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Sourcebook for Cultivated Living

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  • 03/09/18--03:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Mail Slots
  • Handwritten letters may be an endangered species but a slim, elegant mail slot (or maybe you say “letter plate?”) will always be a stylish accessory for the well-dressed front door. We’re rounded up 10 of our favorite mail slots—from classic styles to sleek, modern lozenges—in a variety of finishes for your consideration. Junk mailers, take […]

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    If only we could identify our particular succulents, we’d know how to keep our little friends happy—no more droopy, shriveled leaves, yellowing stems, or threats of sudden death. At least that’s the theory. This is the third installment of our Succulents Explained series (you can identify Kalanchoes and Sedums and Crassulas and Sempervivums with tips from […]

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    Among the things we’re noting this week: the return of a favorite magazine, two spring must-reads, and more. Michelle reports that Bird Talk magazine has made a comeback; catch up on all the latest here. We’re curious about Understory, a new urban ecology fair, workshop, and plant lab in Brooklyn, from April 28 to 29. […]

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  • 03/10/18--01:00: Gardening 101: Poppy Anemone
  • Poppy Anemone, A. coronaria: “Lilies of the Field” Of the more than 100 species of perennial anemones, the colorful poppy anemone is one you are likely to see in spring gardens (and to covet for yours). With its large, velvety petals and wide range of colors, Anemone coronaria flowers also find their way frequently into […]

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    “I wish we’d stop growing potatoes, carrots, and onions,” says Mark Diacono. “Life is too short to grow unremarkable food.” Welcome to Throwback Sundays: Readers’ Favorite Posts from the Past. Diacono, award-winning blogger, author, and photographer (and head gardener at River Cottage HQ), says: Don’t grow things because you think you should: Instead make a […]

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    Artificial grass has been gaining ground—and a reputation for being eco-friendly because it doesn’t need water, fertilizer, or to be mowed. Plus, the newest generation of artificial grass often looks good enough to fool us into thinking it’s real. But have we been too quick to extol the virtues of artificial grass? After Michelle included […]

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    In California, our architecture is young. We joined the Union in 1848 and since then have endured so many biblical calamities in the form of fires and earthquake that it’s a shock to find any building with a history that dates to 1850—much less a grand Spanish-style mansion with a pillared front porch and a […]

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    With the official start of outdoor dining season weeks away, it’s time to take stock. We’ve rounded up a selection of rectangular wooden tables suitable for dining in the open air. They all meet the requirements for longevity, capacity, simplicity (and in some cases, expandability). Here are 10 favorites: Are you designing or updating a […]

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  • 03/12/18--03:00: Gardening 101: Plum Trees
  • Plum Tree, Prunus: “Early and Late” Plum trees open and close the growing year. They are among the loveliest and earliest trees to blossom after winter, and their fruit is one of the last to ripen in late summer. In Japan plums are celebrated for their blossoms, with ume festivals preceding the more famous Hanami (cherry blossom […]

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    Three weeks before last year’s hurricane, Key West–based landscape architect Craig Reynolds completed a new tropical garden for one of the best-known Victorian cottages in the island’s historic Old Town district. The property is on a quiet lane where five houses share a handful of parking spaces; visitors arrive on foot. In addition to being […]

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  • 03/13/18--01:00: 10 Easy Pieces: Flower Frogs
  • The flower frog is the florist’s best friend, creating a secure base for flowers that would otherwise flop. We’ve rounded up 10 flower frogs in two styles—with sturdy holes to hold soft stems or with spiky metal programs to spear spindly stalks or woody twigs. Metal Prong Flower Frogs Ceramic Flower Frogs For more help […]

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    With their watercolor-paint petals, anemones are one of the daintiest spring flowers. Part of the ranunculus family, and sporting leaves that bring to mind parsley, anemones have a delicate charm and are sometimes called windflowers. Traditionally, as a cut flower, I’ve paired them with other spring delicacies, such as grape hyacinth, narcissus, and other ranunculus. […]

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    When the British garden writer Christopher Lloyd declared that “gardening, like living, should be fun,” he must have been thinking about cottage gardens. With their tight jumble of ornamental flowers, edible herbs, and fruit trees, the best cottage gardens have informal, idiosyncratic layouts that are like fingerprints: each could belong only to the gardener who […]

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    Australia-based design house Lepaar transforms prosaic products into objects of desire. Lepaar’s collection of garden hoses, appropriately named the Gardenlust line, have handmade brass fittings and nozzles designed by master coppersmith Australian coppersmith Louis Berczi. Hard-wearing recycled rubber and a custom manufacturer’s formula make the hoses flexible and resistant to kinks: Above: Available in three colors including ivory, a 32-foot Luxe Hose And […]

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  • 03/14/18--03:00: Gardening 101: Rhododendrons
  • Rhododendron, Rhododendron: “Rose Tree” One of the many things I have learned this year as a volunteer working with the tireless organizers of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden plant sale is that shade is the norm in the backyards of brownstone neighborhoods. That fact underlies the choices made by landscape designer Joan McDonald of Gardens by Joan, […]

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    Autumn in April is business as usual in Australia. Why have it any other way? As these gardens show, there is a liberation from being closer to the east than the north. Here are 10 modern ideas to steal from a continent unhindered by centuries-old garden traditions: Water Conservation Billabongs Known outside of Australia as […]

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    In the 19th century Austrian furniture maker Michael Thonet, the inventor of the bentwood style, brought his five sons into a family business that thrives today. In addition to the gracefully curved designs that made Thonet a household name, Vienna-based Gebrüder Thonet also manufactures new styles—and the company’s classic outdoor furnishings (which look just as happy […]

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    Alpine Strawberry, Fragaria vesca: “Fraises des Bois” It’s a romantic flower, the little woodland strawberry or fraises des bois. The white blossom-like flowers perfectly complement fresh, trifoliate leaves, with scarlet jewels of fruit appearing at the same time. They flower and fruit throughout summer, providing a cheery edging to steps, or along fences. Grown in rooty […]

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    A little voyeurism can be useful when planning garden visits, and an under-gardener on Instagram, handy with a camera, is invaluable. Lee Behegan (@theplantboyy) began working at Lismore Castle in County Waterford, Ireland, when he was still at school. Now 20, he is “trusted with more horticultural jobs” and will be interning at Chanticleer Garden […]

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    Who doesn’t long for a dose of color by the end of a long winter? As yet another snowstorm hit the East Coast this week, the Remodelista editors went in search of hues to add warmth to interiors. Here are five ideas to steal. Dark Green Kitchens “Darkest green functions like a neutral—it’s a black […]

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