[ {"id":"c6e82fd0-6652-5f02-8a30-1477bee7e9c0","type":"article","starttime":"1487944800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T08:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487953619","priority":0,"sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"US new-home sales rise in sign of housing market health","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_c6e82fd0-6652-5f02-8a30-1477bee7e9c0.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/us-new-home-sales-rise-in-sign-of-housing-market/article_c6e82fd0-6652-5f02-8a30-1477bee7e9c0.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/US-new-home-sales-rose-3-7-percent-in-January-in-sign-of-housing-market-health/id-be74689ceb72421aa2a947e747e49dec","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER\nAP Economics Writer","prologue":"New home sales rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 555,000, the Commerce Department said Friday. That is 5.5 percent higher than a year ago.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","home buying","residential real estate","lifestyle","mortgage rates","mortgages","real estate","personal loans","personal finance","home sales","economy","residential construction","building construction","construction and engineering","industrial products and services","new residential sales","construction put in place","construction sector performance","homebuying","homeselling","finance","politics","home and garden"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0","description":"This Dec. 7, 2016 file photo shows a house for sale, in Hialeah, Fla.\u00a0","byline":"ALAN DIAZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg?resize=512%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"698","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"c6e82fd0-6652-5f02-8a30-1477bee7e9c0","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 Americans bought more new homes in January after a steep fall-off the previous month, a sign the housing market is healthy despite higher mortgage rates.

New home sales rose 3.7 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 555,000, the Commerce Department said Friday. That is 5.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Solid job gains and some signs of rising wages have driven up consumer confidence, which has also risen since the presidential election. More confident consumers are more likely to buy homes. Sales of existing homes jumped to their highest level in a decade, according to data released earlier this week.

The solid sales have occurred despite, or perhaps because of, a jump in mortgage rates since the fall. Many buyers could be accelerating purchases to get ahead of any further rate increases.

Financial markets expect faster growth and higher inflation will flow from President Donald Trump's tax cuts and deregulation initiatives. That has pushed up interest rates on both the 10-year Treasury note and mortgages.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.16 percent this week, little changed from the previous week. Still, that is up sharply from an average of 3.65 percent all last year.

Low mortgage rates and a steady job market have helped the housing market recover from its bubble and bust cycle a decade ago. By some measures, home prices on average nationwide have returned to their pre-recession peaks.

Yet homeowners are carrying less debt and have more equity ownership of their homes now than during the bubble, reducing fears of a repeat.

A limited supply of homes available has helped push up prices, but there are signs that in the new home market builders may be addressing the problem.

There were 265,000 new homes for sale at the end of January, up nearly 11 percent from a year earlier and the most in nearly eight years.

Still, more home building is needed to address supply shortages. The number of existing homes on the market is near its lowest level since 1999.

"}, {"id":"fb6730e8-d6e9-5857-9ff7-cd80e8bb0d37","type":"article","starttime":"1487858400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-23T08:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487953649","priority":0,"sections":[{"business":"business"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"US average 30-year mortgage rate edges up to 4.16 percent","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_fb6730e8-d6e9-5857-9ff7-cd80e8bb0d37.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/us-average--year-mortgage-rate-edges-up-to-percent/article_fb6730e8-d6e9-5857-9ff7-cd80e8bb0d37.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Long-term-U-S-mortgage-rates-rose-slightly-this-week-continuing-a-holding-pattern-that-has-prevailed-this-month/id-b8465dd1df664299930a34fe1a90b8cc","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Associated Press","prologue":"The rate on 15-year mortgages rose to 3.37 percent from 3.35 percent last week.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","mortgage rates","mortgages","real estate","personal loans","personal finance","homebuying","homeselling","finance","home and garden"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"503cf41e-d258-5efa-9389-c8d59bde7f2f","description":"This Thursday, May 26, 2016, photo shows a home for sale in Carlsbad, Calif.\u00a0","byline":"LENNY IGNELZI \u2014 Associated Press","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"377","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503cf41e-d258-5efa-9389-c8d59bde7f2f/58a5d0d8ed27e.image.jpg?resize=512%2C377"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503cf41e-d258-5efa-9389-c8d59bde7f2f/58a5d0d8ed27e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"221","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503cf41e-d258-5efa-9389-c8d59bde7f2f/58a5d0d8ed27e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C221"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"754","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/03/503cf41e-d258-5efa-9389-c8d59bde7f2f/58a5d0d8ed27e.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"fb6730e8-d6e9-5857-9ff7-cd80e8bb0d37","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, continuing a holding pattern that has prevailed this month.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate loans edged up to 4.16 percent from 4.15 percent last week. The benchmark rate stood at 3.62 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent through 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971.

