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Yardsmart: 3 'hell strip' perennials

| |Monday, Apr. 14, 2014

"Hell strips" are what they call narrow planting spaces adjacent to a driveway, street or sidewalk. This is the plant graveyard, where less than resilient species give up the ghost by midsummer. Why are these sun-drenched planters so tough to cultivate? It's because adjacent paving becomes a thermal mass that collects and reflects that heat back on plants both night and day.

Interiors: Coming up in interior design

| |Monday, Apr. 14, 2014

Wouldn't it be nice to have a crystal ball to tell us what awaits us in trends and innovation for the future in interior design? Well, some experts have given us hints of what is to come.

Style at Home: Hit the refresh button on your bed this spring

| |Monday, Apr. 14, 2014

It's time to crawl out of that cozy cocoon of your winter bed and hit the "reset" button, lightening your bed up for spring. Rita, who is a wiz at creating to-die-for bedding at my store, Nell Hill's Briarcliff in Kansas City, Mo., has these three suggestions for getting your bed ready for spring and summer snoozing:

Hot Property: Rock star Pink lists Sherman Oaks home for sale again

| |Sunday, Apr. 13, 2014

Pink is taking another shot at selling a home she owns in Sherman Oaks, this time priced at $3.499 million.

Your Place: Concern that humidifier may promote mold in heating ducts

| |Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

A reader recently asked for advice about whether to operate a humidifier on his furnace, fearing it would lead to mold issues on duct insulation.

Living Smart: Moving

| |Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

If there's a move in your future and you want to hire help with all or part of it, here are suggestions to unpack and stow away, offered by highly rated movers and satisfied customers:

Old lumber is a trend for some of the best new homes

| |Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

Reclaimed lumber is among the most environmentally friendly building materials because, as any 12-year-old can explain, recycling is good for us and the planet.

Diggin' In: Historic Virginia gardens featured on tours

| |Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Historic Garden Week in Virginia showcases Virginia at its finest, featuring 250 historic and private gardens and homes on tours over eight consecutive days.

Tulips gardens help young scientists track seasonal change

| |Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

When Renata Fossen Brown checks on the progress of a patch of tulips at Cleveland Botanical Garden, schoolchildren across the Northern Hemisphere are watching.

On Gardening: Coral honeysuckle blooms in sync with hummingbirds

| |Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

Nature's timing is simply amazing. The native coral honeysuckle just started blooming in the Savannah, Ga., area, and guess who has arrived right on time: The ruby-throated hummingbirds. This is one of the best plants for you hummingbird lovers and native plant enthusiasts will delight in the fact that this scene will be repeating itself as spring moves northward.

PETA proposes vegan restaurant in Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home

| |Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014

An animal-welfare organization is trying to capitalize on the notoriety of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home by suggesting it might turn the house into a vegan restaurant.

Hobbies: Countdown to Easter

| |Wednesday, Apr. 09, 2014

Creativity is abundant in the Advent calendars that appear in December to count down to Christmas. I borrowed from the secularized side of that tradition to mark the days until Easter.

Number of stay-at-home mothers on the rise, study says

| |Tuesday, Apr. 08, 2014

The percentage of mothers who stay home with their children is rising due to shifting demographics and a troubled job market.

Interiors: Color me spring

| |Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

Is it spring yet? Are we there yet? Can you feel it? Regardless of the weather outside, the inside of your home can be made "spring-y" without much effort or cost. Just freshening things up will make a big difference.

Proper fireplace maintenance saves time, money and accidents

| |Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

On the heels of an unusually frigid winter, it's important for homeowners to take a critical look at their fireplaces to assess if any damage was sustained from the season's heavy usage. Cracks in the hearth or a build-up of soot are especially important conditions to note and have rectified. To help you inspect your fireplace, here are some life-saving tips for keeping the home fires burning - safely.

Don't wait until you're ready to sell to try to fix neighbors' homes

| |Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

If your neighbor's house has knee-high grass, dilapidated siding or a car up on blocks in the backyard, don't wait until you're ready to put your house on the market to try to get theirs fixed up, said Janet Johnson, supervisor of the Office of Community Engagement for the city of Wichita, Kan.

What to do and not do when selling home

| |Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

Planning to put your house on the market? Here are some things to do and some things to avoid before and after the sign goes in the yard.

Tidy landscaping gives a home curb appeal

| |Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

Curb appeal is something we all should shoot for, whether we're putting our house on the market or not.

Fix problems before putting house on market

| |Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

When people are getting their house ready to put on the market, it's better to get problems taken care of first rather waiting for an inspector to uncover them with a contract on the line, real estate agents say.

The keys to selling your house

| |Monday, Apr. 07, 2014

Spring is here, and the warm winds of change bring a fresh crop of houses for sale.