Features

A national park in your backyard

During the COVID-19 quarantine, many homebound dwellers revisited the friendly confines of their own backyards with renewed appreciation. But over the past 15 years, Dr. Douglas W. Tallamy has been a nonstop force of nature trying to reach as many people as possible,...

When life zigged, they zagged

If there was ever a time to use the word “pivot” (in addition to moving a couch) it’s during the COVID-19 crisis. Parents are turned into temporary teachers and snack dispensers, front line workers are turned into super heroes, and we’re realizing our worlds couldn’t...

Scout your victory garden like a pro

During World War I, Americans were encouraged to produce as much of their own food at home as a way to combat shortages and support the war effort. These “victory gardens” were a way for families to supply themselves and their neighbors with fresh produce during a...

Learn to grow herbs at home

There are several reasons to grow herbs, not the least of which is their beauty in the garden. Herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are grown for culinary use, as are less familiar choices including cilantro, culantro, pipicha and papala. Herbs grown for...

Volunteer groups need support too

It’s no secret that those affected by the coronavirus pandemic are much more numerous than the people who have actually gotten sick. Along with restaurants and retail shops taking a hit, volunteer service groups that pride themselves on helping others are struggling...

Tropical plants bring a special look to a home and outdoor landscape and as people search for solutions during the uncertain times during the coronavirus epidemic, something special could be just what you need. Often large and fast growing, tropicals can quickly...

Dipping outside the box

Picture this. You come pulling into the driveway with an 8 foot round stock tank in your husbands truck (you told him you were going to the dump). He goes on and on about what animal did you buy now, and you just say “trust me.” A few hours of elbow grease later and...

Become a Purple Martin landlord

Even as a kid, birds had fascinated Bill Whelan. There were no airports within sight of his Laurel schoolhouse window. But thanks to a nearby homeowner who had erected an avian apartment unit atop a towering pole, he discovered the sheer joy of watching Purple Martins...

Misunderstood bats get a bad rap

Out of the 1,300 bat species on Earth not a single one wants to drink your blood and they don’t share a family tree with Dracula. Bats are often misunderstood but an extremely important animal here in Maryland, a state that 10 species call home. Bats belong to the...

Saved from the burn pile

Last December I asked my husband to meet me after work with his truck to pick up a beautiful piece of furniture I had purchased for $40 on Facebook Marketplace. I was totally taken with the circa-1900 empire sideboard with mirrored gallery top and claw feet. He, on...

Pocket gardens a big hit for tiny spaces

While big, showy displays may have garnered the most attention at the Philadelphia Flower Show in March, few of them are reproducible in your own garden space without the help of a professional landscaper. One class of entries in the 191st year of the show put on by...

Delightful daffodil, neat narcissus

The signs of spring are everywhere from the sounds of spring peepers in the woods to the red hues of maple buds to the yellow blooms of daffodils. The tidbits of spring trickle in like the mist of early morning fog slowly then all at once. As if waking up from a long...

There’s some power in potting mix

Sometimes gardening research produces an interesting anomaly. That’s what happened to Neith Little, a University of Maryland Extension Educator in Urban Agriculture, when she was looking into the pH and salinity of growing media typically used in high tunnels on urban...

Get that puzzle together. Make it keepsake art

Before the coronovirus outbreak, boxes of jigsaw puzzles were gathering dust on shelves and in closets. Short of a family gathering, holiday or hurricane, folks were far too time-challenged to partake of the slow steady satisfaction they provide. But with so many...

Dream rose garden worth the effort

Roses have a checkered history with home gardeners, leading many to chalk them up as more trouble than they’re worth. “That’s because for years, the rose industry focused on the perfect bloom and forgot all about drought resistance, disease and fragrance,” said Chris...

New to a garden center near you

Your gardens may be dormant in winter, but your local garden centers, nurseries and landscape designers don’t take a break. They spend the start of the year attending the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show in Baltimore. It was the 50th anniversary of the show and brought...

Gardening CSI: Do you need a pro?

With the advent of warmer weather, hopefully all the early signs point to a banner year in your garden. If not, though, how do you decide if you’re over your head and should seek the assistance of a professional horticulturalist or arborist? Early this past winter,...