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What to do with all your stuff now that you’ve been watching ‘Tidying Up’

Just two weeks into the year, professional organizer Marie Kondo appears to be the most influential woman of 2019. Since the series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” first aired on Netflix on Jan. 1, countless people have begun to pile all their earthly clothes onto beds, holding each item to …

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America’s love-hate relationship with Marie Kondo and our clutter

First, let’s take a moment to thank the device you’re using to read this story, or the table holding up your newspaper. Your computer and phone and furniture work very hard for you. They’re inanimate objects, yes. But think of how you’d feel if you lost them. We all have …

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What kind of beetle is this I found in my kitchen?

Holiday cleaning turned up lots of things, including this bug. It was in my kitchen, but I don’t see it in the Pantry Pest section on the University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center website. Now I’m nervous. What is it? The larder beetle with its broad panda-like …

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Boxwood blight can spread easily though it’s not active in the winter

I’m horrified to see that the Christmas wreath my relative sent me has boxwood leaves infected with boxwood blight! What do I do with it? I would hate to spread this infection to my neighbors. To make matters worse, I live near a historic area with ancient boxwoods. Brown spotted …

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Decorative evergreens for the yard and how to give bat houses as gifts

I miss having an evergreen to put lights on, since my blue spruce died. Can you suggest a nice pyramid-shaped tree for the front yard? I don’t want it to grow as fast as Leyland cypress, though. Japanese cedar — Cryptomeria japonica — is a popular option. It’s a stately …

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By the numbers: A Government House Christmas returns in Annapolis

Gov. Larry Hogan’s re-election meant a lot of things in November. For Republicans, Hogan’s ride to success atop the blue wave was monumental to the party in Maryland. For the Government House staff, Hogan’s win was the moment to start preparing for Saturday’s holiday open house. The public is invited …

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Can you get a poison ivy rash from firewood?

My husband got a bad case of poison ivy, and the only thing we can figure is he got it from handling firewood. Some of the trunks had vines. How can we tell which vines have poison ivy, since the vines don’t have leaves anymore? Poison ivy vines cling closely …

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Use Eastern red cedar berries for holiday decoration and that compost any time

I’d like to grow an evergreen tree that produces berries for holiday decorations besides red holly berries. I found these blue berries that would be perfect. What is this and should I plant it in my yard? Eastern red cedar can have lovely blue “berries” with a light frosting of …

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Talking turkey and evergreens that like all this rain

Our whole neighborhood was wild about our wild turkeys last summer (though I did catch the baby ones eating my blueberries once.) There were two females and a dozen babies. This year—nothing. Is this normal? A: Wild turkey flocks typically range 2 to 20 square miles. Your flock may have …

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