Hello, it's 01:20PM December 22, 2014

LatestHomeAndGarden

Holiday arrangements star in historic districts

Holiday open houses are inspirational in many ways. They get you in the spirit of the season and feature decorating ideas you can use at home. And, you get to know a little more about the histories behind the homes. In southeastern Virginia, December open houses in historic Colonial Williamsburg and Gloucester provide the backdrop for many fresh ideas for holiday arrangements. Pieces are made by the hosting garden clu …

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Carol Barany: The legends of Christmas plants

These days, who has time for gardening? You’ll find me bringing the winter garden inside, decking the halls with fragrant, fresh cut evergreens, berries and cones, accompanied by “The Holly and the Ivy” (hummed over and over again). Across centuries and cultures, the lore of many of our favorite plants has woven itself into our Christmas carols and traditions. The Romans decorated trees and used holly in their exuber …

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Interior designer creates calm spaces for autistic children

MINNEAPOLIS — A.J. Paron-Wildes’ home, a walk-out rambler in suburban Oak Park Heights, Minn., is a study in calm — all clean, uncluttered spaces and earthy, neutral hues that echo the autumn leaves framing the view of the St. Croix River. On an autumn afternoon, daughter Eva, 6, is having an after-school snack, while son Devin, 19, sketches intently, seated at the studio desk in his orderly bedroom. This peaceful env …

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U.S. Botanic Garden holiday display is naturally fascinating

WASHINGTON — A bold horse named Cincinnati stands on a marble platform in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. His mane and tail blow in a cold breeze on an overcast November morning. The bronze horse and his rider (Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant) have weathered to a noble dark green. Across the street, inside the U.S. Botanic Garden stands a small replica of the horse and rider, in front of a replica of …

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Cards that say more than ‘happy holidays’

It’s that time of year again: the mad rush to get the house decorated, presents bought and — for me, the most dreaded of all — the addressing and mailing of the family’s annual holiday photo card. You might just tell me to skip it, but that would let down relatives and friends who, even in this overexposed, picture-sharing world, may get a glimpse of our family only from that one mailing. All the more reason that I lik …

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In the Garden: The science behind autumn spectacle

After living for almost 90 years in Buffalo, N.Y., my dad moved to Yakima this year to be closer to our family. The two of us have spent hours at the window, spying on birds he’s never seen before cavort at his feeders. Lately, we’ve been dazzled as nature colored the trees a fiery spectrum of not just the usual red, gold and bronze, but purple, black, orange, pink, magenta and blue. Puzzled to explain the process beh …

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Getting that perfect holiday card pic



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Master Gardener events

Arboretum to hold annual Luminaria walk two days this year Take a magical candlelit walk through the wintry wonderland of the Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Drive, with more than a thousand candles lighting your way. This annual free family event will be held from 6-10 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13 and features live entertainment by local artists along with refreshments. Call YAA at 509-248-7337 for more information. WSU Extensi …

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Carol Barany: Leave those leaves alone

Whenever I see a stray plastic bag of leaves on the curb, I want to bring it home with me. Leaves are one of nature’s most helpful gifts. For me, more desirable than a garden without an errant leaf in sight is a garden with rich living earth, teeming with organic matter. If you value tidiness more than soil fertility and meticulously scoop up every fallen leaf, you’ve taken away the vital material that soil needs to r …

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Carol Barany: Time to save your succulents

If you enjoy creating dazzling ornamental gardens in containers, you’ve probably discovered tender succulents. These days, Echeverias, Aeoniums, Crassulas, Kalanchoes and Graptoverias are coveted and collected. The brilliant colors and amazing sculptural forms are irresistible, and you can never have too many. But vulnerable to even a light frost, these plants must be overwintered indoors. If you haven’t brought yours …

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Food-scrap recycling gaining ground

Karen Rozmus stood in front of a room full of municipal and county officials and experts on solid waste disposal and talked about my cantaloupe rinds. Not my cantaloupe rinds specifically. But the food scraps of the 725 households in Oak Park, Ill., participating in the village’s food scrap composting program, one of which is mine. I listened proudly at the recent Transforming Waste in Chicagoland symposium, organized …

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Shedding light on ‘Ask This Old House’

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — When Steve Fening wanted to install landscaping lighting at his house, he didn’t call an electrician. He contacted “Ask This Old House.” Fening emailed the PBS show in August after reading it was planning a trip to Northeast Ohio and was looking for homeowners to appear on the program. In late September, an “Ask This Old House” crew spent the day at his home, filming a segment on landscape lighting …

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WSU Extension/Master Gardeners: Think garlic in October

October is a great time to start thinking about ordering and planting your garlic, which will be harvested next summer. Did you ever wonder how garlic got its name? The word comes from the Old English garleac, which means “spear leek.” Garlic is a root crop and member of the onion family, as are shallots, chives and leeks. Native to Central Asia, garlic is a centuries-old staple in the Mediterranean region as well as …

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