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  • How to make a natural garden look intentional and cope with road salt in the yard

    How to make a natural garden look intentional and cope with road salt in the yard

    I would like to plant a more natural garden but am worried about irritating the neighbors who might think it is sloppy or not a garden at all! Any advice? Make a natural garden look intentional. Here are three major design tips to make a garden’s intent obvious: 1) Give it obvious edges. Edges...

  • Dealing with standing water in the yard and using dormany oil to control insects

    Dealing with standing water in the yard and using dormany oil to control insects

    Our backyard has very low spots where the water from the roofs of two adjacent houses ends up. How do I deal with this? I would like to plant a garden of shrubs and perennials but don't think many can take that much water. I have attached photos. Red maples and birch seem happy, but the hydrangeas...

  • HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines buy historic castle in Texas

    HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines buy historic castle in Texas

    Chip and Joanna Gaines' latest home project is quite the fixer-upper. The Texas couple made famous by HGTV's "Fixer Upper" home improvement show closed last week on the historic but rundown Cottonland Castle in Waco. A spokesman for the Gaines' business, Magnolia, says the couple has long admired...

  • How to handle oversized branches and attract pollinators

    How to handle oversized branches and attract pollinators

    A branch of our white pine looks like it’s about to crack off. Since white pines have fairly soft wood, is this going to keep happening? This branch has two problems unrelated to the tree species. First, it is too large for this trunk. Branch diameter should not be more than half the trunk size....

  • How to pest-proof your kitchen

    How to pest-proof your kitchen

    Whether you’ve seen signs that bugs or rodents have been in your pantry or whether you simply want to take preventative measures, you only need to follow a few easy steps to ensure a pest-free kitchen. (This story originally appeared on The Daily Meal.)

  • What is this blooming winter flower?

    What is this blooming winter flower?

    Walking outside recently, I found this big shrub had flowers. It’s been blooming since New Year’s! I never realized these maple-syrup colored things were flowers until I got up close. What is this? The flowers are so odd. This is vernal witch hazel. Witch hazel petals are often described as strappy,...

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