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Home and Garden

Choosing desert plants depends on your caveats

A friend recently asked me about plants that he could install in a desert environment. Certainly, a large variety of plants could fill the bill, but he gave me a caveat — whatever plants I suggested would need to rely on naturally occurring water, not irrigation. That makes a world of difference in selecting the proper variety for this region.

There are new rules for wood furniture

Beautiful wood furniture is an essential ingredient of a well-decorated home. But for too long, the old rules of how to decorate with wood pieces have hampered our creativity when we are curating our living spaces. Ask any of the nuns who had the misfortune of teaching me in high school: I love to break rules. Here are three long-held maxims we can tell goodbye:

Dealing with Las Vegas insect invasion

Q: I took your advice and am treating pill bugs in my garden like slugs. I have drowned them with beer but they keep coming back. My neighbor is giving me his old cans of beer. I had to dig up the rhubarb plants and put them in pots. This is sure a frustrating year.

Living to eat or eating to live

Summer is a good time to examine our eating habits. What we consume, how much and how fast we eat not only affects our health and family budgets but also contributes to our personal CO2 emissions as well as our water footprint. We can do more damage or good to our precious home, planet Earth, through our daily diets than we can in other areas of transportation or consumption.

How to modernize 1980s decor

Remember when black and mauve was the hot color combination and when mirrors were all the rage? Well, in case you are too young to remember, those were some of the staples of ’80s home decor. The ’80s were the decade of opulence, marble, gold and mirrors.

Plant all-American agave for fine succulent accent

They came north out of Mexico into the Desert Southwest with the Spanish, though nobody knows their actual point of origin. It’s because so many pre-Columbian cultures, including the Aztecs, utilized the great blue agave, so it had been spread all over Mesoamerica in this early cultivation. A plant so useful was highly valued as a source of fiber, living fencing, food and, of course, the ancient fermented beverage called “pulque.”