Category Archives: Home and Garden

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



Housewares manufacturers worth their salt mine lifestyle trends for leads, shaping development and design of their next best products. And with a focus on healthy eating, time and space-saving, as well as a continued craving for the best ways to make macchiatos and chai at home, it’s not surprising that there will be plenty to… Continue Reading

Column: A garden that can withstand swings in the weather

Keeping plants thriving can be difficult when weather swings to extremes of drought, flood, heat, or cold. Between December 2015 and February 2016, the average temperature for the contiguous United States was 4.6 degrees above the 20th century average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information. In recent decades… Continue Reading

The power of paint

Transforming old or old-fashioned furniture into a bright new friendly piece of furniture is a project whose time has come. I’ve done this often with furniture that I’ve found that is just too good a deal to pass up and passed them on to my kids as a way for young parents and apartment dwellers… Continue Reading

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

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