Hello, it's 08:46PM April 24, 2014

LatestHomeAndGarden

Salvaged wood gives homes new purpose

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Reclaimed lumber is among the most environmentally friendly building materials because, as any 12-year-old can explain, recycling is good for us and the planet. The wood is beautiful. A floor of salvaged antique heart pine glows with the patina of decades, even centuries. Every piece of barn siding is uniquely weathered, which gives a one-of-a-kind appeal to walls and furniture. And, say Paul Atkinson …

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WSU Master Gardeners: Make the most of your garden space by growing up

Q. I have a very small area for my vegetable gardening and want to produce as much as I can. Do you have some tips for me? A. We have several ideas for you. The first might be to look upward. You can improve yields, grow bigger vegetables and make more efficient use of growing space through vertical gardening. Many plants will grow on trellises, including peas, beans, cucumbers and squash. As they grow, train them o …

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Get crafty this Easter with a DIY centerpiece

The only thing you need to be a crafter, I told a friend recently, is a hot-glue gun. “I’m qualified!” she told me, somewhat surprised and a little doubtful. But it’s true. Hot glue can do almost anything. I’ve owned my own glue gun since I was 8 and in something of a craft phase. It has sat in a box with its remaining glue sticks since I was 12 and left the craft phase. But ol’ blue still worked when I plugged it in …

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Tacoma designers take tiny gardens to new heights

TACOMA — In a small store window on South Ninth Street in downtown Tacoma there’s an unusual landscape. Strewn across hot white sand like abandoned objects on a “Star Wars” planet sit a Bulbosa airplant, lime-green moss and a large quartz crystal. Nearby is a tiny forest, with lush ferns, lichen, lemony Scotch moss and, arching over everything, a curly ram’s horn. As in, from a sheep. It’s the window of Moss + Mineral …

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In the Garden: Peonies a hardy, colorful and long-lasting choice

Some perennials may come and go in my garden, but not the peonies. I remember them blooming in my grandmother’s garden, and they could very well be blooming there still. With unmatched cold hardiness and few demands in the way of care, peonies can endure for generations. The show here begins in early April, when tree peonies unfurl shimmering petals of ruffled silk, followed a few weeks later by the glorious intersecti …

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Bringing home the Year of the Horse

LAS VEGAS — A new kind of equine elegance galloped into the Winter Las Vegas Home Furnishings and Gift Market in February. It wasn’t only the Year of Horse on the Chinese Lunar calendar, it was clearly the year of horse decor, as well. According to Chinese astrology, this is the year of the wood horse, applicable to people born in 1954 and 2014. (The year of the horse comes every 12 years, and is characterized, in tur …

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WSU Master Gardeners: Let nature do its job with no-till approach

It is hard to overemphasize the importance of good soil preparation. Clean up your garden spaces, remove winter debris, add, fluff and top off existing mulch and spade-in compost to your vegetable garden. In turning your soil, less is more is a good rule to follow, always remembering the complex microbial balance your soil is attempting to achieve. If you choose to use a power tiller in your garden, it is generally adv …

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In the Garden: Drop the shears and back away from the shrub!

The weather has turned glorious, and often gardeners, driven to do something, grab the pruners and vigorously start working over a shrub or tree, as if the act was a rite of spring. STOP! Cass Turnbull, master arborist, educator and founder of Seattle’s PlantAmnesty, brought an emphatic message to Yakima last week. Ornamental trees should never be topped and shrubs should rarely be sheared. These practices not only …

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Master Gardeners: Garden a great place to help planet

As we think about preparing our gardens for planting this year, we would like to pose a question to all of our readers. Are you a good steward of the earth? Do you set a good example for your friends, family and neighborhood? We, as members of Yakima County Master Gardeners, thought we could claim that right, but after hearing Mikal Heintz from the Solid Waste Department at the Terrace Heights Landfill talk to us, we r …

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In the Garden: Grasses are superstars in the garden

In recent years, gardeners have fallen in love with ornamental grasses, and for good reason. Grasses earn their keep in the garden, asking nothing more in return than an annual trim or periodic division. In the next few weeks, pencil in some time for their spring maintenance. Cut back cool-season grasses in late winter or early spring, when they start growing. Leave foliage in place over the winter, and as soon as th …

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Enjoy the wait and embrace spring

Calling all community gardens, existing or still in the planning stage: Yakima County Master Gardeners would like to learn about the level of interest and involvement with community gardens in Yakima County and we need your input. Are you involved with a community garden through your neighborhood association, church, business or other venue? Please call the Master Gardener Clinic at 509-574-1604 and leave a message wit …

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Fatsia offers so many attributes for today’s landscape

The fatsia or Japanese aralia has always been one of favorite plants because of its large palmate leaves that lend a touch of the tropics. After watching it during its bloom cycle leading up to January’s big freeze, I have an appreciation for the way it brought in the butterflies. I can’t find any source that lists fatsia as a plant for butterflies, but there they were feasting on the exotic-looking blooms last fall f …

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Seattle artisan takes ‘rust and grit and grime’ and makes furniture

SEATTLE — It’s barely 5 p.m. on a week night and the buzzy Rock Creek restaurant in Seattle’s artsy Fremont neighborhood is already filling up. But Michael Marian is in no rush to claim a spot. He’s outside, peering at the miner’s grate atop the front stairs and the barn wood below them. “If the boards on the front popped out, I’d replace them,” he said. “But in the summer, they’ll dry up and shrink.” Once inside, he …

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WSU Master Gardeners

Are you frustrated with spending money on vegetable seedlings and being limited in the varieties of vegetables you grow? You can generally save money by starting your own seeds indoors … More →