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Grave Gardeners: Volunteers help spiff up old cemeteries

The cemeteries of yore existed as much for the living as for the dead. People would picnic and relax there as they would in a park today. Now, a handful of 19th century graveyards are restoring the bygone tradition of cemetery gardening, enlisting volunteers to help keep things green and ...

Save the bees (and time and money) by creating a bee lawn

Flowering “bee lawns” that attract pollinators are a compromise between fastidious turf management and the more casual yard approach. They add biodiversity to the landscape and need less maintenance. That makes them cost-effective, too. Bee lawns are turf grasses blended with ...

Microgreens: a tiny, nutritional, easy-to-grow crop all year

If you like munching on seedlings, consider directing your palate toward microgreens. These tiny vegetables burst with rich, leafy flavors ranging from spicy to sweet, and their nutritional power exceeds that of the adult plants. Use them as garnish, sprinkle them onto salads and soups, add ...

A lesson from Miss Kim: Give other lilac species a try

The problem with Miss Kim is she doesn’t look like what you might expect. She’s a lilac (Syringa patula), but not what we usually think of as a lilac. Miss Kim, who is from north China and Korea, is a different species from the lilac we know in the U.S., called, appropriately, common ...

Kindness is Contagious: Sometimes, kindness is a perfectly timed surprise

In case you haven’t heard (because I only mention it every 15 minutes or so), I won a car on “The Price is Right.” I wish everyone could have something happen in their lives that brings them the pure joy that this surreal experience brought me. Patt Jackson, of Duluth, Minn., had ...

For 20 years, yoga was a no-go … until now

I like to joke that I’ve been doing yoga for 20 years and it’s never done me a bit of good. And then a good friend will gently remind me that in order for this practice to give you any real benefit, you have to do it more than once every three years. I don’t know why I haven’t already ...

Small island of Kauai dotted with spectacular golf courses

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii has some of the most beautiful and memorable golf courses in the world. And the quiet island of Kauai may have the most picturesque courses on the islands — or anywhere else. From Poipu Bay in the south, where Tiger Woods once reigned, to Princeville and the ...

Let’s Cook: Pampering is good

Have you noticed that some coffee and tea cups have a destiny? They are a treasure for the first people who sip from them and an heirloom for lucky generations thereafter. That is the very secure future for china cups and saucers that has been in many of our families. Lately, however, I have ...

Quirky, nostalgic, practical: Tea towels make a splash

When Corinne Morse found one of her late grandmother's handwritten recipes inside an old cookbook, she wanted to share it with her mother. So she transferred an image of the recipe card onto tea towels for her mother and other relatives. "I just loved them. It was something I used all the ...

Hometown Hollywood: Life is better with #NoFilter

LOS ANGELES — I deleted my Instagram account. Not permanently — let’s not be crazy — but deleted it from my phone. I’ve never been very active on social media. It takes me a lot of time to post anything because I have the misplaced belief that whatever ends up on social media is ...

When introverts are friends, long distance is better than face to face

I have a friend, “Pearl.” Pearl is delightful, hilarious, compassionate, thoughtful and generous-hearted. We have magnificent texting conversations, in which we routinely crack each other up with our lively one-liners and banter. She just “gets” me as few others do. We frequently ...

W i l d f l o w e r s : Robust, low-maintenance, pollinator-friendly

Gardeners trying to lure pollinators to their landscape would be wise to mimic nature and plant wildflowers. The attractive perennials tolerate harsh climates, seldom need fertilizing and resist most diseases and insect pests. Wildflowers are durable, too, requiring little or no irrigation ...

Pergolas: Ancient garden structures are getting updated

Pergolas have been part of home gardens for a long time, but they’re getting some modern upgrades because of trends toward backyard sanctuaries and entertaining. Historically, pergolas were simple, overhead structures used to protect garden walkways. They were characterized by long linear ...

In a labyrinth garden, every path is the right one

A labyrinth garden should not be puzzling — that’s a maze. A labyrinth and a maze were once the same, but the labyrinth has recently grown to become a totally different animal. Enter a labyrinth and every turn you make is the correct one, leading you to the center. The labyrinth might be ...

Keep pets away from gardens to prevent food-borne illness

Animal waste tainting fresh produce is one of the major causes of food-borne ailments. So farmers markets and pick-your-own growers who fear fecal contamination are increasingly guarded about tolerating pets near their edibles. Home gardeners should be cautious, too. Many of the pathogens ...

New shrub rose hybrids are easy to care for, easy to love

Roses are among the oldest flowers in cultivation, although many have earned a reputation as fussy or difficult to grow. Some of the newer shrub rose hybrids, however, are disease-resistant, carefree and repeat-blooming ‚Äî just the qualities novice gardeners love. “They are generally ...

Give your flower and veggie seedlings some tough love

Seedlings raised on windowsills or in greenhouses have been coddled to some degree and aren't ready to face the great outdoors. A temporary period called "hardening off" can prepare these plants for more intense sunlight, wind and varying temperatures. Make this transition gradually, over the ...

Kindness is Contagious: Kindness makes English learner feel at home

When I was little, my mom taught English as a second language. Now in her 70s, she continues to teach. She has always had a heart for people who are new to our country. I’ve often wondered about the impact she has made on her students that she’ll never know. Sometimes all it takes is ...