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6/6/2014
Sitting on my back deck each evening, I ponder the amount of brown in my garden. Are my yews ever going to green up or am I going to have to take a hedge trimmer to the front half of the entire row? And how could my supposedly invincible Rugosa roses be half dead? I know fellow gardeners are lamenting the same look: Everywhere I drive, the evergreens are brown, and woody plants like roses and... More
6/2/2014
Our Instagram followers captured the wonder of lustrous landscapes and baby animals in the last full month of spring. The five most-liked photos for May: #1: Ohio barn by @kirby_124 (http://instagram.com/p/oqVqN-mzdg/). #2: A fawn "camouflaged in the weeds … snoozin' in the sun" in Wisconsin by @eselin_ (http://instagram.com/p/oO9e_zGzVc/). #3: Nest of... More
5/29/2014
I’ve gone to the dark side, of plants, that is. But in the plant world, even the dark side is pretty. And rich. And dramatic. And just the punch my embarrassingly bare front porch needs this time of year. According to Dana Rizzo, horticulturist for the Missouri Botanical Garden, the industry is seeing an influx of these black, bronze, deep purple and burgundy flowers and foliage. “... More
5/16/2014
I'm fixated on Pinterest, particularly anything DIY focused. I even have a board titled “I want to DIY.” As much as this board's collection of projects inspires me to try DIY, I've been too concerned that I'll produce a “Pinterest fail”—a project that comically looks nothing like the goal. But I promised myself this year I would... More
5/5/2014
When my eldest daughter was 5, she handed my husband her life savings—plus an IOU scribbled on a torn piece of pink construction paper—in exchange for his help to buy me a lilac for Mother’s Day. Not just any lilac—she wanted the superbly old-fashioned, fragrant ‘Miss Ellen Willmott’, a variety she had heard me describe with nearly misty eyes one... More
5/2/2014
We love barns in the Midwest! Especially red ones. Three of our five most-liked Instagram photos for April were classic Midwest farm scenes.  #1: A magnificent barn at Manchester Farms in northwest Ohio, photographed by @kirby_124 (http://instagram.com/p/mlZhDuGzXJ).  #2: Great farm capture by @mjsphotowall in Saranac, Michigan (http://instagram.com/p/m-Oaf_mzZ0/).... More
4/17/2014
This spring, I’ve noticed that my favorite egg-decorating pastels from my childhood aren’t just showing up in the seasonal decor aisle. Cotton-candy pink, delicious mint and sweet lavender have made their way into the fashion and home decor worlds. I’m loving how these soft palettes look refreshing and sophisticated on pillows, dishware, lamps and accent furniture available at... More
4/3/2014
Japanese barberry could use a good press agent about now. Not only is this popular plant currently classified as invasive in 20 of the 32 states where it is established, but research shows that it may play a role in the spread of Lyme disease as well. And odds are, it’s in your yard. Widely used throughout the Midwest, Japanese barberry was brought to the United States in the late... More
4/2/2014
As winter very slowly turned to spring, our Instagram followers found beautiful colors in sunsets and other Midwest landscapes. Here are our five most-liked Instagram photos for March: #1: Kansas sunset reflections by @kim_horgan (http://instagram.com/p/lUuSO6Gzcq/). #2: Sunset over Lake Michigan near Holland by @tototoophoto (http://instagram.com/p/mIGmXaGzSt/). #3:... More
3/28/2014
Guys may dominate the hardware scene, but there’s at least one gleaming piece of machinery that makes even the ladies grow as weak-kneed as any man staring at a ’69 Mustang: the KitchenAid mixer. Seemingly indestructible, elegantly unchanging and an object of desire whose allure still hasn't peaked nearly 100 years after its debut. In fact, the Greenville, Ohio, plant that builds... More