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Mild weather allows us time to finish work before winter

The wonderfully mild temperatures have allowed us to spend one last weekend outdoors. Although many gardeners have put their tools away for the winter, there are still a few gardening chores that need tending. Here is a brief list of flower-bed to-do's that need to be finished before winter ...

Winter garden tips

Structure and lights. "The overall tendency, in all seasons in the garden, is to bring the inside out, to decorate the garden the same way you'd decorate the house," says Eric Johnson, communications manager of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. So, think interesting garden chairs and ...

Kitchen & Garden: Institutional dining tests social skills

For quite some time I've been intrigued by the cultural phenomenon of institutional food service and what it says about us socially. What I'm talking about here are meals for the masses that are usually served in a food line. For most of us, the school cafeteria is our main point of reference ...

Out from the gutter

The thing that makes fall so beautiful is the very thing that can create a nuisance for homeowners. Leaves the lovely red, orange and yellow foliage that entices us to take a leisurely drive to the country just to marvel in their beauty can wreak havoc with our home's guttering system. As ...

Winter weeds need to be controlled

The recent rains and cool nights have done wonders for our cool season lawns.Unfortunately, they are exactly what winter annual weeds need as well. As we turn our gardening focus to preparing flower beds, vegetable gardens, and houseplants for the long winter, we need to take one last look ...

Baby room can sustain for lifetime

New York ? Decorating a newborn's room can be fun, exciting and expensive.And then just as the pastel paint dries, your baby becomes a toddler who favors cartoon characters and bright colors. And before you know it, that child will be a teen-ager who prefers dramatic decor to match his dramatic ...

Designer offers tips for all ages

Dallas-based designer Stephanie Anne offer these decorating tips for the ages:Baby's roomInstead of using all pink for a girl, use yellow, green, purple and blue for versatility when the baby is older. These colors are easier to coordinate with fabrics. (Rugs help pull together many different ...

Kitchen & Garden: Persimmons fruitful in fall

While October frosts signal the official end of the gardening season, they also usher in persimmon season, an event that generally goes unnoticed by all but a few hearty foragers and backyard persimmon enthusiasts.This time of year ripening persimmons can be collected in the woods and from ...

Wild about wildlife

While winter dormancy for many gardens is a hiatus from beauty and function, Thelma Chapman's garden loses nothing but a few blooms. In fact, it remains a habitat to wildlife, offering a safe and secure home to many creatures during the cold months.Almost all the plants in Chapman's garden are ...

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 ...