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  • Gardening: Black is back

    Savvy garden designers seeking drama and intrigue recognize the power of black. There's a world of black beauties — more than 4,000 plants sporting dark-hued foliage, flowers or fruit — that can innovatively transform any garden from ordinary to extraordinary.

  • Flyways and Byways: Exploring new sites in spring

    Each year I look forward to enjoying spring migration at a site that I've not yet explored. Last year it was South Dakota. The 7,000-foot-high mountain peaks, vast grasslands, prairie potholes and rolling sand hills drew me to the Badlands and Black Hills.

  • Home and garden event calendar for Feb. 12

    Home and garden event calendar for Feb. 12

  • Energy-efficient upgrades under $50

    Do you cringe when your utility bills arrive during the winter months? You can save money with a few energy-efficient upgrades. Here are seven upgrades for less than $50.

  • Defineshade' before planting a shade garden

    One of the toughest tasks in gardening is dealing with the dark side: coaxing plants to grow where the sun won't shine.

  • Taking steps in winter months to prepare your garden

    A sense of order in your garden and yard is beneficial for several reasons — its good health, your peace of mind and everyone's enjoyment. Here are some activities you can do in your yard during the winter on mild days or in your workshop:

  • LIFE SELF-ENV-DOYOURPART1 MCT

    "Do Your Part" and put your recycling routine on steroids. Make a list of all the items you use regularly in your home that could be recycled and post the list prominently. (MCT)

  • Heirloom seed exchange launched

    Chesterfield Historical Society project focuses on heirloom varieties

  • Nero Wolfe's fascination with orchids

    Q: I first learned about orchids from reading Nero Wolfe detective books. What can you tell me about his collection? — Adam S.

  • What's It Worth: Antique lamps

    Q: I remember my lamps in use at grandmother's house in the 1950s. They are made of pottery decorated with flowers and are in excellent condition. There are no marks. What can you tell me about them? — A.A.

  • Home and garden event calendar

    Bulletin Board

  • Hokie spirit daylily

    Maroon and gold for your garden

  • Ask Martha: homemade vanilla extract, mixing wood colors

    Q: Bedbugs seem to be everywhere these days. How can I keep them out of my home?

  • Garden books inspire, educate

    The movement toward growing your own food continues to gather momentum. This is reflected in this year's selection of gardening books.

  • Ask Martha: Household tips

    Although a duvet cover does an admirable job of protecting a comforter from stains, it is notorious for being a shifty character. Keep it and your comforter neatly in place by turning the cover inside out and sewing two pieces of 5-inch-long fabric tape to all four corners. Then tie the fabric tape around each corner of the comforter, and sleep tight.

  • Home and Garden event calendar

    Bulletin Board for the week of Jan. 15, 2012

  • Flyways and Byways: Great Backyard Bird Count

    For four days in February, you can take part in the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology.

  • Gardening: Take a hike this winter

    Nature isn't limited to three seasons, and neither are nature walks. Winter is a delightful time to explore the great outdoors as a family or with a group of youngsters.

  • New Year's resolutions require strategy

    The statistics on New Year's resolutions are pretty dismal: As few as 2 percent of resolution-setters achieve their goals by the year's end, we've heard.

  • Home & Garden Show set for Jan. 14-15

    Winter may be in full swing, but spring will come early for gardening enthusiasts when the Virginia Home & Garden Show comes to town Saturday and Jan. 15.

  • Buttoned Up: Don't say yes when you really mean no

    American humorist Josh Billings really hit the nail on the head when he wrote, "Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough."

  • Ask Martha: Protecting leather in winter

    Q: What is the best way to protect leather boots and shoes against winter's harsh weather conditions?

  • Holiday village replicates family experiences

    Spread across two tables in Pat Hassard's Chesterfield County living room is a Christmas village.

  • Orchids: Evaluating an orchid

    Q: I have an orchid that was raised from seed and looks spectacular. What is involved in getting American Orchid Society judges to evaluate it? — Tom S.

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