The rate on 15-year mortgages rose to 3.37 percent from 3.35 percent last week.

Mortgage rates surged in the weeks following President Donald Trump's election in November. Investors bid rates higher because they expect Trump's plans to cut taxes and increase spending on roads, bridges and airports will drive up economic growth and inflation.

But mortgage rates reversed course in the first week of the year, falling after nine straight weeks of increases. They have moved little in the past four weeks.

The economy has been showing solid gains but there is uncertainty around the new Trump administration and its economic policies. Federal Reserve policymakers early this month decided to leave a key interest rate unchanged. But they discussed the need to raise the rate again \"fairly soon,\" especially if the economy remains strong.

With the economy healthy, the recent trend toward higher mortgage rates hasn't dampened home buying, new data shows. Americans bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007. That has set off bidding wars that have pushed up prices as the supply of available homes has dwindled to record lows.

Home sales rose 3.3 percent in January from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also remained at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans fell to 3.16 percent from 3.18 percent last week. The fee held at 0.4 point.

"}, {"id":"81268d3a-0692-5696-9f82-d1930e342fa4","type":"article","starttime":"1487802600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T16:30:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487802820","priority":0,"sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"pets":"lifestyles/pets"},{"featured":"video/featured"}],"flags":{"ap":"true","spotlight":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Take your dog along for a ride with this custom bicycle sidecar","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_81268d3a-0692-5696-9f82-d1930e342fa4.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/take-your-dog-along-for-a-ride-with-this-custom/article_81268d3a-0692-5696-9f82-d1930e342fa4.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/home-and-garden/take-your-dog-along-for-a-ride-with-this-custom/article_15539c14-f941-11e6-a782-bb16903337cf.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":0},"byline":"Andy Reuter | areuter@madison.com | @andrewreuter","prologue":"This bicycle sidecar is\u00a0kind of like an environmentally-friendly pickup truck.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lee diy","sweeps","pets","home and garden","makers","bicycles","laura kampf"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","youtube":[{"id":"474a965c-aedd-5e42-a02c-e24924b60bcb","starttime":"1487797140","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T14:59:00-06:00","title":"Laura's bicycle sidecar","description":"\"I like to use my bike as much as I can, so I decided to build a sidecar that allows me to transport lumber and bigger cargo with my bike. I\u00a0can also stack these pallet frames on it so i can take Sumdo on the road.\"","byline":"","video_id":"KI52p_XwEXM"}],"revision":2,"commentID":"81268d3a-0692-5696-9f82-d1930e342fa4","body":"

February has brought warm weather to much of the U.S.

This has put many dog-owning cyclists into a familiar bind: Should they walk their dogs or ride their bikes?

German maker Laura Kampf doesn't have to worry about that decision anymore. She built a side car for her bicycle.

The project actually started as a way to haul wood. Kampf uses a welder to make a structure strong enough for this purpose. A few extra features make it suitable for board and beast alike. It's kind of like an environmentally-friendly pickup truck.

Learn more by watching the video above. Find more of Kampf's work on her YouTube channel.

