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red amaryllis flower

Get Growing: Amaryllis: Not a one-shot wonder

Friday, February 12, 2016

There’s no flower in the houseplant kingdom more majestic than the amaryllis. The gnarly bulbs are potted up in the fall or winter, and within seven to 10 weeks produce regal bell-shaped blossoms, as big as 10 inches across, on long slender stalks. When the first stalk is finished, there’s often a second, even a third, ready to provide another …

Design by social media: Kansas woman pins her hopes on Pinterest

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kelsey Cary of Eastborough, Kansas humbly says she’s just a good copycat. Long before she and her husband bought their house in 2014, the stay-at-home mom had pinned a photo of the exterior of a Georgia house that she’d fallen in love with — white brick, black windows, set back in the trees …

Your Place: In winter, carbon monoxide detectors are a must

Friday, February 12, 2016

Carbon monoxide poisoning is more of a danger in winter months than it is in summer because cold weather tends to make us stay in a very tight indoor environment. The odorless, colorless — yet potentially deadly _ gas results from the burning of wood, natural gas, oil and kerosene. To keep carbon …

Chinese medicinal herbs a niche market for US farmers

Sunday, December 27, 2015

DELMAR, N.Y. — Expanding interest in traditional Chinese medicine in the United States is fostering a potentially lucrative new niche market for farmers who plant the varieties of herbs, flowers and trees sought by practitioners. While almost all …

Audubon report on bird sightings for western Massachusetts

Friday, December 25, 2015

This week’s bird sightings from the Western Voice of Audubon: Reports continue of red-headed woodpeckers in Longmeadow, short-eared owls in Northampton and white-fronted and cackling gees in Hampden. Barrow’s goldeneyes were seen on the Connecticut River in Agawam and Hadley. A long-eared owl and four common redpolls were …

Get Growing: Tending a new Christmas rose

Friday, December 18, 2015

Since childhood I have been intrigued by the legend of the Christmas rose. My parents had a tiny book about the legend. At the time I assumed the rose was the rose that blooms in summer so I …

Columnist Cheryl Wilson retires, reflects on three decades of writing about Valley homes and gardens

Friday, December 18, 2015

The time has come to say goodbye. I started writing regularly about gardens for the Amherst Bulletin in 1984 and houses and gardens for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in 1989. Thirty years is a long time for meeting …

Tips for keeping a pet-friendly home clean and odor-free

Friday, December 18, 2015

A pet will fill your home with love, but it will also fill your home with fur, odors and lots of mess. A recent study by North Carolina State University researchers found that homes with dogs have more …

Living Smart: What should you do if you have a holiday emergency?

Friday, December 18, 2015

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, but as luck would have it, there was no hot air (thanks to the furnace dying on Christmas morning). What’s a homeowner to do if they have such an …

Gift ideas for the gardener in your life

Friday, December 4, 2015

There is no shortage of trowels, hoses and birdhouses out there just waiting to be wrapped up for your favorite gardener. Following is a varied selection of gift ideas, from simple to a splurge and practical to indulgent. …

Living Smart: How to hang Christmas lights on your garage door

Friday, December 4, 2015

When hanging holiday lights around your garage door, stay safe and protect your home by using hooks and clips designed for the task. Follow basic safety tips for a worry-free holiday. Don’t staple or nail to the trim …

Your Place: Close gaps before reinsulating, especially in basement

Friday, December 4, 2015

I’ve been reinsulating some spaces around our house that the very cold winters of recent years have shown are not as tight as they should be. One thing I’ve been doing — thanks to helpful advice over the …

Books for gardeners: A sampling of new releases for the holiday gift list

Friday, December 4, 2015

Each year there is a parade of new garden books released in the fall for holiday giving. They run the gamut from gorgeous coffee table books to make you feel you are an inferior gardener to practical ones …