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

Friday, August 15, 2014

Abraham Lincoln’s grand- daughter Jessie created a beautiful garden in 1907 at Hildene, her family’s summer home in Vermont. Designed to be seen from her mother’s second floor sitting room, the parterre garden was like stained glass in a cathedral. Low privet hedges enclosed beds filled with colorful perennials and annuals in separate hues. One bed would have blue flowers, … 0

Right at Home: Style tips for off-campus living and getting along

Friday, August 15, 2014

For college kids who move off-campus, learning to accommodate the styles and needs of housemates is good practice for life after school. Take Erica Weidrick and Caitrin Curtis, upperclassmen at the University of North Carolina, who are moving into a new town house with a third friend. While they’d all been living together … 0

Your Place: Best laundry detergents among lowest cost, study says

Friday, August 15, 2014

Here’s something of a novelty: A recent study of laundry detergents by Consumer Reports found that some of the best stain fighters were also among the least expensive, including wallet-friendly warehouse-store brands Member’s Mark and Kirkland. In an article in its August issue, Consumer Reports said that while Tide Ultra Stain Release earned the highest score, Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean, a Sam’s Club … 0

Bathroom grab bars get stylish

Friday, May 16, 2014

The renovation of the master bathroom in my 83-year-old father’s new house turned out beautifully, with a frameless glass shower and handmade ceramic tile accents. Neither of us wanted to make it look institutional with a grab bar. … 0

Spotlight your home’s best side: Staging helps it sell faster, experts say

Friday, May 16, 2014

Maria Sapuppo needed to sell her comfy bi-level with five bedrooms and three bathrooms last year, but her real estate agent warned it looked a little too “lived-in” as it was and suggested staging it. Sapuppo, a River Vale, N.J., mother of two, agreed since she said she … 0

Get Growing: Bulb foliage

Friday, May 9, 2014

Please, please, please do not cut back that dying daffodil foliage. Or the foliage of tulips, crocuses, snowdrops, iris reticulata or other spring-flowering bulbs. “But it looks awful,” you say. Tough, is my response. If you want your … 0

Your Place: Salty ocean air can harm air conditioners

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Jersey Shore homeowner wrote me several weeks ago about replacing an air-conditioning unit and expressed disappointment that I didn’t show up to install a new unit guaranteed to last 100 years for free. Yet the problem of salty ocean air doing in air-conditioning units before their time … 0

In May, let a thousand plant sales bloom: Get the scoop on plant sales in your area

Friday, May 9, 2014

May is the season for area plant sales featuring perennials, shrubs and trees dug from your neighbors’ gardens. The sales benefit schools and libraries, historical societies and beautification projects. They are organized by garden clubs, women’s clubs, library … 0

More plant sales in the Valley

Friday, May 9, 2014

∎ MAY 10: Williamsburg: School support group, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., soil testing for acidity level (pH) by master gardeners from 9 a.m. to noon. All proceeds go to schools including a new greenhouse. To donate plants call Elaine Hyde at 268-7826. ∎ MAY 17: Pelham: Pelham … 0

Ask a Designer: The evolving outdoor kitchen

Friday, May 9, 2014

For years, it was enough to park a barbecue grill next to a picnic table on a patio and call it an “outdoor kitchen.” But over the past decade, Americans have taken backyard cooking and dining to a … 0

Initially yours: monogrammed gifts for mom

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thanks to modern technology, we’re now able to monogram just about anything, cheaply and easily. Teens can initial their water bottles, kids can get their names on lunch boxes, dads have their own golf balls, and moms . … 0

Your Place: Condensing furnace exhaust vapors can freeze near chimney

Friday, May 2, 2014

A reminder: Asking a question here should not be a substitute for hiring a professional to handle a problem. The most important function of this column is as a forum for ideas. Some problems look alike but often are not exactly the same, so one person’s solution may … 0

On Gardening: Revel in the beauty of the hardy ice plant

Friday, May 2, 2014

If you have been to California you’ve probably seen the shockingly colorful display of ice plants blooming everywhere. Now, after growing them at two different locations in the Southeast, I am convinced the rest of us can revel … 0