"}, {"id":"ac4ac539-b57b-563f-9bc7-84212f5fbfb7","type":"article","starttime":"1487772000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T08:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487870709","priority":0,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/national/govt-and-politics"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Americans buy existing homes at fastest pace in a decade","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/article_ac4ac539-b57b-563f-9bc7-84212f5fbfb7.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/americans-buy-existing-homes-at-fastest-pace-in-a-decade/article_ac4ac539-b57b-563f-9bc7-84212f5fbfb7.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/US-existing-home-sales-rose-3-3-percent-in-January-to-the-fastest-pace-in-a-decade/id-631c1f1819dd42fcb9aacade3fd5c264","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER\nAP Economics Writer","prologue":"Americans shrugged off rising mortgage rates and bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007. That has set off bidding wars that have pushed up prices as the supply of available homes has dwindled to record lows.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","home buying","residential real estate","lifestyle","mortgage rates","mortgages","real estate","personal loans","personal finance","home selling","real estate services","professional services","home sales","economy","politics","home and garden","homebuying","homeselling","finance"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0","description":"This Dec. 7, 2016 file photo shows a house for sale, in Hialeah, Fla.\u00a0","byline":"ALAN DIAZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"349","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg?resize=512%2C349"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"204","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C204"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"698","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/55/05570d10-2e42-5bea-b309-ac97844dead0/58adb26d33f7d.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"ac4ac539-b57b-563f-9bc7-84212f5fbfb7","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 Americans shrugged off rising mortgage rates and bought existing homes in January at the fastest pace since 2007. That has set off bidding wars that have pushed up prices as the supply of available homes has dwindled to record lows.

Home sales rose 3.3 percent in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

Steady job gains, modest pay raises and rising consumer confidence are spurring healthy home buying even as borrowing costs have risen since last fall. Some potential buyers may be accelerating their home purchases to get ahead of any further increases in mortgage rates. With few homes available for sale, buyers are pressured to rapidly close a deal as they find a suitable property.

The typical house for sale was on the market for just 50 days last month, compared with 64 days a year ago. Strong demand is pushing up median home prices, which jumped 7.1 percent from a year earlier to $228,900.

Just 1.69 million homes were on the market nationwide in January, near the lowest level since records began in 1999. It would take just 3.6 months to deplete that supply at the current pace of sales, matching a record low reached in December. Supply is usually equal to about six months of sales in a balanced housing market.

The supply crunch will likely get worse during the upcoming spring buying season, economists say, as demand typically rises by more than supply during that time.

\"Relative to the number of households, the number of homes for sale is well through prior historic lows,\" said Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley. \"The level of inventories could be a much bigger challenge moving into much higher sales in the spring and summer.\"

That, combined with higher mortgage rates, could soon restrain sales.

\"We are a bit less gloomy about housing than a couple of months ago but sales will not continue to rise at their recent pace,\" said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The bulk of the stronger buying is occurring among higher-priced properties, the NAR said. Sales among homes and condominiums priced at $100,000 and below fell nearly 10 percent in January compared with a year earlier. They rose slightly in the $100,000 to $250,000 bracket and jumped by roughly 20 percent in homes priced at higher levels.

Last year, low mortgage rates helped offset rising home prices. Yet now both are rising.

Mortgage rates have climbed since the presidential election. Investors are anticipating that tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending will accelerate growth and push up inflation. That has caused investors to cut back on their bond holdings, pushing up yields.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.15 percent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. While that has dipped since earlier this month, it is much higher than last year's average rate of 3.65 percent.

By some measures, the housing market has fully recovered from the bust that began in 2006. Yet its newfound health is creating its own set of challenges.

In high-demand markets, mostly on the West Coast, homes are being purchased after less than a month on the market, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.

Denver was the fastest market last month, Redfin found, with purchase contracts signed just 23 days after listing for a typical home, far below the 43 days that was typical a year earlier. Seattle was the second fastest, with 26 days on the market, followed by Oakland, at 27 days.

