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157-year-old Pinckney home is a good fit for Busker Fest organizer

Richard Renner thinks he and his home at 408 Indiana St. are an ideal match for each other — and for Lawrence's Pinckney neighborhood. Renner owns the Vodvill Entertainment Company, a talent agency for variety acts, and organizes the quirky Busker Fest in downtown Lawrence every year. His ...

Garden Variety: The many causes of tree decline, and what you can do about it

When a tree appears to be unhealthy or dying, the first reaction for many people is to suspect insects or disease. In many cases however, tree decline is the result of a combination of factors rather than a single or specific pest. This is especially true in urban and suburban settings where ...

Garden Variety: Succulents reliable plants for gardeners at all skill levels

Succulent plants are hot in the gardening world right now and are a good option to grow indoors for people with all levels of gardening experience. They are easy to care for with a little guidance and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Succulents are a group of ...

Garden Variety: Jump-start spring by forcing bulbs, branches

Spring is still months away in northeast Kansas, but spring flowers can be here earlier with a little jump-start indoors. Stems of spring-flowering shrubs and trees such as forsythia, quince and redbud, as well as spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips and paperwhites, can be forced into ...

Garden Variety: Do your homework before heeding gardening advice

Gardening is full of anecdotal reports, folklore, old wives' tales and urban legends. Even experts sometimes have trouble discerning between good recommendations and faulty ones when information originates from other supposed experts. A recent publication about planting trees in square holes ...

Garden Variety: Now’s the time to plan for next year’s garden

The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect and make plans in the garden as much as anywhere else in life. This year’s changing of the decade may even call for greater reflection and planning. During the gardening season, lots of things are on top of your to-do list: that large shrub ...

A Lawrence house and its current owners weave their histories together

Two years ago when Rodney and Judith Taylor decided to move to Lawrence to be closer to family, they found the perfect home just three hours after walking through its front door. Rodney didn’t hesitate. He thought the blue house with the wrap-around front porch at 2135 Massachusetts St. was ...

Garden Variety: What to look for when identifying leafless trees

Have you ever noticed a tree and wondered what kind it was? Perhaps it was in your yard, a neighbor’s yard or something you noticed on a walk in the woods. Whatever the case, trees are usually most easily identified by their leaves. In the winter, deciduous trees are more of a challenge ...

Garden Variety: Air plants are easy to grow, ideal for anyone

Air plants are more popular than ever right now, at least judging by their wide availability in garden centers and almost any place that sells tropical plants. They are small, tidy, unique and easy to grow indoors, making them ideal for anyone. Keeping them alive only takes a little attention ...

Garden Variety: Keep your houseplants from stressing out this winter

Winter is a tough time for houseplants, even when they are kept in the temperature-controlled environment of a home or office. Short days, reduced light intensity, dry air, exposure to drafts and other seasonal factors reduce the rate at which plants photosynthesize and create a less favorable ...

Almost beyond repair: Lawrence couple gives midcentury house a second chance

For several years overgrown trees hid most of the house at 1051 Wellington Drive. Built back in 1960 by Dwight Burnham, a University of Kansas art instructor, the house fell into disrepair before Burnham died in 2013. When the property came up for auction in 2015, Gordie Sailors and Paula ...

Garden Variety: Now’s the time to order tree and shrub seedlings

Trees and shrubs release oxygen into the atmosphere, provide habitat and food for beneficial insects and wildlife and increase property values, among other things. Early spring is a great time to plant, and late fall is the best time to be thinking about what spaces in your yard could use more ...

Garden Variety: Kansas’ only native evergreen can cause problems

Eastern red cedar is a common tree in landscape plantings and in the wild with its evergreen nature making it most noticeable in the winter months. The tree is the only evergreen native to Kansas, but it is problematic in unmanaged grasslands where it can displace native plants and affect the ...

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 ...