Home & Garden

Diggin' In

Historic Garden Week in Virginia

Historic Garden Week 2015 showcased homes and gardens across the commonwealth of Virginia. The tour features Peninsula properties in Williamsburg, Newport News, and in Gloucester and Mathews counties.

More Diggin' In

More Diggin' In

  • Turtles make a Newport News garden come to life

    Turtles make a Newport News garden come to life

    You know it's spring in Wendy Croswell's garden when more than flowers begin to bloom. It's truly gardening season when, and only when, six eastern box turtles — three males called Murtle, Flash and Fred and three females known as Ms. T, Tutu and Louie — wake from their winter sleep in her Newport...

      • Majestic moths help pollinate elegant evening primroses; and an iris to avoid

        Today, you meet several nice native plants, all in the evening primrose family, as well as the not-so-nice invasive yellow flag iris. You also meet the beneficial insects known as the charming sphinx moths that many gardeners mistake for hummingbirds. Information on these species comes courtesy...

          • Garden experts offer tips on growing great veggies, especially tomatoes

            While April showers bring May flowers, the month of May is the official start of the season for warm-weather crops like tomatoes and peppers. Why May? By the time Memorial Day rolls around, May's soil is toasty warm, a condition that tomatoes and peppers need in order to establish good root growth...

              • Native plant profile: White goldenrod

                Native plant profile: White goldenrod

                White goldenrod, or Solidago bicolor, is a goldenrod, but as both the ray, disc flowers and the bracts are white, not yellow, it is often called Silverrod, according to Helen Hamilton, past president, John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society.  The heads have a slight yellow color from...

                  Home & Garden Tips

                  Outdoor

                  Do-It-Yourself

                  • Plant a Christmas tree

                    Plant a Christmas tree

                    You can watch your Christmas grow and thrive long after the holidays if you choose a living Christmas tree balled or burlapped ready for planting. Display and decorate the tree inside and then plant it outdoors as part of the landscape. The challenge is keeping the tree alive long enough before...

                      • Install a programmable thermostat

                        Install a programmable thermostat

                        A programmable thermostat lets you throttle down the heat or air conditioning when everyone's asleep or away while creating a comfortable and affordable climate inside your home. The device allows you the control to change temperatures to preset levels corresponding to your family's schedule. These...

                          • Install a fireplace mantel

                            Install a fireplace mantel

                            You can make the most of a fireplace with a new mantel and transform it from ho-hum to a focal point of the room. Even in a typical track house built with bare bones moldings you can add a stylish element to the room. You'll find an array of mantel styles and elements in the millwork department...

                              • Repair a plaster ceiling

                                Repair a plaster ceiling

                                To repair a sagging plaster ceiling marred with a hodgepodge of cracks and crevices, one solution is to secure the loose plaster to the lath and cover it up with a thin layer of wallboard panels. We've used this repair solution in several old houses, and it has stood the test of time. The key to...

                                  More Garden Tips

                                  • Tips: Finding the Right Tree for the Right Place

                                    Tips: Finding the Right Tree for the Right Place

                                    Fall is an ideal time to plant new trees. The best way to keep trees healthy is by planting the right trees in the right places where they naturally grow best. Homeowners see many benefits to planting trees on their property. Trees provide shade, fruit production, spring and fall color, wildlife...

                                      • Tips: Fruits, vegetables for fall planting, growing and harvesting

                                        Tips: Fruits, vegetables for fall planting, growing and harvesting

                                        Growing your own food is a joy—especially when it's harvest time. Fall is known primarily as the harvest season. But it is also a great time to plant fruit trees and late-season vegetable crops. Trees and bushes planted in the autumn have a chance to set roots before cold winter weather arrives....

                                          • Tips: How to preserve and dry herbs

                                            Tips: How to preserve and dry herbs

                                            For thousands of years, drying was the only way to keep herbs from spoiling. Try it yourself—it's easy, inexpensive and, when you do it at home, requires no chemical additives. Getting Started It's important to harvest herbs at the right time. They should be picked before the flowers develop. Harvest...

                                              • Tips: Take September to learn about natural disasters, hazards

                                                Tips: Take September to learn about natural disasters, hazards

                                                Over the last 30 years, U.S. floods have caused on average $8.2 billion in damages annually. Wildfire suppression costs in the United States have averaged $1.54 billion annually for the last 10 years. Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $65 billion in damage and economic loss, making it the second...

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