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Home & Garden

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    I sometimes get angry when I watch HGTV. If it’s not the over-the-top “House Hunters” people lamenting that they can’t buy a million-dollar home because they don’t like the wall color (it’s called
  • Book highlights windowsill art
    Virginia gardener Nancy Ross Hugo has always been in the habit of putting little snippets of plants and ripening fruit on a windowsill at her home in Ashland, Virginia.
  • Keep backyards alive in winter
    For many people with backyard ponds, fountains and other water-garden fixtures, the arrival of cold weather means draining the pipes and pulling the plug.
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Make garden an escape

On a beautiful afternoon, there’s no place I’d rather be than my garden. If you want to create an outdoor space that revives and inspires you, here are three tips for turning your garden into an oasis.

Plantings suited for your space and skills. The key to success is to know your space and know yourself, then create a garden that suits both. For my garden, that meant giving up on fussy, finicky plants that need a lot of care and opting for shade lovers that have an irrepressible desire to live, despite all odds. My friends Lynda and Gloria rimmed my beds with shrubs that give me four-season color, then under-planted them with hearty perennials like hostas.

Adding a sprinkler system ensured that my plants would be watered on a regular basis – something I could never remember to do on my own.

The only annuals you’ll find in my garden are in a few intriguing pots and urns. Zero in on just a few annuals, and your garden will be beautiful and carefree.

A place to rest and reflect. What good is a garden if you can’t go out there and enjoy it? After a long day at work, I can’t wait to flop into a comfy chair in my garden, put my feet up and let myself unwind. If that’s your style, too, then add a few seating areas to your yard.

Intriguing focal points. Outdoor rooms must have a few arresting focal points. These well-chosen treasures will give your garden beds character and provide a place for your eye to rest as you drink in the whole scene.

– Mary Carol Garrity, Scripps Howard News Service

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