Home and Garden

What to do for August

August 2, 2013

Inside: Make Pesto! Use all your fragrant basil to make pesto. Wash windows inside and out; inspect windows for damage, re-caulk and paint if necessary. Don’t let all the fresh corn go to waste. There is plenty now but the season winds down soon. Slice kernels off the cobs, and store in freezer-safe resealable plastic Read More

Wall art: This is not your grandma’s wallpaper

Atmospheric and ethereal, some images defy references. There are unlikely patchwork montages, graphically arresting, which actually reference a colorful range of intricately patterned silk scarves. Watercolor abstractions in intense hues are spellbinding. Blooms of dahlias evoking more psychedelic than natural colors are explosive. Mega-scale, mural-sized photos are crisp and realistic. Brushstrokes and drips of paint Read More

Duration, frequency determine irrigation efficiency

Many homeowners irrigate too often and for too short a period to meet lawn and especially landscaping (tree and shrub) needs and often compromise the health and vigor of their landscape’s plant community. Others tend to leave the water running too long resulting in wasted water and high water bills. Properly adjusting automatic watering systems Read More

To sleep, perchance to dream

July 26, 2013

Look for guidelines for remodeling a kitchen or bathroom and you’ll discover an embarrassment of riches, from books and magazines to hundreds of websites. You’ll find everything from decor suggestions and layout tips to technical expertise for tackling the hands-on work. That’s no surprise, as those two rooms are the most popular candidates for renovation. Read More

Searching for amendments to heavy clay soils

Amending soils is often a topic discussed among gardeners in Wyoming. The typical heavy clay soils found across Wyoming provides certain growing challenges. The challenges of clay are many such as trying to till or have water or roots trying to penetrate this hard dry material, which reminds us of trying to garden in a Read More

Buttoning up

In earlier times, before a worn out article of clothing was consigned to the ragbag, the buttons were removed. These were saved, most often in a jar or tin, for future use. Today, few of us remove buttons before discarding clothing. As a result, a generation of children likely will miss the fun most every Read More

Creativity by the yard

July 19, 2013

Grass isn’t always the best groundcovers for a yard: It’s thirsty at a time when water is becoming scarce; it attracts fewer pollinators; it requires expensive chemicals to maintain, and it must be disposed of if you bag as you mow. That’s why many property owners are downsizing their lawns or simply eliminating turf grass Read More

Playing house at home

A Victorian mini-mansion or a wee Cape Cod cottage can have “back” street appeal, which requires an invitation from the children of the house to visit. A playhouse is a place for “kids to be kids,” says Dan Schlabach, owner of Little Cottage Co., based in Berlin, Ohio. “A playhouse gives children a chance to Read More

Silk flower care

Silk flowers aren’t really a substitute for the real thing. They’re just another decorative item for the home, like a flowered fabric or a pillow. Here are a few tips concerning the care of faux flowers. • Know your enemies. Most silk flowers are made not of silk but of synthetic fabrics with two principal Read More

Leaf diseases of poplars, aspens and cottonwoods

July 12, 2013

The major species of deciduous trees grown in Wyoming include quaking Aspen, silver poplar, balsam poplar, Lombardy poplar, cottonwoods and willows, which all belong to the Populous family of trees. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to several major diseases. Early recognition and identification of the problem are key to effective management. First, we need to distinguish Read More

Seed Bombs

So called seed bombs — balls of seed, compost and clay — can give an instant lift to any undeveloped area. Meadows, vacant lots, etc. To make, mix together five parts natural air-drying clay, one part compost, and one part seeds. Roll into 1-inch balls; dry on waxed paper a few days. Give them as Read More

Creating a fire-resistant,defensible landscape at home

July 5, 2013

With the wet weather in the northeast part of Wyoming has experienced, the wildfires in Colorado and dry condition in southern Wyoming we need to be proactive to help mitigate these types of disasters. The first defense against wildfire is to create a fire-safe landscape around your home. This can be achieved by removing flammable Read More

