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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.

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.

Special language used in auction catalog

Every profession has its special language. Doctors discuss broken legs with terms like femur or tibia. Schoolteachers now talk about core curriculum, while real estate brokers have to know about land contracts and joint ventures.

Find space with grace: Equations create effective layout

Equations are for more than just math class; did you know there’s a proper order of operations for your home, too? Whether it’s arranging your couch and television for optimal viewing or making sure towel bars are right within reach, knowing a few key numbers can help you determine the ideal place for each item in your home, creating spaces that look great and are easy-to-use.

Some flooring products more pet-friendly than others

According to the 2013-2014 American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 82.5 million homes. In those 82.5 million homes, there are 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats, plus our exotic pet family members.