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Gardening

Gibson Island’s oldest home is grandparents’ getaway for entire family

When Washingtonian couple Beverly and Peter Jost decided to buy a home on Gibson Island, they wanted a spot that would serve as a getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life while also providing a reprieve for their three children and six grandchildren. That’s what they got in …

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Garden Q&A: From chrysalis to Monarch butterfly

I found this on butterfly weed that I planted to help Monarch butterflies. Lots of butterfly caterpillars have been munching on the leaves this summer. Is this what I hope it is — a cocoon soon to be a Monarch butterfly? Yes. Congratulations. Soon an orange and black Monarch butterfly …

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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 ages. It’s an old, one-room cottage,” Kanelos said. “If I had an unlimited budget, I …

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Garden Q&A: What is this flower?

What is this flower? We love it and let it reseed every year. We call it orange zinnia, but it gets easily 6 feet tall and we suspect it isn’t really a zinnia. Butterflies and hummingbirds like it, and I think little birds eat the seeds, too. Tithonia rotundifolia, commonly …

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Garden Q&A: This vine can do permanent harm to your plants

A vine quickly grew up and over two shrubs and a perennial bed this summer. It hurts to pull these vines, but the plants below them are turning brown (what I can still see of them, anyway!) What should I do about this mess? Can I spray? This is a …

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Ready for tiny-home living? Start at the Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo

A few years ago, the college-age daughters of longtime friends Frank Hazzard and Kirk Johnson got interested in tiny houses – small dwellings, sometimes on wheels, that typically cap out at around 400 square feet. The girls’ interest faded before their fathers had time to build them tiny houses of …

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This South Baltimore rowhouse renovation is anything but cookie-cutter

When Stanford Kimmel and Chris Franzoni were searching for a new home five years ago, they wanted three things: a place accessible to the interstate — Franzoni was working in Washington, D.C., at the time — lots of windows and parking. The four-story South Baltimore rowhouse only met one of …

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Garden Q&A: What is this camouflaged leaf creature?

This leaf creature was flying from plant to plant yesterday, otherwise I would never have noticed it. Do I want it in my garden? I hope so. Katydids are great mimickers. The adults camouflage themselves as leaves, but their immature nymphs can look like spiders, assassin bugs (all the better …

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Garden Q&A: What to know about the weed with petal-less flowers

We vacationed for a month and returned to find a 5-foot tall weed. I keep waiting for it to flower to help identify it, but the flower buds just sit there unopened. This is American burnweed, and you’ve noticed the most interesting thing about it: the flowers don’t have petals. …

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Turns out your kitchen (not the bathroom!) is the grossest place in the house

With the longer, sunnier days of summer comes the crashing realization that you can now see with startling clarity just how filthy your home has become. In a study to measure the contamination of 30 common household items and surfaces, NSF International, which develops public health standards and food safety …

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