The strength in sales should lift growth going forward, as new homeowners purchase furniture, buy appliances and spend more on landscaping and outdoor equipment. Home sales also tend to spur renovations, which helps to update aging properties and generates additional construction work for the broader economy.


AP Economics Writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.

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The period Mark Twain dubbed \"the Gilded Age\" was one of extreme wealth and ostentation, of robber barons amassing great fortunes, of glaring chasms between rich and poor. It was also a time when some of the nation's grandest gardens were constructed.

\"These were incredibly competitive, extravagantly wealthy people with tremendous pride in America. They wanted the country to be viewed as cultured and grand, and their hope was to create gardens that equaled, and ideally surpassed, the great gardens of Europe,\" says Todd A. Forrest, vice president of horticulture and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden, founded in 1891.

The Gilded Age lasted from the 1860s and '70s to just after the turn of the century. Some of the gardens were meant to be exquisite private gems, while others, such as the New York Botanical Garden, were intended to edify, inspire and uplift the public.

A handful of new and recent books pay tribute to their enduring importance.

Because of the high cost of maintaining ambitious Gilded Age gardens, many have long since vanished. Others, however, such as the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, have been diligently preserved, evolving over time, as recounted in \"The New York Botanical Garden,\" edited by Forrest and Gregory Long (Abrams, 2016),

Dozens more Gilded Age gardens languished but have been restored and opened to the public in recent decades. \"Rescuing Eden,\" by Caroline Seebohm and Curtice Taylor (The Monacelli Press, 2015), and \"The Shelburne Farms,\" by Glenn Suokko (Rizzoli, March 2017), tell of heroic efforts by communities and conservancies to resurrect great gardens that had fallen into ruin in the mid-20th century, usually for lack of funding and attention.

\"For ages, Americans didn't think much about the glorious gardens of this era, and people are suddenly seeing that there are these stunningly beautiful places across the country, and that many had gone neglected,\" Seebohm said. Her book features Gilded Age gardens across the country, including in Georgia, New Hampshire, California, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, Texas and South Carolina.

\"The brilliant thing is that every single one of these gardens has been resurrected and is now open to the public,\" she says.

\"The Rockefeller Family Gardens,\" (The Monacelli Press, April 2017) by the New York Botanical Garden's Forrest and Larry Lederman, is a multi-generational story that to some extent traces the changing ideals of American gardens.

And Sam Watters' \"Gardens for a Beautiful America\" (Acanthus Press, 2012) features meticulously identified photos of some of the most opulent gardens of the time.

One inspiring story of a garden's rise, fall and rebirth is that of the little-known Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers, New York, featured in \"Rescuing Eden.\"

\"It had really fallen into total ruin and was pretty bleak for decades, but the garden, which was one of the truly great gardens of the Gilded Age, is now in the full flowering of its second life, largely thanks to a fellow named Stephen Byrnes,\" Seebohm explains.

Byrnes, who stumbled upon ruins in what remained of the garden in the 1980s, became founder and president of the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy.

In its heyday, the garden, where Isadora Duncan once danced and parties and poetry readings were held, sprawled over 150 acres with a view of the Hudson River Valley. It was part of a lavish estate belonging to Samuel Untermyer, a New York lawyer who opened it to the public weekly for 25 years and intended it to remain open for posterity.

\"The piece de resistance of the garden was a walled garden with crisscrossing canals,\" Seebohm says.

\"But sometimes people don't think their endowments through very carefully, and when Untermyer died, he left it to the town of Yonkers, which didn't have the means to maintain it,\" says adds.

Thanks largely to Byrnes and the conservancy, the garden is now a Yonkers city park. It once again features its stunning Walled Garden, inspired by those of Indo-Persian antiquity, with reflecting pools teeming with exotic water lilies. The mosaic floors of the loggia are once again intact. And a long outdoor staircase punctuated by Roman-style columns offers dramatic, unobstructed views of the Hudson, just as it did in the Gilded Age.

