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Garden Variety: Bald cypress trees changing colors, shedding needles

Bald cypress trees usually draw extra attention during this time of year because their needles are changing colors and dropping to the ground like the leaves of many broadleaf trees. Since most needled trees keep their green needles year-round, this behavior seems unusual, but it’s completely ...

Garden Variety: Emerald ash borer infestation expands in Kansas

Last week, the Kansas Department of Agriculture announced that they had confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Spring Hill. The finding of this invasive exotic pest will lead to expansion of a federal quarantine and is a reminder to area residents with ash trees on their property to ...

Garden Variety: How to winterize your garden tools and equipment

The arrival of freezing temperatures is a good time to give attention to garden tools and equipment. Garden hoses should be drained, tools such as shovels should be cleaned to prevent the onset of rust, and mowers and other pieces of power equipment need to have fuel drained or treated. The ...

Homes: Couple find cozy bungalow, community in East Lawrence

After moving from a west Lawrence apartment to an East Lawrence bungalow, Kristen Allen and Jake Bellucci felt they had relocated to a different state. There was that much of a difference going from a contemporary apartment complex to a tree-lined, neighborhood just a block from Lawrence’s ...

Garden Variety: How to transition your plants indoors for winter

This week’s frosty overnight temperatures have had gardeners and plant enthusiasts scrambling to move tropical plants and tender annuals indoors for the winter. Protection from the cold may seem like the most important thing for keeping sensitive plants alive for the winter, but you should ...

Garden Variety: Arranging the perfect floral display for the cold season

Flowerpots and other containers are a great way to add vertical interest and color to an entryway, porch, patio or other outdoor area. Gardeners often use annual flowers in containers to get the most blooms throughout the summer, but these plantings fade quickly with the arrival of cool fall ...

Garden Variety: Get ready for the annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour

The 15th annual Kaw Valley Farm Tour is next weekend, Oct. 5 and 6. The farm tour is a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the diversity of agriculture in the region, meet area farmers, and learn about the practices of raising various crops and animals. This year, the tour ...

Lawrence homes: Sharing a roof works for this mother and adult daughter

There was one question Vicki Weseman and her daughter Leah Wisdom needed to answer before they bought a house together in Lawrence. “We had to decide: Could we live together?” Weseman said. After giving the idea some thought, they agreed that if they found the right house they could do ...

Garden Variety: Choose the right mulch to benefit your soil and plants

Mulch is commonly used in landscapes and gardens because of the many benefits it provides to plants and soil. Fall is an especially good time to apply it. Gardeners often ask what materials are best for mulching and how much to use. The answers depend on how and where the mulch will be used, ...

Garden Variety: Take steps to protect plants from root rot

Root rot diseases are common among all kinds of plants, and this year’s excessive rainfall is making it easier for many of the causal organisms of these diseases to proliferate. Because root rot diseases often kill the plants they infect and control after infection is difficult, prevention ...

Garden Variety: Blister beetles quickly devour vegetable gardens

When the leaves of tomato plants and other vegetables are stripped very quickly in late summer, the most likely culprit is an infestation of blister beetles. Blister beetles are about one-half inch long with narrow, cylindrical bodies. They may be gray, black or striped depending on the ...

Neglected eyesore transformed into a functional home

For years, nobody seemed interested in the house at 646 Rhode Island St., except the pigeons who roosted inside. The house — with its wraparound front porch, just a block from downtown — sat empty and on the market for years. Pipes had burst in a second-floor bathroom and soaked the ...

North Lawrence home is a family heirloom

Marvin and Kathy Pine have become curators of what appears to be a living history museum. It's also their home. In a time when more people are moving toward a minimalist lifestyle, the home at 1741 East 1500 Road on the edge of North Lawrence tells the story of the Pine family through a ...

Garden Variety: How to alleviate plant stress due to drainage issues

Recent rains and cloudy days in the Lawrence area have resulted in standing water and wet soil in many yards and gardens. Excess water fills air space in the soil and suffocates plant roots, causing stress and making plants more susceptible to disease. This is a good time to identify areas ...

KU’s Studio 804 ready to show off 2 new homes in eastern Lawrence

Two new sleek and minimalist homes built in eastern Lawrence's Brook Creek neighborhood are ready to join a long list of homes designed by University of Kansas students. Since August, 15 KU architecture students participating in the Studio 804 program have been building the two new homes and ...

Homes: Owners believe they are just caretakers of restored early pioneer cottage

Robert Sterling’s neat craftsmanship remained a selling point 146 years after he laid the stone for the small cottage at 1117 Connecticut St. Warren Hays and Melody Stratton purchased the house in June 2015, after moving to Lawrence from the Washington, D.C., area for Stratton’s job at the ...

Garden Variety: Tips for raised garden beds

Gardeners and garden guides often refer to “raised beds” as a method of gardening with little explanation of what these beds really are, how to use them or, more importantly, how to build them. Raised beds are a great way to improve soil for food crops (fruits, vegetables and herbs) in ...

Go, See, Do: Sertoma 48 BarBQ Cook-Off, Parade of Homes and more

Nearly 50 barbecue teams will square off at Saturday’s Sertoma 48 BarBQ Cook-Off, serving up their best pork, brisket, chicken and ribs for a chance to compete in the American Royal's World Series of Barbecue in September. For $6 each round, visitors can taste the contest entries and vote ...

Garden Variety: Your guide to the garden center

Garden centers in the Lawrence area are full of beautiful blooming plants right now, and this is a great time to add plants to the yard and garden. The options can be overwhelming, though, and many times gardeners are lured in with pretty flowers, unusual species and low prices. The best way to ...