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Gardening

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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Garden Q&A: Are brown marmorated stink bugs here to stay?

We were inundated with disgusting stinkbugs about five years ago. Then they seemed to disappear. I saw three on the window screen recently. Are they coming back? The brown marmorated stink bug (or BMSB) never left and never will. It has already spread to 44 states, but we’ve had a …

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Garden Q&A: How do I prune hydrangea? And deal with hungry wolf spiders?

We love watching our panicle hydrangea change colors in the fall. It is enormous this year. Any ideas as to how to prune it back this fall? Hydrangea paniculata are bold in late summer-fall with huge white flower heads that segue to pink shades. If you can’t let it grow …

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Garden Q&A: What’s growing under our maple tree? A fungus called Dead Man’s Fingers

It looks like these strange-looking things are reaching up from the mulch under our maple. What are these? Dead Man’s Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha) can look like knobby arthritic fingers or a whole hand of blackened fingers, sometimes with white “fingernails.” They are a fungus, coming not from the mulch, but …

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Garden Q&A: What’s happening to my crape myrtle’s flower buds?

This year a lot of my crape myrtle’s flower buds turned white and wouldn’t open. I’ve had this crape myrtle for years and never had the problem. Is it getting old? Your crape myrtle is infected by powdery mildew. Like many fungi, powdery mildew has had a banner year with …

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Garden Q&A: What killed this tree?

These things like spaghetti pasta were sticking out of our tree that suddenly died. They crumbled when I touched them. Did they attack the tree and kill it? These are sawdust tubes pushed out by ambrosia beetles as they bore into your tree. The tubes are rarely seen this time …

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Garden Q&A: How to spice up your garden with fall perennials

What are some fall perennials to spice up my garden? I love mums, but what else is out there? Toad lily, for starters. Its speckles vary from bloom to bloom, so plant where you can enjoy its detail up close. More fall bloomers include: turtlehead, asters (a range of bloom …

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6 historic Anne Arundel residences to see right now

From Georgian-style structures that sheltered signers of the Declaration of Independence to a Greek Revival-style farmhouse that was central to the area’s produce sales, Anne Arundel County is home to some of the state’s most significant historic residences. Here are six that have their histories, architecture and decor on display …

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