Articles filed under Home & Garden

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  • Constable: Citizen scientists research birds and bees Sep 14, 2014 7:45 AM
    You don't have to be part of a research lab, wear a white coat or even have a degree to be an important part of scientific research. There are hundreds of opportunities for "citizen scientists" to weigh in on everything from bugs to dogs to space to sex. “Science is everywhere,” says Samantha Lindgren with the University of Illinois.

  • Bring your garden indoors with cut flowers Sep 14, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. Do you have any tips for cutting flowers from the garden to bring indoors?

  • Seedheads give perennials another season of interest Sep 14, 2014 6:45 AM
    It is best to remove the spent blooms from a few perennials; others have gorgeous blossoms that transform into sensational seed heads.

  • Tiny powder room can make a big impression Sep 14, 2014 6:45 AM
    Very often, the powder room bath is the tiniest room in your house. Yet this traditionally minimal space can become one of your most alluring attributes, no matter how small.

  • Plant mums and asters now Sep 13, 2014 6:01 AM
    Try to buy chrysanthemums and asters for fall color when their flower buds are just beginning to open. That way, the blooms will last longer in your garden.

  • Decorating 'rules' have gone out the window Sep 13, 2014 6:30 AM
    Q. We have a lot of space in our new loft. A lot! What are the rules about arranging furniture? And what about colors? Everything we have is slick, modern, beige-ish (and boring).

  • Is your interior design depressing you? Sep 13, 2014 6:00 AM
    From time to time, at a cocktail party or when visiting a friend, someone will corner me and confess to me that they are depressed. As if I were a member of the clergy, they whisper in sotto voce that they believe their decorating is making them sick.

  • This fall’s home decor is an ensemble production Sep 12, 2014 6:00 AM
    There was an era when experts said to pick just one, but now we can mix and match or go all in. Each season brings updated versions of successful pieces, plus an interesting array of new looks.

  • Exterior decorating: Updating with paints, trims Sep 12, 2014 5:45 AM
    Color and decorative pieces can improve the look of a home outside as well as in. Add trim boards, columns or porch accessories and you can dress up the facade of a house, improving its value and curb appeal. Just be sure to consider the home’s style, age and location. “The style of the house drives the type of materials you might add,” said architect Carolyn Dias of Lampert Dias Architects in San Clemente, California. “A cottage can’t be transformed to a Spanish Colonial.”

  • Mundelein group teaches others about self-sufficiency through homesteading Sep 10, 2014 11:01 AM
    Several Mundelein residents who say they want to inspire self-sufficiency and sustainability in others hope to improve quality of life by teaching the community to utilize the natural environment. Jennifer Kehrer, Holly Kim and Alex Kvasnicka are building interest through a nonprofit group they created called Village Homesteading Mundelein.

  • Kindness to wildlife can pay off in the garden Sep 10, 2014 6:00 AM
    Competition and conflict have existed between people and animals since the first gardeners began sowing seeds on the ground. The critters just as quickly carried them away. But co-existing with wildlife in farm fields or gardens can be a winning proposition if you’re willing to alter your habitat. Even nuisance animals can become plant partners with a little planning. “You can steer your way around a lot of the usual wildlife-property owner confrontations,” said Robert Pierce.

  • The many uses - both good and bad - of stinging nettles Sep 8, 2014 11:30 AM
    You’re out for a walk in the woods, enjoying a stroll along the river. Then suddenly, you feel as if you’ve been stung by a thousand sharp needles. Your arms and legs start to burn and itch. Sound familiar? Welcome to the world of stinging nettles.

  • Gardening expert seminar Sep 8, 2014 5:29 PM
    Melinda Myers, a nationally recognized gardening expert, TV/radio host, and author of the “Midwest Gardener’s Handbook,” will present a free “Fall Prep for a Beautiful Spring Garden” seminar at Pasquesi Home and Gardens, 975 North Shore Drive, Lake Bluff, on Saturday, Sept. 20.

  • Farm-to-table school garden a delicious lesson in Arlington Hts. Sep 10, 2014 10:38 AM
    For the fourth straight year, students at Windsor Elementary School in Arlington Heights enjoyed a farm-to-table dining experience, during their regular Friday lunch hour. Beyond what they brought in their lunch buckets, students tasted kale salad and freshly made tortilla chips with salsa.

  • Six easy fixes to make you like your house again Sep 7, 2014 5:45 AM
    Stagers are the people who sweep through houses going on the market and make them look uncluttered and cozy without a huge investment of time or money. What’s their secret?

  • Fall a good time to pump up the yard with water features Sep 7, 2014 1:01 AM
    As summer wanes we start thinking about ways to enhance our garden next year. It's hard to beat a water feature for bringing relaxation and beauty or maybe even excitement. From fountains to swimming pools, koi ponds and waterfalls, water creates music and color.

  • Pond masters to get national exposure as ‘Pond Stars’ Sep 7, 2014 1:01 AM
    Aquascape owner Greg Wittstock plans to make a big splash with his new reality show, Pond Stars. "We're artists with stone and water." The show debuts at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, on Nat Geo WILD,, a product of National Geographic.

  • No man cave for Mr. My Way Sep 6, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. OK, maybe I should hire a professional (as my friends keep telling me), but I know the look I want for my own digs: sharp, clean, sophisticated — the way I think I dress — and fit for a 27-year-old guy. What I do need is some ideas about color and lamps, and things like that.

  • Art meets history in Elgin’s annual House Tour Sep 4, 2014 6:01 PM
    Now in its 33rd year, the annual Historic Elgin House Tour is an opportunity to experience firsthand just a few of the reasons why Elgin was named “Best Place to Buy an Old House” in 2009 by This Old House magazine. The tour is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, and features six homes located along Elgin’s prestigious Douglas Avenue.

  • Garlic chives: Ornamental, tasty, sometimes weedy Sep 3, 2014 6:00 AM
    Is it a weed or a garden plant? Garlic chives are among those plants — paulownia tree, Jerusalem artichoke, mint and anise hyssop are others — that can parade under either guise.

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