Home and Garden

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Garden Variety: Garden centers stay open, but with some changes

Local garden centers are working hard to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic and get necessary items to customers in the safest manner possible. Usually, shopping for plants is an experience in itself. The air smells different in a greenhouse in spring, full of the earthiness of potting soil and ...

Garden Variety: Divide your perennials for better performance

Hostas, daylilies, sedums, daisies and other perennial flowers and ornamental grasses can outgrow their space and exhibit reduced performance over time. Digging plants up, dividing them and replanting smaller portions is the best way to alleviate these problems. Fall is often touted as the best ...

Couple furnishes final home with diverse decorations from their life abroad

Framed maps line the wall in the entrance of David and Sacie Lambertson’s home, a hint at the worldly collection of decorations the couple has inside. The former career diplomat and his wife have lived in six countries and multiple states, and their renovated home at 715 New York St. ...

Lawrence homes special section: Take a look inside

EDITOR'S NOTE: A cozy bungalow in East Lawrence. A seven-level midcentury home on the west side. A modern abode with dozens and dozens of windows. A couple of houses that are more than a century old. Those are just a few of the interesting homes whose stories the Journal-World has told ...

Garden Variety: Tips for first-time gardeners

The idea of growing your own food and spending more time working in the yard might seem more appealing than ever — the arrival of spring in Kansas is a great time to get started. Gardening can seem daunting if you lack experience, but there are plenty of reliable resources out there to help. ...

Garden Variety: With a little care, you can grow hops in Kansas

The herbaceous, perennial hop plant is best known as a component of beer that adds a bitter flavor, but it can also be used in nonalcoholic beverages and herbal medicine, and it can be grown here in Kansas with a little special treatment. The flowers are a unique crop of special interest to ...

Garden Variety: The challenge of gardening around walnut trees

Black walnut trees have a reputation for being hard to get along with, at least to gardeners wishing to grow tomatoes and other plants in their vicinity. The trees produce a chemical called juglone, which damages other plants. The challenge is understanding which other plants are affected by ...

Garden Variety: Get a jump on these early-season gardening tasks

Warm weekend days across the Midwest coupled with the impending arrival of spring have most gardeners excited to get outside and work in their yards and gardens. There are many tasks that can be done this time of year, some that should wait until later in the spring and a few that can be saved ...

Garden Variety: What to keep in mind when planting fruit trees

If you want to plant an apple, peach, pear, cherry or other fruit tree in your yard, early spring is the best time to do so. You should keep a few factors in mind when you plant: site conditions, pollination requirements and which varieties are well suited to Kansas’ climate and pests. ...

North Lawrence home boasts eclectic art decor

The unassuming ranch-style home doesn’t provide a clue to what visitors will find once they walk through the front door. Guests enter into a brightly lit space in Steve Fendt and Marty Olson’s North Lawrence home at 822 Maple St., where at every turn objects and pops of color meet the ...

Garden Variety: Tapping trees is easier than you might expect

Warmer temperatures and longer days mean that sap is beginning to flow in maples and other trees around the Lawrence area. The weather changes signify the ideal time to collect tree sap for syrup-making purposes. Tapping a tree for sap and making syrup is somewhat uncommon in this region, but ...

Garden Variety: Are your seeds still good? Here’s how to check

Packets of seed for vegetables and flowers often contain more than a gardener needs in a single season, and gardeners end up saving the rest of the packet for the next year. Then these open seed packets get misplaced or forgotten about and may end up being held over for multiple years. Late ...

Garden Variety: Green industry offers plenty of jobs

The horticulture industry is growing, and experts say there are about twice as many jobs available within the industry as there are college graduates in the field to fill them. If growth continues, the demand for skilled horticultural professionals will follow. For those with an interest in ...

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 ...