Home and Garden

  • Family stories, picking cotton and selling GRIT

    Have you ever looked up your family history, also known as geneology or "family tree," to see when and where your ancestors came from? Maybe there is a skeleton in the closet or a pot of gold buried beside the oak tree. I have had some help looking up part of my family history from my niece Joy Mullis of Gaffney. (She is a real whiz at geneology.)

    It has been my experience that whatever you find is interesting and fascinating.

  • Garden revival made easy

    Spring floods, summer droughts and temperature extremes take their toll on gardens and the gardeners who tend them.

    It is possible to help gardens recover from the crazy temperature and moisture extremes that seem to occur each year.

    Start by assessing the current condition of the landscape. Remove dead plants as soon as possible; they can harbor insect and disease organisms that can infest healthy plantings. Consider replacing struggling plants with healthy plants better suited to the space, growing conditions and landscape design.

  • Yard of the Month

    Sal and Lois Rao moved into their home at 1839 Tara Trail almost 20 years ago. Since that time they have steadily been improving the landscaping. Their front yard is now filled with mature azaleas growing freely under majestic hardwoods. A blend of small and large, single and double blooms, these azaleas create a colorful impact from early to late spring.

  • Tree tunnels can take your breath away

    I have always loved the way old trees, especially Live Oaks, arch over roads and lawns.

    Every time I drive toward Edisto Island, the loveliness of moss-draped limbs hanging overhead gives me goosebumps.

    Years ago it was such a thrill to walk under the magnificent trees in front of Oak Alley Plantation near New Orleans, that iconic scene that I had looked at wistfully in magazines for years.

    Both of these places are examples of tree tunnels, roads or paths with trees on both sides forming a canopy overhead.

  • Springtime Lyme disease precautions

    by Judith A. Weeg/President Lyme Disease United Coalition
    Ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, fleas and mites are capable of carrying Borrelia burgdorferi, or, as it’s more commonly known, Lyme disease.
    Dr. Paul Meade, of the Centers for Disease Control, called Lyme disease an “epidemic” at a 2010 Institute of Medicine meeting.

  • Managing preserves resources

    A few weeks ago as I was buying greeting cards, I noticed this statement on the backs of several: “This card is made with paper from sustainably managed forests.”

    What exactly does that mean?

    Sustainable forest management (SFM) is a complex concept, but essentially its goal is to make certain that the forest resources the world enjoys today will continue to be available in the future.

    SFM promotes practices that generate timber and non-timber forest products with respect for the highest ecological, ethical and social standards.

  • Schoolyard gardeners

    BY Barbara Westbrook
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    “Helping hands and linking arms” describes the recent Day of Service project performed by 19 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Lancaster branch. The members assembled five Master-Gro Gold greenhouses.

  • Trees can bring comfort

    Trees can be source of comfort

    Recently my dear friend Lindsay Pettus of Lancaster sent me an article from americanforests.org’s magazine titled, “Finding Strength and Solace in a Tree.”

  • Community garden brings people together

    The onset of warmer weather causes many people to think about gardening, and the Lancaster Community Garden offers gardening opportunities to local residents free of charge.

    From beginner to master gardener, everyone is welcome to take advantage of the garden’s 10-by-20-foot plots, said Elaine McKinney, project manager and garden coordinator.

  • Royal empress tree at center of controversy

    While driving through a Chester County neighborhood recently I was surprised to see a tall tree, perhaps 30 feet high, covered in lavender bell-shaped blossoms.

    I stopped, backed up and sat for several minutes gazing at the unusual sight.

    The person with me offered to ask the property owner, his neighbor, what kind of tree it was.