Home and Garden

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Late bloomer

Every once in a while, a truly remarkable person crosses your path someone who lingers in your brain long after your encounter. Henry Remple is like that. Soft-spoken and with a fluff of curly white hair, the 93-year-old Remple fascinated me with talk of his life and his garden.For decades ...

Attack of the fruit fly

The hot dry weather has not slowed the fall harvest. Many gardeners are still able to enjoy a vine-ripe tomato or cucumber.Unfortunately, this late in the season when harvesting the produce fresh fruit is not all that is being brought into the home. An abundance of overripe fruit outdoors has ...

Pachamama’s recipe featured in Bon Apetit magazine

For several years I have followed the monthly R.S.V.P. feature in Bon Apetit magazine, in which readers ask the magazine's editors to publish the recipe for some tasty dish that appears on a restaurant menu somewhere. It's free advertising for the restaurant, because the reader wouldn't be ...

Red, green not just for holidays anymore

Even in the middle of summer, I miss the reds and greens of the winter holiday season. To remedy this, I've learned to decorate my home in those colors, the most recognized complementary color scheme out there.Believe me, there is nothing like a red room to give your home a decorator feel. It's ...

Fruitful harvest

One of the nicest things about September is Labor Day, the tribute to workers. The other nice thing is the cool weather of September, the change we so welcome. Gone are the sultry days of August, sapping energy from gardens and gardeners alike. In their place are more comfortable gardening ...

K-31 seed: productive grass maker

The hot summer sun and less-than-normal rainfall have left many lawns in dire need of repair. Luckily, fall is traditionally the ideal time to renovate cool season lawns such as fescue, Bluegrass, and ryegrass. The mild night temperatures and timely rains create the ideal growing condition. ...

Rooms & Roots

This week, "Home and Away" host Cathy Hamilton, right, takes an early look at holiday decorating with Mary Carol Garrity, author of the new book "Nell Hill's Christmas at Home," to be released next month. Garrity will share tips on giving new life to your old holiday decor.

Gardeners dealt difficult season

By the end of August, a vegetable garden is an unsightly thing. I suspect this is why the restrictive covenants in many high-class subdivisions prohibit people from having vegetable gardens.You might think it's because the powers that be fear anyone plowing up the seamless turf that rolls down ...

Don’t forget whimsy when building cabinets

I believe there is room in every home for a whimsical cabinet. Certainly, we can all use a little more storage, and a fantasy cabinet can provide it.When Matt Fox, my partner, and I start a project like this one, we always have an inspiration piece. For our whimsical lighthouse cabinet we had a ...

Power takes over hand tools

What's new in hand tools?Plenty. And the bywords are power and functional design, trends owing to an aging population and the legion of women entering the ranks of do-it-yourselfers.According to one industry expert, the renaissance in hand tools is just now gathering steam."Power has taken over ...

Home tips

You want a way to clean your rain gutters, and the answer lots of elbow grease isn't what you want to hear. We can't help you if your problem is pine needles, but we do have a suggestion if you're dealing with almost all other kinds of leaves.Our secret is gutter screens. Screens attached to ...

Defending your turf

Our lawns have taken a beating this summer, receiving only meager amounts of rain and enduring days of triple-digit temperatures. To make matters worse, no doubt pets, children and other summer fun traffic have trampled to near death a few patches.Besides the impromptu baseball diamonds ...

Mosquitoes offer dangers

Almost every gardener has had the unpleasant experience of being bitten by a mosquito. The itchy red welt that develops is anything but enjoyable. And now that the West Nile Virus has moved into our community it can be downright dangerous. Mosquitoes have long been the vector of many serious ...

Native art collection defines couple’s decor

This week's "Home and Away" highlights a local couple's extensive collection of Native American art, costumes and artifacts. Symbolic of their tribal traditions, the collection tells a very personal story of marriage and family.

Banana’s appeal depends on ripening stage

As a topic of discussion at my house, bananas are as volatile as religion and politics are in other quarters and it's not because bananas give off more ethylene gas as they ripen than do other fruit.Everyone in my family eats a banana almost every day, and that's where the trouble starts.My ...

Mailbox gardening

Like the postman's creed, the well-planned mailbox garden endures rain, snow, sleet, hail and dark of night. Season after season, it delivers its cheerful message through flowering perennials, flowing vines and colorful annuals.Of course, plants that are tough enough to survive their curbside ...

Rooms and roots

This week, "Home & Away" host Cathy Hamilton, right, travels to Topeka for a tour of The Woodward, a "spirited" bed and breakfast. This Tudor Revival-style mansion was built by former Lawrence resident Chester Woodward, who is said to still "visit" the house occasionally to check up on ...

Pest control can be baffling

Many gardeners have been battling a variety of pests this season and even the best gardener can run into tough times once in a while.So, if you are one of the frustrated gardeners reflecting on the season and trying to figure out how you could have done better, here are some possible reasons ...

Buckwheat is good to the soil and your taste buds

Nature clothes bare soil to protect it and improve it so why don't you? If you let nature choose the wardrobe in unused areas of the garden, you get weeds. Plant buckwheat instead two or three handfuls every 100 square feet.You're sowing buckwheat as a cover crop, a plant grown to improve the ...

Add interest by combining painting techniques

You know the old saying, "If one is good, two must be great!" Well, that's certainly not true with everything in life, but it can be true if you're talking about painting techniques.Matt Fox, my partner, and I have used all sorts of painting techniques in combination, and we really like the ...