Home and garden
Unfortunately, apricots aren’t the easiest tree to grow in our region. They often bloom very early in the spring and get hit by frost which kills the flower.
When it comes to artwork, sometimes thinking outside the box can be the best solution. Gone are the days of solely traditional prints or canvases; in are the days of creativity, including innovative DIY projects. Looking for ways to spark up your walls?
Times of economic and political turmoil have the predictable effect of turning people to the garden plot principally to generate food but also to remain grounded in uncertain periods. This response was seen during both world wars, the Depression and in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession of the late 2000s.
Q. Tim, she who must be obeyed has informed me that the two flat-screen TVs in the unopened boxes must be installed in days. One television will end up on our bedroom wall, and the other is to go over a living room fireplace. There’s a huge window there.
The holidays, such as they were, are behind us, and it’s time to start getting organized for winter garden events and seed planting.
If any room in our homes got a workout last year, it was the kitchen. Cooking and baking were popular for practical and relaxing reasons. All that time in the heart of the home got some of us wondering whether we should deep clean, organize, upgrade or even remodel our kitchens.
Q. Tim, I think I’ve got a good idea. I’m re-roofing two of my barns with metal roofing. I was thinking of extending the roof past the walls 18 inches so dripping water falls farther away from the barn walls. Right now I’ve got gutters, and I’m tired of them clogging up with leaves and debris.
With the holidays behind us, it’s time to settle into the winter curled up with our garden catalogs in front of a warm fire. Whether it’s a gas, pellet or good old-fashioned wood fire, there is something cozy and satisfying about the warmth and the glow.
Tonight, we can kiss 2020 goodbye. What a year! The only thing normal about it was that many gardeners carried on as usual: We continued to play in the dirt to our heart’s content.
With the pandemic still looming large, we’re facing a long slog at home during the winter months ahead. If that prospect fills you with gloom, consider it an opportunity to make some changes to your home so that it feels more inviting, enjoyable and functional. End-of-year trend reports and predictions for 2021 are full of ideas.
With our social calendars blank and our party duds in the closet, you would think we might be drawn to boisterous blooms and bows for holiday decor. But lavish looks feel ill-matched to this time of subdued celebration, a bit like Ethel Merman belting out Broadway hits in a cloister.
In mid-December, I spent four days digging out from Winter Storm Gail. While it appeared to millions to be just an ordinary winter snowstorm, Gail unleashed her full wrath on a narrow band of New Hampshire, dumping up to 48 inches of snow in just 12 hours. Much of the water Gail gulped and slurped from Nantucket Sound.
One of the joys of my Christmas is having my large Christmas cactus start blooming.
COVID-19 prompted many adult children to fly home to the family nest.That proved true for Rex Watson, whose son and daughter came home for the holidays last year, only to find their job opportunities vanished when it was time to leave.
The next best thing behind getting Christmas cards this time of year is getting the garden catalogs. A gardener will set aside everything else to read them cover to cover. Pages get dog-eared and lists are made of must haves. Never mind that there is only room for a third of the order list in the garden.
Millions of pounds of single-use gift wrap are thrown out each year. Start the tradition of upcycled wrapping instead. Reusing what is on hand makes each gift beautiful and unique. Comics: The Sunday comics were always the favorite at birthdays when I was growing up. Add a fancy paper bow for an extra-special presentation.
There is a decorating trend that has slowly been creeping, Grinch-like, into the holiday season. People across the country have been ditching their very green evergreens for artificial black trees. It makes sense for right now: With a still-raging pandemic, millions out of work and food pantries inundated, a black tree seems like the perfect symbol for our plagued 2020.
Q. Oh, Tim, do I have a conundrum for you. A major remodel is about to happen at my home, and already we’ve got a problem. A new master bathroom is being created in a second-floor room, but I can’t figure out how to get the drainpipe down to where it will connect to the rest of the plumbing drainpipes. How have you done this in the past on your jobs?
With Christmas coming, maybe one way to create some fun is to give the gardeners in your life some good old-fashioned board games to play while we wait for things to thaw out.
The pandemic gave Steve Peck time to consider a project that seemed simple but turned out to require some ingenuity and innovation. “We have an odd lot that has made our landscaping and gardening a bit more complicated,” he explained. “Over the years, our outdoor storage was too far from where it needed to be. We needed a shed closer to the front.”
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