Deep- cleaning the grill

As Martha Stewart knows, a dirty grill can put you at risk for frequent flare-ups caused by grease and grime. I’m not Martha, but I know that looking at a dirty grill makes me wonder about the cooking and cleaning standards of the owner. Most modern grills are just not that hard to clean. Here Read More

Reaching your porch potential

It’s porch season. A well-dressed porch is an important part of both the house and the garden: It’s a transition area, neither inside nor out, that offers the best of both. A porch is a place to escape from your desk, and from which to admire all your hard work on the flower beds. Porches Read More

What to do for July

June 28, 2013

Inside: Wash hardwood floors with a solution of one part vinegar and four parts water. Swab off immediately with a towel. The vinegar will remove wax buildup but if you leave it on for too long, it will turn your floors green. Use one of the new floor products to add a seal and shine. Read More

Miller moths and other common pests

I have seen some moths around town lately and received calls about the number of moths locally. Some caterpillars over winter and others migrate north as moths. The moths this year will probably be either a cutworm or armyworm of some type. The life cycle of the moths is around 10-14 days. That is the Read More

Small style hits the big time

By Elaine Markoutsas Universal Uclick If not a decided shift at recent High Point, N.C., furniture markets, let us just say that rooms with smaller footprints will not be ignored. The good news is that the commitment poses even more ramped-up challenges to design furniture smartly, with an eye to size and proportions, multitasking, built-ins Read More

Traveling house plant

June 21, 2013

Always use a dolly when dealing with heavy or oversized containers. Heavy potted plants are easily moved with a homemade dolly. Begin by finding a flat stone that is large enough to hold the pot. Cut a piece of three-fourths-inch exterior plywood into a square just smaller than the stone. Stain the plywood to match Read More

Solving the problem of blossom end rot

With summer here and everything in the garden growing rapidly, we need to be concerned with blossom end rot on our tomatoes, peppers and squash. Although blossom end rot is common in Wyoming, there are preventative measures to take to minimize loss based on the probable causes. Blossom end rot looks just like it sounds. Read More

Inviting your garden inside

For those fortunate enough to have decent shelter, spring’s slow warm-up act has been more annoyance than genuine hardship. There is a solution of sorts, if you ask designer Shane Powers. Powers has a long track record of interior design work for major publications, and one of those gigs opened his eyes to the possibilities Read More

Caring for outdoor furniture

June 14, 2013

Today, most patio, garden, deck and porch furniture is relatively easy to maintain, but it helps to know how to care for the materials you own. • Plastics and resins — These modern materials have come a long way, resisting fading, yellowing and cracking. Most are impervious to sun, wind, rain and snow. Nothing more Read More

Homeowners are falling for fountains

Fountains are bubbling up inside homes. Whether this water feature greets guests in the front foyer, or acts as a transition to outside spaces on a porch, fountains create Zen-like zones in homes. More homeowners are falling for fountains, which not only complement a home’s architecture, but can also reflect personal style, says Amy Hansen, Read More

Furniture worth a second look

June 7, 2013

I am a devoted second-hand furniture shopper. I’ve always enjoyed picking up some piece with potential, bringing it home and making it sing with beautiful paint, stain and fabric. I’ve had some pieces for more than 30 years, reluctantly passing them on when I’ve upgraded to more expensive furniture. Recently I completed a table that Read More

Cocktail gardens put a new twist on edible landscaping

Shake things up in the backyard this summer: Fresh herbs and fruit have long been the key ingredients in some of summer’s most refreshing libations, and when they’re within easy reach of the backyard bartender, every cocktail becomes a flourishing signature drink. Making a mojito with homegrown mint is only part of the picture, though. Read More

Battling boxelder bugs in the springtime

May 31, 2013

If you are like me, I am ready for spring and for the boxelder bugs, boisea trivittatus, to go away. This year is the first year in a long time I have had to deal with boxelder bugs in the office. If you have lived any time at all in Wyoming you have had or Read More

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