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A "pollinator palace" constructed of stacked wooden pallets, hollow stems, dead logs with drilled holes, bark, stones and perforated brick provides safe homes for bees, beetles, wasps, lizards and other beneficial animals. This one can be seen in the Williamsburg Botanical Garden in Williamsburg, Va. (Helen Hamilton/Newport News Daily Press/MCT)

Diggin’ In: How to create a ‘pollinator hotel’

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bees do it. Butterflies do it. Moths do it. In fact, lots of insects do it - pollinate our flowers and edibles. That is why National Pollinator Week - June 16-23 - is so important. The week spotlights the significant role that pollinators play in our everyday lives, and it encourages home gardeners to establish habitats that benefit pollinators. “I could not grow flowers without the work of beneficial insects,” says Lisa Ziegler who has a two-acre flower farm and online gardening seed and tool shop in Newport News, Va. “They are nature’s hardest workers that maintain and balance the environment by keeping the bad … 0

Hot Property: Michael Jackson estate, children buy $10.75 million Mediterranean-style home in celebrity neighborhood

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Calabasas home Michael Jackson’s estate bought in an off-market deal for $10.75 million was sold by Kassabian Design Build, which constructed the Mediterranean-style home before there was a buyer. The style of the home was inspired by a trip designer Diko Kassabian took to Tuscany, Italy. The 12,670 square feet of living … 0

Get Growing tips from Master Gardener Cheryl Wilson: Laburnum walk

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Among the delights of our recent English garden trip were, of course, the guided garden tours. At Barnsley House in Gloucestershire, head gardener Richard Gatenby shared his memories of the late Rosemary Verey who designed the extensive gardens. He worked for her the last two years of her life. “I like Mrs. Verey’s … 0

Backyard ponds: like bringing the resort feel home

Friday, June 6, 2014

About this time of year, Lee Neiman walks outside to his backyard every morning and impatiently counts the days. It’s not until late March or early April that the backyard paradise at his Pittsburgh home usually returns to … 0

Right at home: a neoclassical moment in decor

Friday, June 6, 2014

If you’re a fan of traditional décor, you probably appreciate the elegant lines and rich history of neoclassical style. Interest in classical style really took off in the second half of the 18th century, when Scottish architect Robert … 0

Ask a Designer: No color’s too bold for decor

Friday, June 6, 2014

It might be practical, of course, to decorate your home with neutral colors and muted earth tones. No need to worry about colors clashing if most everything is white, beige and light brown. But what if you’re a … 0

Get Growing, tips from Master Gardener Cheryl B. Wilson: English gardens

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sissinghurst Castle Garden in England is a Mecca for avid gardeners but perhaps Americans should add Chiffchaffs to their list of must-see English gardens. A group of 20 master gardeners and friends from western Massachusetts just returned from … 0

Your Place: Welcome to the ‘year of the connected home’

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ever since Sandy, or maybe it was Hurricane Irene, I’ve been thinking about buying a portable generator sufficient to run our sump pump, our freezer and refrigerator, and a few appliances in case of a lengthy power disruption. My brother-in-law, an engineer for an electric utility, loses power … 0

Living Smart: 10 dull, but important home projects

Friday, May 30, 2014

It’s almost painful to shell out hard-earned money for some home projects. Unlike adding a new deck or remodeling the kitchen, replacing a sump pump is hardly cause for a party. But that’s precisely the kind of job you need to invest in occasionally, if you want to … 0

Gardening in gravel a low-maintenance option

Friday, May 23, 2014

Some people love gardens a whole lot more than they love gardening. Those are the people gravel gardens are made for. Gravel gardens are low-maintenance beds filled with drought-tolerant plants and covered with a thick layer of gravel … 0

Skills and squash: Learning how to garden at the Leverett Elementary School greenhouse

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last fall, fourth-graders working in the Leverett Elementary School greenhouse planted garlic — and were amazed to discover that, like flower bulbs, it came up this spring. “We did this garlic experiment,” explained Devon Bachand, showing a visitor … 0

Get Growing: Beneficial insects

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Even the youngest gardener knows that lady bugs are good guys, otherwise known as beneficial insects. And most gardeners of any age are becoming more aware of the crucial role bees play as pollinators. But there are other … 0

Your Place: Why wood floors chip; worries over water

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A few weeks back, a reader asked for reasons why a wood floor was starting to extrude chips and slivers from between the boards. Doug Sandilands, of Shamrock Flooring in Aston, Pennsylvania, says it’s his guess that the chips and slivers coming out of the floors are from … 0