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Room makeovers are easy, affordable when you use what you have

By Suzanne Sproul|

How to determine which fruit trees will grow best in your yard

If you have a fruit tree or two, there’s one branch of science, despite its unfamiliar name, which you probably know something about. The science to which I refer is phenology. Phenology is the study of recurring biological phenomena, suc...

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MOST RECENT STORIES

  • Home + Garden

    5 garden tips for the week starting July 22

    Spruce up roses Since rose blossoms don’t like long hot days, take this opportunity to tidy up the plants. Prune out sprawling stems and cut back growth that has become too tall — sort of like giving them a haircut. You may safely remove up to a third of the height and breadth, but retain a good amount of foliage to nurture new growth. Remove rose suckers by tearing them off at the base with a harsh downward and outward tug (and be sure to wear gloves). This...

    Jack Christensen
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  • Home + Garden

    Gardening: For a onetime farm girl, working at Monrovia Nursery is a dream job come true

    Kate Karam says she has the greatest job in the world. She edits newsletters and authors a blog for Monrovia Nursery, in addition to dialoguing with people in the media about what the world’s largest nursery, which sells 22 million plants each year, has to offer. Karam is either writing or talking about Monrovia’s plants all day long, except for after hours, when she occupies herself by taking care of her own. Karam grew up on a small farm in New Hampshire...

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  • Home + Garden

    Landscape challenges? ‘Garden fixers’ have some savvy solutions

    Claudia Schmutzler loves “challenged” landscapes. In fact, she’s come to embrace them. “Bring it and let’s see what we can do,” said the Corona del Mar landscape designer and owner of Windsor Decks and Gardens, who calls herself the “garden fixer.” Not all of her projects start with her scratching her head, but some have, and most of the challenges have involved physical impediments. One of her more recent endeavors...

    Suzanne Sproul
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  • Home decor

    As seen on TV: Smart home renovation ideas are showcased on the small screen

    In a crowded landscape of home design/renovation television shows, is there room for one more? Marilynn Taylor of The Taylored Home hopes so. Featured recently on an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunter’s Renovation,” her task was to design a kitchen, bathroom, living room and master bedroom for a Redondo Beach condominium using a combination of teal, blush, white and black tones with copper accents. She also had to work with special built-ins for the...

    Suzanne Sproul
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  • Home + Garden

    5 garden tips for the week starting July 15

    Fruit strategies Apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, grapes and other summer fruits ripen fast in the heat. Check them every other day or so and harvest as they mature. Since they spoil quickly in hot weather, plan to do some canning, drying, freezing or juicing. It may be unpleasant work now, but the effort sure pays off when you open and enjoy it this winter. Orchid options Remember to water cymbidium orchids regularly and feed them lightly with liquid...

    Jack Christensen
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  • Home + Garden

    Style and substance: Tiny homes were a big focus at Dwell on Design

    Dwell on Design is a one-stop shop at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where designers, designers-in-training and those who simply have designs on a new look for their homes are treated to about 300 vendors touting their wares. The mid-summer downtown tradition, presented in partnership with Dwell Magazine, is a lot to take in, and the recent three-day event was no different. It also is a useful tool for gathering ideas and information. Those looking for the latest in...

    Suzanne Sproul
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  • Home + Garden

    Gardening: Biological pest control is best because it’s nature’s way

    Biological control of undesirable garden pests is the desirable way to go. It’s a garden management tool that encourages natural processes by bringing one living organism into the garden to munch on another. Besides, having chemicals around to control garden pests is always a nuisance. The preparation for use and application must be done while protecting skin, eyes and breathing passages. And storing chemicals is a hassle, too. Chemical pest control may also kill or discourage...

    Joshua Siskin
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  • Home + Garden

    5 garden tips for the week starting July 8

    Clippers at the ready Keep geraniums and other flowering plants blooming throughout the summer and longer by deadheading (removing faded blossoms). Most summer annuals, perennials and roses will bloom more if old blossoms are removed as soon as they fade. And an additional dose of plant food will also boost blooming. Harvest, then prune Here’s the best way to keep your deciduous fruit trees low and productive: prune them as soon as you harvest the...

    Jack Christensen
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  • Home + Garden

    Gardening: Transplanting citrus trees takes care and effort, but it can be done

    Question: I have a lemon tree that was planted in partial shade one year ago. My gardener claims it’s in too much shade. I was thinking I needed to wait for winter to transplant it to a sunny spot. Is this true? — Marlene de Valera, Simi Valley Answer: You want to avoid citrus transplanting — or planting, for that matter — in winter because of the danger of frost. Citrus trees are evergreen, which means they are constantly putting out new...

    Joshua Siskin
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  • Home + Garden

    Playtime: Backyard fun and games rise to a new level

    Cornhole or ladder toss, anyone? The popular tailgate and bar staple games have found their way to barbecues and into backyards. Playing isn’t just for children anymore. In the pre-internet/cable television/video game days, summers were filled with horseshoes, badminton, tag and, dare we say it, kick the can — all outside and usually in the backyard. Many of those games are back. Forgot what it was like to enjoy seemingly endless days of play? The Autry...

    Suzanne Sproul
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