"}, {"id":"75a7b5f7-5dc1-5314-ae72-77a13e5b162a","type":"article","starttime":"1487685600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-21T08:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487693745","priority":0,"sections":[{"lifestyles":"lifestyles"},{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Hanging baskets bring instant color, texture to small spaces","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/article_75a7b5f7-5dc1-5314-ae72-77a13e5b162a.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/hanging-baskets-bring-instant-color-texture-to-small-spaces/article_75a7b5f7-5dc1-5314-ae72-77a13e5b162a.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Hanging-baskets-can-bring-instant-color-and-texture-to-the-smallest-spaces-in-your-yard/id-dc471b8ba96342e996d5f494bf2363dd","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"DEAN FOSDICK\nAssociated Press\ndeanfosdick@netscape.net","prologue":"If they're in the right location and are maintained regularly, container plants will bloom from early spring until the first killing frost in autumn \u2014 longer if you load them with perennials and over-winter them indoors.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lifestyle","home and garden","container gardening","gardening","hobbies","recreation and leisure","decoration"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"f0ff66ab-b166-59bb-a614-09db91bd1efd","description":"This June 25, 2013 photo shows hanging baskets on a carport near Langley, Wash., which make for a colorful welcome as visitors pull into the yard. Shop around at thrift or antique shops for decorative containers like this Victorian model to add some personality to the presentation. Hanging baskets bring instant color and texture to your yard. (AP Photo/By Dean Fosdick) (Dean Fosdick via AP)","byline":"Dean Fosdick","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"384","height":"512","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/0f/f0ff66ab-b166-59bb-a614-09db91bd1efd/58ab1a48c5ce2.image.jpg?resize=384%2C512"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"133","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/0f/f0ff66ab-b166-59bb-a614-09db91bd1efd/58ab1a48c5ce2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C133"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"400","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/0f/f0ff66ab-b166-59bb-a614-09db91bd1efd/58ab1a48c5ce2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C400"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1365","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/0f/f0ff66ab-b166-59bb-a614-09db91bd1efd/58ab1a48c5ce2.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"49a6d618-446e-508f-b806-3358d9771521","description":"This July 31, 2013 photo shows hanging baskets in a hobby greenhouse near Langley, Wash., and were used not only to add some color and texture to the landscape but also to attract pollinators to the surrounding sweet corn and tomato plants. Using pollinator plants in hanging baskets can attract beneficial insects to gardens and greenhouses. (Dean Fosdick via AP)","byline":"Dean Fosdick","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"373","height":"512","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9a/49a6d618-446e-508f-b806-3358d9771521/58ab1a49bfed7.image.jpg?resize=373%2C512"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"137","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9a/49a6d618-446e-508f-b806-3358d9771521/58ab1a49bfed7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C137"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"412","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9a/49a6d618-446e-508f-b806-3358d9771521/58ab1a49bfed7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C412"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1406","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/9a/49a6d618-446e-508f-b806-3358d9771521/58ab1a49bfed7.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"75a7b5f7-5dc1-5314-ae72-77a13e5b162a","body":"

Want to add instant color and texture to your deck, balcony, entryway, or other small space around your yard? Consider hanging baskets.

If they're in the right location and are maintained regularly, container plants will bloom from early spring until the first killing frost in autumn \u2014 longer if you load them with perennials and over-winter them indoors.

\"Perennials make fantastic partner plants in containers,\" said Rebecca Finneran, a horticulture educator with Michigan State University Extension. \"Shady containers look great with a fern or hosta right out of your garden, and sunny containers may benefit from re-blooming plants like nepeta or fall-blooming plants such as hyssop.\"

And don't forget the pollinators, Finneran said.

\"Great pollinator plants can be worked into containers, too: butterfly bush, globe thistle, swamp milkweed \u2014 all great examples,\" she said.

