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Garden Q&A: My clematis has spots and what is this blue worm-like thing?

My clematis leaves have spots. My neighbor said I have to dig it up. It’s so beautiful when it blooms, is there anything less drastic I can do? Digging up the vine is premature. Clematis fungal leaf spot mainly infects leaves and does not get into the root system. However, …

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Garden Q&A: The perfect flower for Fourth of July and misshapen strawberries

What’s a good 4th of July plant choice? Not an annual, but perennial. What could be better than a native American flower that looks like fireworks? Yellow stars with a red tail — a regular “rocket’s red glare.” When plant guru Allan Armitage calls Spigelia marylandica “striking,” “stop in your …

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These golden-backed flies prey on other insects and how to know your tree is dead

I found these flies reproducing in my garden. Never seen them before. Are they pests? Interesting find. This is the golden-backed snipe fly, or Chrysopilus thoracicus. The female is on the right. Far from being pests, both the larvae and adults are predators that eat other insects. They are common …

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What other native trees should I plant?

The woods around me are almost all tulip poplar since the gypsy moths wiped out the oaks years ago. I love mine for its tulip-shaped leaves and flowers. Now I have room to plant one shade tree. Should I plant another? I’m planting for wildlife. Tulip poplars are a favorite …

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Nouveau Home and Interior Design closing in Mount Vernon, searching for new location

Nouveau Home and Interior Design is closing its doors in Mount Vernon at the end of the summer, the co-owners announced Thursday. Co-owners Steve Appel and Lee Whitehead said in a statement that they plan to “search for a new location,” blaming the closure on “the rise of online shopping, …

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8 historic Howard County homes you can visit

Howard County is filled with a slew of planned communities and over-the-top McMansions. But it’s also home to a number of historic houses — some of which you can tour or rent. Here are eight worth checking out: Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun Belmont Manor in Elkridge. Belmont Manor in …

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How a Columbia gardener turns his tiny plot into a full-fledged feast

At 70, Kent Phillips could have thrown in the trowel. Two knee replacements last year challenged him to grow vegetables. But Phillips, of Columbia, soldiered on. Rather than kneel, he’d let the garden come to him. Raised beds, it would be. “Taking care of a 1,500-square-foot garden became too onerous. …

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This big bug smells good and beware of the Southern Blight fungus on tomato plants

Found this crawly thing when I was working in my garden beds. I’ve lived here forever and never seen anything like it! It’s several inches long. What do you think? Cherry bug, as it’s fondly known, is a native millipede which, unexpectedly, brings delight to many people. When shaken, it …

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Anne Arundel County answers: What would your dream home look like?

We asked three notable Anne Arundel County residents: What would your dream home look like? Panayiotis “Pano” Kanelos President of St. John’s College “My parents come from Greece, and we have a little family home in Greece on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It’s been there for ages and …

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