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Kitchen Kapers: Annual tour to showcase five area homes

Tracy Fitzsimmons stands in her kitchen with Jo-Anne Barnard WINCHESTER -- Homeowners who wonder what's cooking in the world of kitchen design and decorating need forage no farther than Frederick County to uncover some food for thought. comments
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Keeping a low profile

houseplant1.jpg WOODSTOCK - Even in winter, houseplants are much easier to take care of than most people think. comments
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Garden full of tasks perfect for fall days

fallgarden1.jpg Even though the growing season is winding down, you can still enjoy many more months of beauty from your garden. comments
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Linden man's passion leads to clock-repair shop

LINDEN -- Stan Stocker's garage ticks, sounds created by a chorus of clocks that he is about to fix, has fixed or owns and has no need to fix. comments
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Nature's fences: Hedges offer beauty, privacy, protection

Looking for something different to do with your garden for next season? A hedge might be just the thing. comments
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For the birds: Attract feathered friends by building them a house

On a recent mid-summer evening Diane Greco, of Star Tannery, and her grandson, Eli Fuqua, 3, visited the State Arboretum of Virginia at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce to monitor some birdhouses on the Bluebird Trail. A volunteer since 2003, Greco comes to the arboretum at least once a month, sometimes bringing along Eli who enjoys looking for signs of birds nesting along the trail. comments
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Container gardens offer portable spaces for growing produce

Imagine a lush vegetable garden growing just beyond your window, offering fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green beans and herbs. comments
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Grafting class teaches method, care of new species

By Stacey Keenan -- Daily Staff Correspondent WINCHESTER -- Even though America's favorite groundhog recently saw his shadow and quietly informed his fans of six more weeks of winter, the fluctuating temperatures are a reminder that spring will arrive soon. That means it's time to clear the cobwebs, organize the storage shed and begin planning this year's garden. An upcoming program at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley could be just the place to start. The museum's first gardening workshop of the year, which takes place on Feb. 28, will focus on grafting methods. "Grafting is the idea of taking the top of one plant and putting it on the roots of another plant. It's taking a plant with a weak rootstock and putting it onto a stronger rootstock. It's a faster way to propagate," says Mary Stickley, manager of gardens and grounds at the museum. "We'll be showing what grafting is by using fruit trees, because that's the easiest way to show how to do it." Grafting is often used as a means to propagate, or produce new plants, in the ornamental industry, with such plants as roses, lilacs and red Japanese maples. Grafting is also used in the... comments
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Home improvement: Experts say now is the best time to fix up a house to sell

Some are struggling and some are riding out the economic downslide, but small home improvement businesses agree that fretful homeowners should not hesitate to loosen their purse strings when it comes to fixing up their houses. comments

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