Hanging baskets have limited rooting space, so they need extra care once they become full and lush. \"Daily watering is often necessary, and fertilizer should be routinely applied to keep the plants blooming well,\" Finneran said.

That would mean using a time-release fertilizer when planting, and adding a water-soluble fertilizer about once a week beginning at the height of the growing season.

If that sounds like too much work, consider using drought-resistant plants to reduce watering.

\"But the soil mixture and soil depth must be adjusted for the plants you are growing,\" said Amy Dabbs, a Clemson University area horticulture agent. \"For succulents and cacti, a shallow basket with a well draining, soilless media mix made for cacti should be used.

\"These plants require bright light but not direct sun, as the plants will scorch, especially in the sunny South,\" Dabbs said.

More tips on landscaping with hanging planters:

\u2014 Use \"no-brainer\" containers, or lightweight pots lined with moss or coconut fiber that are easy to handle. Avoid ceramic, cast concrete or terra cotta.

\u2014 Soak rather than simply water. \"Once the media becomes really dry, it is difficult to re-wet it,\" Finneran said. \"Just take the basket down once a week and soak for one hour in a wheelbarrow to be sure the center of the container is fully moistened.\"

\u2014 Pinch back dead blooms, and remove brown or leggy foliage to keep the basket looking fresh. \"Don't forget that pruning plants in the basket, such as petunias, will cause them to flush out new growth resulting in fresh blooms,\" Finneran said.

\u2014 Use potting soil with time-release fertilizer rather than dirt taken straight from the garden. It drains better, so roots won't rot if overwatered.

\u2014 When designing a hanging pot, Dabbs said one old rule is to include \"a thriller, spiller and filler.\" But she advises just going with what you like. \"When in doubt, go to a local garden center or nursery for inspiration, and let plant availability be your guide,\" she said.


Online:

For more, see this Louisiana State University Ag Center website.\u00a0

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Kilim rug weaves are trending off the floor, in pillows and upholstery, as part of the global and tribal d\u00e9cor trends. (AllModern/www.allmodern.com via AP)","byline":"HONS","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"506","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e2/0e2b3829-68f3-550d-ac12-f27a5981753e/58ab1a2d6a3a0.image.jpg?resize=512%2C506"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"99","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e2/0e2b3829-68f3-550d-ac12-f27a5981753e/58ab1a2d6a3a0.image.jpg?resize=100%2C99"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"296","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e2/0e2b3829-68f3-550d-ac12-f27a5981753e/58ab1a2d6a3a0.image.jpg?resize=300%2C296"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1012","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/e2/0e2b3829-68f3-550d-ac12-f27a5981753e/58ab1a2d6a3a0.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"d009ac67-eac6-5780-a838-a595c95da852","body":"

As part of the red-hot globalism trend, \"tribal style\" \u2014 exotic, eclectic and influenced by travel \u2014 has spread from fashion to home decor. There's a caravan of interesting furniture and accessories that work in any space, from the sleek and contemporary to the simple and functional.

\"It's a look that's meant to reflect the places you've been and decorative objets you brought home,\" says New York designer Elaine Griffin. \"And it's perfectly fine if you've voyaged no further than the internet, in the comfort of your living room.\"

Rugs are a big part of the style, and not just on the floor. Griffin says \"the flat-weave kilim and dhurrie rugs that are now back with a vengeance move stylishly onto upholstered chairs, sofas and ottomans.\"

Kilim rugs are admired for their bold, geometric flat-weave patterns. They've been hand-woven for generations in Turkey, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

A lot of their appeal lies in the bold motifs and pigment dyes, with elements like wolf's mouths, stars and fertility symbols interpreted in geometric patterns. Back in Victorian England, smoking rooms and nooks were rife with kilim-covered furniture.

British manufacturer George Smith is known for kilim upholstery marked by careful pattern alignment and crisply tucked edges. They make a range of armchairs and benches covered in detailed modern and vintage Turkish flat-weaves.

Karma Living's collection of smartly styled midcentury modern chairs and footstools are upholstered in bold stripes and tribal patterns.

