Category: Sean Clougherty

Lavender as useful as its loveliness

Lavender is one of the most popular of all herbs for the fragrance of its dried flowers and the oil distilled from them. It is used most often in sachets, perfumes, and baking as its aroma is touted for its relaxing powers over the senses and the body. As summer begins and schedules can get as crammed as any other time of the year, June is prime blooming time for many lavender varieties and offers incentive to clip a fresh bunch and enjoy the fragrance as it dries. For Debbie Brohawn, who grows about three quarters of an acre...

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Peter principle: Tiny houses is a big idea

In his 35 years building custom homes, Mike Peter of Centreville has had a lot of unique projects. Over the past winter, Peter said he added a tiny house to that list when the carpenter took on the project to challenge himself after seeing the small dwellings featured on television shows. What started out as a “hobby” has gained a lot of interest, Peter said, to the point where he has plans to build more. “I had a ball building it,” he said. “I took my time with it. I like a little challenge.” With space in the tiny house at such a premium, Peter said he spent a lot time with the design, making sure every inch was maximized and efficiently used. It paid off with enough room for a full kitchen, full bath and two sitting areas. “Most people go, ‘Man it’s not that small, really’” Peter said of those who have toured the house. Peter opted to for a 10-foot width, a few feet wider than the typical houses he saw in researching the project but still able to travel down the road and it makes a big difference in the ease of getting from one part to another. “It takes a different type of planning,” Peter said. “You’ve got to fit all this into a neat and tidy space. The full kitchen and full bath...

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They’re out there, go pick them!

When local strawberries are ripe, it’s a good thing. Besides having the freshest sweet fruit at your fingertips, it also means summer is just around the corner. After a soggy spring in 2018 led to a short picking season on the Mid-Shore, theres’ much anticipation for the start of this year’s local strawberry season. Pegged at the first or second week of May for most farms in the area, many area farms open their fields to customers to pick their own. For many, strawberry picking conjures memories of their childhoods, while others hit the berry patch to form new...

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Trend report sees more connecting to gardening

Whether novice or seasoned veteran, gardening has been increasing in popularity. Last year, average households spent about $100 more on gardening than the previous year, according to the annual trends report from industry group Garden Media. “People are awakening to Mother Nature to find balance and peace and are awakening to our responsibility to help save the Earth,” the report said. This awakening is drawing people outside, to reconnect to plants and gardening, and drawing plants inside, as house plants, terrariums and other greenery gets more attention through biophilic design. Last year the National Gardeners Association reported 30 percent of households purchased a house plant and searches for indoor plants on Pinterest increased 90 percent. Millenials spurred by desires to improve wellbeing, were responsible for a third of houseplant buys. “They have become ‘plant parents’ with a sense of purpose and new connection to nature,” the report said. Another way these budding gardeners are connecting to the earth is through the moon. So-called moon-phase gardening or lunar planting is not a new concept; it follows the old adage of planting certain crops by either the waxing or waning moon cycle. Plant annuals and vegetables producing above ground crops when the moon is waxing, from new to full. Plant flowering bulbs, perennials, biennials and vegetables producing below ground crops when the moon is waning, from the day after it’s full...

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