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I have been treating myself to cut flowers this winter, to keep my spirits up when I can’t be outdoors without it hurting. It’s amazing how a pot of pink and yellow tulips or bright yellow daffodils lifts the mood.

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Despite the cold, I know many people are anxious to get into their gardens and landscapes. There is certainly work to be done, and if the cold doesn’t scare you, consider winter pruning. With the spring equinox rapidly approaching on March 20, there’s no time to waste!

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When planning seed starting, it really is critical to have a schedule. If you start plants too early, you will end up with stretched, overgrown transplants that will have a really hard time adjusting to being planted outdoors.

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Regardless of how eager we are to rush the season and see tiny translucent green transplants peeking above the soil, it’s critical to plant and care for them appropriately in order to have stocky, tough transplants for the garden.

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With all the snow and other wintry weather we’ve been having, spring might seem far, far away and cabin fever might be intense — but this is the time for planning and prep work! Seed catalogs are arriving in mailboxes everywhere and our imaginations have no limitations. Here are some things …

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I just have to show off my amaryllis. These immense bulbs hold the promise of magnificent tropical blossoms that will take your breath away. All they need is some potting soil, warm water and a warm home to bring them into lovely bloom.

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Connecting with nature is predicted to be the garden trend for 2019, according to Garden Media Group’s 2019 Garden Trends Report: “Rooted Together — Reconnecting with the Natural World.” Link that prediction with findings from a research summary, “Urban Nature for Human Health & Well-Bei…

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The term garbage gardening doesn’t bring to mind the best image. But the concept is wonderful. Every time I trim vegetables for a salad or soup, I tend to muse about just what I can do with those trimmings. They go into my compost pile to nourish the vegetable garden next year. And some of t…

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The results are in, and judges have awarded the Kenosha County Center Display Garden second place in the Category 1 division of the All-America Selections 2018 Landscape Design Challenge. This makes the fifth consecutive year the Kenosha County Center Display Garden has received a national a…

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Frost has taken our tomatoes and peppers, but while you enjoy wonderful fall vegetables, here are a few garden chores that are actually enjoyable in the cool weather. Time to get the garden ready for next spring.

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Raised brick arches crisply outline the Bloomsburg’s two-story entry as well as the half-rounds crowning two large multipaned windows. Neat rows of turned bricks underscore those windows while defining the wainscoting’s upper limit.

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The Everheart is handsome, luxuriously large and comfortably relaxed. And despite boasting 4,100 square feet of living space, plus nearly 2,000 square feet of detached garage, the front facade is decidedly unpretentious.

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Iconic Craftsman windows sparkle across the front of the Sutherlin. Not surprising, this being an update of the Craftsman-style bungalow. Even the windows near the top of the garage door exhibit that definitive grid.

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Dear Car Talk: I have a 2015 Nissan Rogue with 30,000 miles on it. I’ve done all the oil changes as called for. So far, I’ve always used a synthetic blend oil. At my last oil change, however, they used a full synthetic oil. I want to go back to the synthetic blend next time. Any problem with…

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Question: A bag of tulip bulbs is sitting on a shelf in my garage waiting to be planted. With all the rain lately, I’m not sure when I can plant them. How long can I wait to plant them? — C.H.

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Nature creates this beauty out of practicality. The pigment in the highest amount in leaves is green chlorophyll, which is why they almost always look green to us. The leaves also have yellow and orange carotenoids (same as in carrots) and purple, red and pink anthocyanins (same as in bluebe…

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Dear Car Talk: I have a 2016 Volkswagen SportWagen. It has a big sunroof, and a big leak. Ounces drip down from the overhead center console onto the stereo faceplate, around the headliner, down the front driver pillar and out the tweeter that’s mounted at the base of the pillar. This is the …

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Dear Car Talk: I enjoy your column very much; it’s good info and funny. Do I need a new car? I have a 2004 Cadillac CTS with rust issues and soon-to-need new tires. It has 105,000 miles on it.

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I was walking next to a farm field the other day, not really paying much attention, when I realized there was something in it I didn’t recognize. Mostly because it was a traditional farm field that has always been rotated with soybeans, wheat and corn. This year was a wheat year and it was h…

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A double crown of king posts with diagonal struts spotlights the Brycewood’s vaulted porch. Inside, natural light washes into the lofty, vaulted foyer through sidelights, a transom and two sets of upper level windows over the door. It’s an impressive welcome.

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Dear Car Talk: In a column from 2012, your recommendation when parking on a hill was to set the parking brake first, then put the transmission in park. In one of your recent columns, the order was: put the car in park first, then apply the parking brake. To drive away, both columns indicate …

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Dear Car Talk: I’m retired, and at age 70, I hit my midlife crisis and bought my first Mercedes (new). But being retired and living downtown in the city where I can walk to most things, I find myself doing city driving almost all the time. So is it necessary to get on the freeway once in a w…

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I had the privilege of being chosen to participate in a study abroad program to Australia with Gateway Technical College in partnership with Technical and Further Education in New South Wales. This study tour was a rich and diverse educational experience; there were some similarities to our …

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Dear Car Talk: While browsing cartalk.com recently (I had nothing better to do ... I was at work), I came across a user’s comment that a vehicle that is driven less than 10 miles per outing is more likely to develop engine problems. I hate to sound like “the little old lady who only drives t…

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Question: While digging and dividing the tall bearded iris plants in my yard, I’ve noticed some of the roots are soft, slimy, and smell awful. Is this some type of rot or could it be the iris borer? How do I know so I can treat my plants? — J.M.

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Dear Car Talk: Back in the mid ’70s, my brother asked me to drive his 1963 BMW from Connecticut to Cape Cod, Mass. I had been traveling on Highway 95 for about an hour at around 70 miles per hour when steam started pouring out of the hood. I immediately pulled over, but the engine had seized…

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Landscapes have a personality of their own, and they vary as much as the people who tend them.

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Dear Car Talk: My car is a 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue with 80,000 miles on it. About five months ago, the car would not start. I just got a “click” when I turned the key. The lights, horn, etc. worked fine. I had the car towed to my mechanic. He turned the key and the car started right up. He …

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We just went through a dry spell. It’s only natural that plants pull in and conserve moisture in the best way they can — by going dormant.

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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection recently announced the first detection of boxwood blight in Wisconsin. It was found during a routine plant inspection performed by DATCP nursery inspectors at a nursery in Kenosha County. Boxwood blight is a serious funga…