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Home and Garden

Conserve water by spreading mulch atop ground

Brick red-dyed mulch is the equivalent of the 1970s orange shag carpet. It was popular for about two minutes and then became the ultimate downer after the fad passed. Unfortunately, colored wood chips are still around — even advertised on TV — which makes no sense when natural-looking alternatives are available.

Kids’ stuff: Make room in yard for play

Playing is what childhood is all about. Making a place to play in the garden inspires kids and sets them an example for the rest of their lives. Even in a tiny backyard, there is plenty of room for children to play and for adults to have a good time.