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Get Growing: Colors of spring

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blue is often regarded as a melancholy color, i.e. “feeling blue,” but who can feel sad when there is a carpet of blue Scilla siberica or Chionodoxa sardensis covering your garden? The other morning my spirits were lifted when I found my annual patch of glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa) by the kitchen steps. The usual C. luciliae is lavender blue, but 30 … 0

Your Place: Ice-melt products stained pavers; what to do?

Friday, April 18, 2014

The ever-genial Mitch Cohen, of Cohen Hardware in Philadelphia, emailed me recently, reporting that many customers were asking him how to get ice melt’s white residue out of their brick pavers. I don’t use anything on my brick pavers, so I can’t speak from experience. And when I shovel the sidewalks and the driveway, I remove snow from the lawn in a six-inch … 0

Right at Home: Victorian garden style lives on

Friday, April 18, 2014

Those drawn to 19th century style may be pleased to learn that vintage garden decor is a trend this spring and summer. The look involves florals, weathered wood, wire, period typography, bird motifs and accessories, and other elements with a Victorian vibe, says Tom Mirabile, a trend watcher for Lifetime Brands. The appeal … 0

Get Growing: Orchid show

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This is the weekend for which local orchid enthusiasts wait all year. The Amherst Orchid Society presents its stunning annual show of these tropical beauties at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton. Hours are 9 … 0

Your Place: Best times to paint home interiors

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A reader asks: “What is the best month to have interior rooms painted?” She and her husband are seniors and not in the best of health. They are planning to have the work done professionally, and also plan to remove old carpeting and have their wood floors redone. … 0

A mosaic-loving family’s journey of many tiles

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The transformation started simply enough, with a molded ceramic tile of a flower framed by Celtic tracery. Neither Aziz nor Louise Farnam can recall now where they found the periwinkle square, but, at their son Amiel’s urging, they … 0

Get Growing: Primroses

Thursday, February 13, 2014

If you are longing for a bit of color in your life as well as a whiff of spring, buy yourself a primrose plant. Local garden centers and supermarkets are featuring these cheery plants at bargain prices. Surely … 0

Your Place: Relative humidity indoors determines likelihood of mold

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A few weeks back, a reader contacted me with a concern that the portable humidifier his daughter was running in a bedroom could contribute to a mold problem, although he had seen no evidence of one yet. In my household, we have run humidifiers in bedrooms because, for … 0

Wild weather feeds homeowners’ anxiety over damage from trees

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nancy Owens takes no chances with trees since a windstorm propelled a large one through the roof of her Long Island, N.Y., home 15 or so years ago. So when a neighbor whose property abuts Owens’ Maine summer … 0

Get Growing: Snow can’t stop the green movement

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A little bit of snow failed to deter avid gardeners from attending a talk on “naturescaping” Saturday at the Hadley Garden Center. There were about 40 people, men and women of all ages, learning how to do without … 0

‘Never move again’ After years abroad, couple plants roots in updated, Colonial Granby home

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Foreign service officers move to new assignments every two or three years so Jonathan “Jock” and Laurie Conly wanted a sense of permanence when he retired from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). They also wanted a … 0

Your Place: Keeping indoor humidity at a pleasant level

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Question: My daughter and her 5-year-old sleep in a bedroom with a hardwood floor, filled with clothing and stuffed animals. She recently added a small table-top air filter and a humidifier that she activates every night, putting a half-gallon of water into the air in a 12-hour period. … 0

Your Place: Neighbor should replace hedge he removed

Friday, January 17, 2014

Question: For the last 13 years, there has been a hedgerow between my property and my neighbor’s. Two months ago, my neighbor, without my knowledge or consent, cut down the hedgerow. I have spoken with the neighbor regarding the incident, and he has verbally agreed to correct the … 0