borrowing design details from commercial kitchens. From creating a well-run workflow in the kitchen to the use of commercial-grade appliances in homes, culinary upgrades are big “bon vivant” business, says National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Darcy. Based in Hackettstown, New Jersey, NKBA has been… Continue Reading

Column: A visual feast

As the weather warms up and eating outdoors becomes the right thing to do, I always take time to put out the lettuce-ware and other dishes that speak of fresh eats and warm nights. I’ve been collecting lettuce-ware for about 30 years and I remember spotting my first picks at an outlet mall in Smithfield,… Continue Reading

Serenity, now

Along with spring cleaning, the new season always inspires a sense of anticipation and wonder. Getting the pots out and cleaned up, buying seed packets and looking for that one new project that will give a sense of pride and wellbeing when added to the house, yard or garden. Paint is the fastest change when… Continue Reading

Gardeners can help protect butterfly populations

Gardeners can help protect butterfly populations

Bees aren’t the only pollinators suffering from a massive North American die-off. Butterflies and moths, those flying flowers of the insect world, are disappearing too. “But the situation isn’t hopeless,” says Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in Portland, Oregon. “Anybody — gardeners or butterfly lovers — can make… Continue Reading

Column: What to do for May

Inside: Wash throw rugs and hang outside to dry. Hang mattress pads and blankets over the clothesline to air out. Always pack away clean items. Move indoor plants back outside, gradually. If you gave up on your hanging baskets last fall, buy some new ones for the porch. Complete closet cleanups. Pack away clean winter… Continue Reading

Celebrating National Garden Month, School Gardens and more

April is the perfect month for planning and prepping your garden, starting seeds and dreaming of the summer bounty, and it is also recognized as National Garden Month as proclaimed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA proclamation states that gardens foster a healthy and sustainable environment by providing healthy food, pleasant surroundings, recreation… Continue Reading

Column: The golden rules of the garden

As the season kicks off it is always a good thing to remind ourselves of the basic business of the garden. When our eyes fall on a plant that would be disastrous for us we need the discipline to glance away and move on. We’ve learned and evolved enough to know our growing limits and… Continue Reading

Are roses relevant?

Are roses relevant?

Roses no longer receive a free pass through the garden gate: Instead of accepting lovely roses despite their many faults, gardeners now expect them to earn their place in the garden. The famous roses of the last century — Peace, Mr. Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth and dozens of others — produced beautiful flowers on gangly plants… Continue Reading

Column: Houses

This spring I spent about three weeks at our house in Colorado getting it ready for our son and his family. They will spend the summer there and then move to a new home in time to get their school-age kids enrolled in their new school. Will and Jeana have spent the last 18 months… Continue Reading

Get out and kick back

Get out and kick back

Ah … spring. When thoughts turn to the great outdoors and spending quality time chilling, grilling and entertaining. And also … daydreaming. For starters, imagine your ideal outdoor space. It might be a fabulous resort, stretching out on a pristine white chaise longue with the Mediterranean blue as a brilliant backdrop. Or a foliage-framed jungle… Continue Reading

Column: Welcoming Spring

I hope you have been doing a little watering on those especially warm days from mid-February on into April. With this early spring we tend to get our hopes up and rush into planting even though it would be foolish to do so before the average evening temperatures are well past frost dates — somewhere… Continue Reading

What to do for April

Inside: Start the month on a safe note —  replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Give kitchen cupboards a spring cleaning. Donate extra canned goods to the food bank. Wash your windows inside and out; it will lift your spirit. Prevent lint buildup in and around your clothes dryer, it can cause the… Continue Reading

Ideas to extend the growing season

One of the challenges of living in Wyoming is the late frost in the spring and the early frost in the fall, which really shorten our growing season for vegetables unless we can provide some protection. Several techniques will lengthen the growing season, making it possible to begin earlier in the spring and end later… Continue Reading

Lovin’ the limelight: Green grabs hold

Lovin’ the limelight: Green grabs hold

As reliable as the first furls of foliage poking up from the soil, lawns awakening from winter slumber and trees leafing out, green is the surest sign of spring. Get ready for a greening up of the interior landscape as well. Pink quartz and serenity may be the proclaimed Pantone colors of the year, but… Continue Reading

Water and salt —they don’t always mix well

Wyoming is a rugged, dry state with weather patterns that seem to be adverse to growing plant varieties. The climate plays havoc on the flowers, trees and shrubs, not to mention garden vegetables. High velocity wind and extreme temperatures definitely are a challenge to deal with, but often it is water availability and water quality… Continue Reading

The power of home

I am constantly on the prowl for the odd piece of furniture that I can make over, either with paint or fabric. I absolutely love to find a piece with good “bones,” something that speaks to me of how things could be. In this way, it is kind of a testament to life, becoming who… Continue Reading

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