Home and Garden

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Boxelder bugs wreak havoc in winter

Many of us gardeners are preparing to spend the next five months indoors, out of the elements where it is warm and dry. Unfortunately, there are several outdoor pests preparing to do the same. Many are looking for protected locations to spend the winter months. Leading the way is the notorious ...

Carving pumpkins can be scary tradition

I was walking into the supermarket the other day when a dad and a couple of kids passed me, wheeling a grocery cart of jack-o'-lanterns out to their car. The kids were ecstatic, while their father looked like he was being led off to his own execution.I couldn't help but laugh. Better you than ...

Courtyard care

Much has been said of heroes in the past year. Americans across the county have embraced their spirit and praised their work. Undoubtedly, the efforts of some people remain unsung. Elaine Fellenstein is one such person. Single-handedly, she has beautified the gardens at the United Way of ...

Fall is time to fertilize spring bulbs

The sunny days and mild temperatures have helped make fall gardening chores rather enjoyable. Many gardeners are finishing up those outdoor chores in anticipation of the approaching cold weather. So, if you are making a last-minute check list, here are a few suggestions to help you put your ...

Readers share success stories

The reader mailbag has been filling up, largely as a result of last week's column on sweet potatoes and my diatribe the previous week about the ineffective compost maker I bought through the mail. Before I share that correspondence, however, let me put out a call for more.I've recently had a ...

From pool to pond

"I think anybody could do it for about $1,000," says Donna Kent.Well, maybe. If you were willing (with your own hands) to position and cement about 6 tons of rock, to design and build a five-tier fountain, to haul and dump truckloads of dirt and to plant several hundred tropical bushes and ...

Make compost bin easy on yourself

Cleaning the garden at this time of year reaps untold treasures since the fading garden provides abundant material for composting. Leaves, grass clippings and perennials past their prime are plentiful. Shortly, the annuals, bitten by frost, will be as unsightly in these dying days of autumn as ...

Fallen leaves turn clay dirt into rich soil

The recent rains and cool evenings are a welcomed relief from the heat and drought of summer. Also a welcomed sight are the falling leaves. Not because they signal the end of summer, but because they can be converted into precious organic matter.Leaves are a wonderful and inexpensive way of ...

Rooms & roots

This week, "Home and Away" host Cathy Hamilton travels to Baldwin to follow a crew from HGTV which was filming a house built by Lawrence architect Dan Rockhill.The unique, contemporary home will be featured on an upcoming episode of "Dream Builders."A new show airs at 6:30 p.m. each Monday on ...

Dynamic room needs inspiration

When I mentioned to my partner Matt Fox that I wanted to add drama to one of our projects, he immediately began looking through some of the old plays he'd been involved in while studying theater in college. Much to his chagrin, that wasn't the type of drama I was talking about.I was yearning ...

Fall brings craving for sweet potatoes

We've had just enough cool weather in recent weeks to tease my appetite into autumn mode. When the thermometer registers in the 50s at night, I can feel myself beginning to crave the slightly denser foods we generally eat in fall and winter.It's just as well that I'm not hankering for a garden ...

Time to tidy up

Whew! This past gardening season might well be one for the record books.Nonetheless, we have endured and so did our gardens, more or less. But, by now our gardens are well on their way to dormancy, save for the fall bloomers.Lest we turn our thoughts to indoor activities too quickly, remember a ...

Here are planting tips for spring show

One of the most welcome sights after a long, drab winter is a mass planting of spring-flowering bulbs. However, these show-stopping displays begin long before the warm days of April and May. Late September through October is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as crocus, tulips and ...

Magazine’s ComposTumbler waste of time, energy, money

Every week lately, when I've emerged from the den after writing my column, I've been met with a cold, hard stare and the question, "Did you do it yet? Did you finally come clean?"The grand inquisitor is my significant other, who is relishing the fact that the ComposTumbler I bought last year ...

Fabric bags a fun way to give gifts

Early in the holiday season I am always full of plans.In September, I'm positive I'm going to make my kids' Halloween costumes. But on the weekend before trick or treat, I'm at the nearest discount store trying to cobble something creative out of what's left over.Last year my son was Rugrats ...

Pumpkins perk up fall decorating

Autumn decorating for your home is fun and natural, when you use items such as colorful Indian corn, gourds, miniature and full-size pumpkins and shocks of wheat.But part of the season calls for no-holds-barred whimsy, when the bootiful and spooktacular spirit of Halloween takes over. You can ...

Women getting involved in home improvements

Move over, gentlemen. You've got company on home-improvement projects.According to Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, women have muscled their way into the traditionally male bastion of projects, improvements and repairs.In a national survey of women homeowners, 94 percent say they've completed ...

Totally toadlily

Overshadowed by more popular autumn blooming plants like mums and asters and passed over because of its name, the toadlily plant (Tricyrtis hirta) sometimes gets lost in the fall shuffle. However, this hardy perennial deserves a place in the fall garden.Toadlily is an attractive plant from its ...

Damage control: fall period critical to rebuilding lawn

Unfortunately, we are ending an unusually dry summer with and unusually dry fall.The lack of rain has made it difficult to overseed and fertilize cool season lawns. Nevertheless, it is time to start helping what is left of the lawns recover. Cool weather and timely rains are the stimulus for ...

Toppings add flavor, calories to spuds

Potatoes often get a bad rap for being fattening. When people go on diets, potatoes are one of the first things to go, as if potatoes are some sort of guilty pleasure that will make or break a weight-loss plan.This is strange reasoning indeed. Given the choice between blowing a diet over a ...