Tag Archives: The Denver Post

How container gardens can convert your balcony or patio into an oasis

SPRING POTS

Photos by Colleen Smith.

Container gardens yield many benefits — not the least of which are lovely, low-maintenance landscapes and fresh veggies bursting from small spaces.

“The biggest benefit is that container gardening is great for people without soil to grow in, whether they live in small spaces or have balconies, or HOAs that don’t allow changes to landscaping,” said Brien Darby, manager of urban food programs at Denver Botanic Gardens.

For more information, read the full article.

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Create an outdoor room with a pergola

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A pergola by Chad Beall of Tree Frog Woodworking Inc.

To add classic garden architecture and define an outdoor space, a pergola nails it. For homes or commercial spaces, pergolas deliver both form and function. Whether attached to a building or as a stand-alone structure, a pergola can provide privacy, shade, a ceiling of sorts to an outdoor room, a focal point and a support for vines.

For more information, read the full article.

 

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Flowering plants make lasting gifts of life

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Photos by RJ Sangosti of The Denver Post

Whenever you’re wondering what to give that person who seemingly has everything, the teacher who’s shown so much patience, the elderly person with limited space, the hostess with the mostest, the birthday girl or boy, the anniversary couple, the person to whom you want to show gratitude, consider a flowering plant.
This article published by The Denver Post focuses on houseplants as holiday gifts, but flowering plants make wonderful gifts any time of year. They last longer than cut flowers. They have a long shelf-life. And many spectacular flowering plants are “set it and forget it” plants that require minimal care.
In addition to the long list of possibilities in this article, remember orchids, which are easier than most people think. Kalanchoe is another terrific bloomer that doesn’t need mollycoddling.
When you give a flowering plant, you give life to a loved one and a spirit of anticipation. One size fits all, and a blossoming plant is infinitely more personal than a gift card.

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Scandinavian ice candles warm up winter

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When the forecast calls for the mercury to drop to zero degrees Fahrenheit or even sub-zero, the frigid weather is perfect for at least one thing: making Scandinavian ice candles. All you need is water, plastic buckets, time and candles (or a string of lights.)
I reported on the history of Scandinavian ice candles, originally used to mourn soldiers lost in war. And my article includes step-by-step how-to instructions for these gorgeous winter wonders.

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What’s the difference between a menorah and a chanukiah?

Denver menorah history Mizel Museum

Photo by Aaron Ontiveroz of The Denver Post

Chanukah begins tomorrow, December 12, 2017, in the Gregorian calendar. Researching my article on Chanukah lights for The Denver Post, I interviewed a rabbi and a professor of Jewish studies. I visited a Jewish cultural center. And I looked at menorahs of all sizes, shapes, materials and moods.

Even though I went on assignment to Israel in 1994, I didn’t know the difference between a menorah and a chanukiah. The temple menorah has seven branches, as instructed in the Bible’s Book of Exodus. The Chanukah menorah has nine branches: eight to represent the eight nights of miraculous oil and one “servant” candle to light the others.

The rabbi noted that the symbol of light is common to many faiths.

“The really interesting religious dimension is that Chanukah, Diwali [the Hindu festival of light], Christmas, and Kwanza [the African-American celebration that incorporates candle-lighting] all come at the darkest time of the year. Our religious impulse is to bring light,” said Rabbi Eliot Baskin of Denver’s Jewish Family Service.

“The torch held by the lady in New York harbor represents the liberty of religious freedom. And that’s what makes America so great. This Chanukah, as we recall the rededication of the temple, we rededicate ourselves to religious freedom for all.”

Happy Chanukah to all Jewish people, and may all people of goodwill stand in the light.

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Expert tips for setting a memorable table

Thanksgiving table setting ideas

Photo by John Leyba of The Denver Post

 

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but these tips apply to any table for any special occasion. My article published in The Denver Post includes tips from a Sur la Table chef and two design experts from an events company celebrating their 70-year-old anniversary this year. Whether rustic or elegant, there’s something for everyone.

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Five easy handmade gifts from the heart

 

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Image from The Denver Post

 

Here come the holidays, and the season of hostess gifts and gift exchanges. Even if you’re on an budget or find yourself lacking Martha Stewart homemaking skills, these gifts will do the trick.

Have a look at my article published in The Denver Post.

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