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Gardening

Red, green and gleaming glass: Poinsettias still a holiday highlight in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park

Bridget Maginn passed her 90th birthday years ago, but her eyes lit up like a child’s as she made her way through the profusion of red and green — and pink and cream and apricot — plants on display at the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory. She had dropped in on …

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JoRetro taps into the resurgence of Pyrex and other mid-century dishware

A serendipitous internet search for her grandmother’s set of Pyrex bowls sparked Katie Kracke’s passion for collecting the dishes that were a kitchen staple between the 1940s and 1980s. Kracke, 41, who lives in Jarrettsville, was startled to see hundreds of patterns that spanned decades: “I always thought there was …

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Garden Q&A: Turkey tail fungi

These things are growing on the stump of a tree we cut down. We’re worried that they will spread to other trees and kill them. Turkey tail fungi is striking with its vivid color pattern resembling the fanned feathers of a tom turkey, strutting to attract the ladies. The concentric …

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A glimpse of history and holiday cheer in Howard County house tour

Of the 500 or so Howard County homes on a statewide list of historic properties, five are open to the public for a fundraiser one day each year. Local residents jump at the chance each December to step inside places they previously could only glimpse from afar – and get …

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Garden Q&A: History of Maryland holly

My mother has a holly with lots of berries she calls Satyr Hill and claims is from Maryland. Is it safe to prune off branches for decoration this time of year? Satyr Hill is indeed a Maryland daughter, from the McLean Nurseries in Parkville, acclaimed as one of the best …

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Garden Q&A: When to harvest Asian persimmons

When do I harvest my Asian persimmons? They are so big and beautiful! It’s always dicey. The longer you leave persimmons on the tree, the sweeter they get. But if they get hit with a hard freeze, they turn to mush. Yummy mush, suitable for fruit pudding, but folks usually …

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Garden Q&A: Keeping autumn leaves to help garden critters

What’s missing from my yard that I don’t get more butterflies and birds? I grow the plants that feed them and don’t use pesticides. Leave the leaves! We have to unlearn old habits sometimes. Disposing of autumn leaves has become a ritual, but most of the beneficial insects we love …

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Garden Q&A: Name this green caterpillar

A friend took this picture in a parking lot. The caterpillar is about three inches long and grabbed hold of the pavement tightly when my friend tried to move it. Can you identify it? If you wondered whether fall was unusually mild, this caterpillar is exhibit A. It waited until …

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