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Home / Garden

Living Smart: Lead paint is still a threat, but it shouldn’t be

Friday, October 17, 2014

If you or someone you know is planning work on a pre-1978 home, please make time to take precautions against the possibility of lead poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 500,000 U.S children ages 1 to 5 have elevated lead levels in their blood. Lead paint, estimated to exist in 40 percent of the U.S. housing stock, is considered the most hazardous source of lead …

Art Deco 1920s house ‘Like something out of a Hollywood movie’

Friday, October 17, 2014

Richard Silvers grew up admiring the palatial white mansion at 1830 Beechwood Blvd. in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill, never imagining he might live there. But fate intervened, and when the home came up for sale in 2002, he and his wife, Nancy, took a tour. She loved its location and privacy while he saw …

Get Growing: Voles, mice and rabbits

Friday, October 17, 2014

Winter is just around the corner and little rodents as well as rabbits and squirrels are preparing for cold weather. Rabbits don’t hibernate and you can see their tracks in the snow all winter. They do need to eat and will nibble on any vegetation they can see. So will voles and mice …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …