There was a time when “outdoor living” meant a wheeled barbecue grill and a few lounge chairs on the backyard patio deck, but today it’s as if homes have been picked up and turned inside out.
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Home and Garden
We talk a lot on my public television series, “Growing a Greener World,” about edible gardening.
An heirloom bronze elephant with ivory tusks, great-grandmother’s piano with ivory keys, a vintage ivory chess set or an antique silver teapot with a small ivory inset in the handle to keep it cool may be “endangered” by proposed laws that could be in place sometime this month.
It’s a simple math problem:
Q: My recently planted Carolina jasmine vine and rose bush are being shredded by cutter bees. I’ve been told there is no insecticide to kill or deter them. Is this so? Both of these plants are adjacent to other plants but the others are not affected. I’m at wits end seeing perfect circles in the leaves! Also, why would you want cutter bees?
When Charlotte Schnur retired to the valley from Massachusetts she knew there would be an adjustment period. The summers were a fair trade for the East Coast winters, and the 300-plus days of sunshine seemed like a great added value. But the former art history professor had a hard time adjusting to one thing: desert landscaping.
I have something in common with the late modern artist Pablo Picasso. In 1907 he experienced a revelation when viewing early African masks at the ethnographic museum at Palais du Trocadero. My revelation was in 1997 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco where these same treasures were lent by Belgium’s Royal Museum for Central Africa. Both Belgium and France had colonies in Africa where modern art as we know it was born at the hands of indigenous tribal artisans.
The world I was born into no longer exists. By the middle of the last century (wow, that sounds so long ago) the human population had risen sharply and was already orders of magnitude greater than the historical average.
One-of-a-kind collectibles are interesting and often not expensive. In the 1980s, a Navajo Indian decided to make a stuffed toy from a Pendleton wool blanket. Today, a vintage Pendleton wool blanket in good condition can sell for hundreds of dollars. But 30 years ago, a worn Pendleton blanket had a lower value, so it was cut up and turned into a toy.
It really was a fairly ridiculous thing to do, considering I was flat broke until my tax refund arrived.
For years, it was enough to park a barbecue grill next to a picnic table on a patio and call it an “outdoor kitchen.” But over the past decade, Americans have taken backyard cooking and dining to a new level, adding elaborate cooking islands, outdoor sinks and refrigerators, even outdoor TVs.
Baseball may have been first mentioned in the United States in 1791, when city officials in Pittsfield, Mass., banned playing the game near the town meeting house. Years later, a group of “experts” decided that the game was invented by Abner Doubleday — a decision that is now called a myth.
It’s impossible to flip through a home décor magazine, read a design blog or scroll through a Pinterest feed without noticing furniture painted in classic neutrals or bold pops of color.
Q: I want to install a wood floor over a concrete slab in my downstairs bedroom. What kind of flooring material is needed, and how do I install it?
“The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider’s web.” — Edwin Way Teale (1899-1960), American photographer and writer, “September 18,” Circle of the Seasons (1953)
Those of you who were lucky enough to get your tomatoes planted the first part of March have already tasted your home-grown tomatoes. Quite a few of you have discovered tomatoes with black bottoms.
Brass is making a strong comeback in home furnishings. Don’t get excited and think this means your old brass chandelier is back in style.
I will be giving a class on summer pruning Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 100 yards east of the orchard at Horse Drive near Decatur Boulevard in North Las Vegas, in the outdoor auditorium. There is no fee for the class. Visit my blog or send me an email for more information.
Expensive woods such as teak or mahogany, marble, stone and other materials used to make expensive furniture are often imitated by a painted surface. Faux finishes have been used since the days of ancient Egypt.
Asia is the world’s largest continent, measuring about 16,000,000 square miles and bounded by Europe and the Pacific, Arctic and Indian oceans. It’s not only vast in size and population but steeped in age old traditions and culture from the Far East, China, Thailand and Malaysia that exerts an enormous influence on all facets of our everyday life.