Home & Garden

Ode to orchids

NORTH LIBERTY — About 25 years ago, Nile Dusdieker bought an orchid for his wife Lois’s birthday.

“From there, everything was downhill,” he says.

That single flower was the start of what would become a very [...]

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Off the Map: Garden pulls in Vinton youth

Editor’s note: Each week we target a town on a map of Eastern Iowa and go there in search of a story. We hope to discover and share stories of people and places we might not ordinarily take note of, but who make our communities special.


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From the ground up: Three waysto overwinter your geraniums

Overwintering your geraniums is relatively easy to do and can save you a bunch of money next spring. Most of us have a favorite geranium variety, and overwintering yours will save you time next planting season hunting for just the right one. Try o [...]

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Clermont 160-acre homestead a labor of love

CLERMONT — Susan Kuennen Massman and Jim Massman bought a 160-acre farm in Clermont together late in life in 2010.

They spent many long hours landscaping a variety of gardens in what she describes as the beautiful rolling hills of &# [...]

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Grande dame

CEDAR RAPIDS — She has been one of the grandest ladies of Grande Avenue Southeast for these past 92 years.

A three-story brick house situated regally on a sloping terrace, she was built in 1922 by Dr. Wencil Naibert, a dentist, and af [...]

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From the ground up: An expert’s guide to planting, digging up bulbs in the fall

Q: When can I plant bulbs for spring?

A: September is a great month to purchase daffodils, tulips, crocus and hyacinth bulbs for fall planting, but October is the month to plant those bulbs. You donȁ [...]

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The return of the front porch's popularity

MOUNT VERNON — When Ann Booth saw the grandiose front porch on a Mount Vernon turn-of-the-century home, she wanted it. So when the house went on the market almost 40 years ago, she and her husband Guy Booth bought the home.

They've b [...]

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Country comfort

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series showcasing two homes built in Vinton more than a century apart.

VINTON — It’s the house that Roger and Barb Beau built [...]

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From the ground up: Should you start new or repair an established lawn?

Fall is the optimum time to start a new lawn from seed. The warm days, cool nights and fall rains encourage rapid growth. Plus, fewer weed seeds germinate in the fall, so you’ll have fewer weeds in your lawn.

To start a new lawn, p [...]

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Historic Vinton home

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series showcasing two homes built in Vinton more than a century apart.

VINTON — The proud Queen Anne beauty was built in 1901, right on the [...]

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From the ground up: Deadheading your plants encourages re-blooming

Q: I am confused about deadheading. How do I deadhead plants? What plants should — and should not — be deadheaded?

A: There still is a lot of growing time left in this season, which means the [...]

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Stop. Smell the flowers

DECORAH — In England, it’s common to say — when one is going out into the yard — that you are going into the garden.

In the case of Mike and Mary Lou Cotton, who live far from the British Isles in Decorah, this t [...]

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From the ground up: Pick carefully for beautiful arrangements

August brings an abundance of beautiful flowers for cutting, from sunflowers and black-eyed-Susan’s to roses and coneflowers in many colors. Whether you cut flowers from your own garden or buy them at the farmers market, there are a few thi [...]

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From the ground up: Ward off tomato blight, other disease by watering ground

Tomatoes have a lot of enemies in the garden, even deer. But more common are the fungus and bacterial diseases of tomato plants.

Tomato blight and leaf spot is common and attacks foliage, particularly the lower leaves. Early blight, Septori [...]

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From the ground up: How to become a Master Gardener

Besides questions on plants, lawns, insects and flowers, a lot of you ask “What is a Master Gardener”?

A Master Gardener is someone who loves gardening and is interested in learning more about horticulture and sharing that know [...]

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