Both new and antique versions are interesting, working well not only as upholstery, but as wall hangings or table coverings. The hand-crafted nature of kilims, Oriental and rag rugs plays well with woods and metals. White walls make them pop, while more saturated hues are complementary frames.

Joss & Main's style director, Donna Garlough, says pouf ottomans are one of her favorite twists on the Bohemian-inspired trend.

\"They're a great way to add a pop of pattern to a room, and you can use them for extra seating if you're having a party,\" she says.

An added bonus of these materials is that they're pretty tightly woven and durable, and the bright patterns often camouflage stains.

\"You don't have to worry as much about a toddler spilling juice on a kilim-covered cocktail ottoman as you would if the upholstery were linen or leather,\" Garlough says.

Atlanta-based artist and textile designer Beth Lacefield has done a collection of kilim poufs for Surya in both muted tones and vibrant hues like raspberry, burnt orange and olive green.

Boston designer Jill Rosenwald's pouf collection for the retailer is also inspired by Indian flat-weave rugs, with sophisticated chocolate browns, grays and other muted hues.

Crafters will find lots of ideas online for turning inexpensive rag rugs from big box stores into floor pillows, headboard covers and benches.

Courtney Schutz, a designer in Point Reyes, California, turned a staid, traditional, upholstered bench into a fun piece for a girls' room by gilding the legs and covering the seat with a gumball-colored rag rug.

Toronto designer Jacquelyn Clark offers a simple tutorial on sewing throw-rug pieces into a square, filling it with foam beads, and then closing it up with thread or a zipper to make a big pillow.

While the kilims have an earthy rusticity, distressed wool, linen or silk rugs can make a more elegant piece.

Pottery Barn has a cotton velvet line inspired by Persian carpeting. And West Elm's Ornament velvet pouf comes in sophisticated, soothing hues of ivory or platinum.

"}, {"id":"240bca11-9394-5166-9509-de1a2c66ba87","type":"article","starttime":"1487631600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-20T17:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487632769","priority":0,"sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"featured":"video/featured"}],"flags":{"ap":"true","spotlight":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"The importance of keeping a garden journal","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_240bca11-9394-5166-9509-de1a2c66ba87.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/the-importance-of-keeping-a-garden-journal/article_240bca11-9394-5166-9509-de1a2c66ba87.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/home-and-garden/the-importance-of-keeping-a-garden-journal/article_e0a47838-f7bc-11e6-a950-a70259632b27.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":0},"byline":"Andy Reuter | areuter@madison.com | @andrewreuter","prologue":"Tracking your year-to-year gardening efforts in your head is a recipe for forgetfulness. But it doesn't have to be this way.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lee diy","dcc","home and garden","gardening"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","youtube":[{"id":"0583c041-f744-59c9-b538-9e3e425785bf","starttime":"1487630100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-20T16:35:00-06:00","title":"Why you should keep a garden journal","description":"\"Where did I plant those beans? Here? Or was it there? Aw Schucks! In this video Kristopher explains the importance of a Garden Journal for this year, next year and forever. This is a great winter gardening project!\"","byline":"","video_id":"DiaTI1UwXW4"}],"revision":2,"commentID":"240bca11-9394-5166-9509-de1a2c66ba87","body":"

Gardening is a science, one with many variables.

When should you plant? How much fertilizer should you apply? And at the end of the season, how well did the plants do?

Tracking your year-to-year efforts in your head\u00a0is a recipe for forgetfulness.\u00a0But it doesn't have to be this way.

Instead, start a garden journal, says Kristopher of the MidwestManMountain YouTube channel. Keeping such a document can help consistently track the things you did right and wrong from season to season, for years to come. And writing in it is also a great activity for when your green thumb starts twitching in the middle of winter.

Take a peak inside Kristopher's garden journal in the video above. Find more from him at Home and Garden for Mere Mortals.

"} ]