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Backyard chickens.

The color gray.

Shed-quarters, a name for freestanding, backyard home offices.

These are three trends we talked about in Home & Garden during 2017, along with ongoing discussion about pollinators, a hot-button topic for several years now, and the usual — or should we say "unusual"? — tours of great Quad-City homes and gardens and reports on people with outstanding hobbies, collections and skills.

As we plan more stories for 2018, here's a quick look back, a thank you to those who shared their time with us on Sunday mornings.

1. Backyard chickens. After much cackling at various city council tables, the cities of Davenport, Rock Island, Moline and Clinton passed ordinances allowing backyard chickens, and about 60 people region-wide took them up on the opportunity.

Jerry and Natasha Sottos, Mike Angelos and Julie Schmidt Urban, Matt and Jody Brooke and Lynn Drazinski were among the chicken farmers we interviewed.

2. Shades of gray. Everywhere you look, it seems, homes are turning gray. Among the leaders of this trend are James Huskamp, Mike and Lorena Bush, Tony and Linda Haut, Chad and Meghan Howell and Jonathan and Alex Wenger.

Another trend was the continued use of shiplap siding, popularized by the HGTV show "Fixer Upper," and used to good advantage by Robert and Kristin Schumacher, builders of one of 25 homes in the Spring Preview of Homes. Also: Backyard projects using new types of pavers and blocks, as shown by Jess Borcher, of King's Materials, Eldridge, at the annual Home Show.

3. Shed-quarters. Matt Schnell of Bettendorf introduced us to this term in a story about home offices, specifically free-standing backyard buildings such as the one he built in Bettendorf.

4. Great homes. Jim Schumacher outdid himself in the reinvention of an onion field barn and salvaged silo in Bettendorf.

Jason and Bonnie Tanamor completed a major kitchen makeover in their home in Rock Island's Highland Park Historic District.

In Davenport's historic Gold Coast neighborhood, Adam and Alyssa Kuehl invited us back to see the progress they've made in two years on their 1800s mansion, and Dick and Linda Stone of Muscatine brought us up-to-date on their years-long renovation of the Iles-Lambrite-Petersen house.

Erik and Danielle Reader showed off their Rock Island home, one of seven, brand-new, two-story townhouses built next to the Botanical Center; Jordan Kirkbride and Gena Schantz helped us tell the stories behind furnishings in the Col. George Davenport Home on Arsenal Island; and Randy and Mary McDonald offered their Mediterranean-style home as our annual "house along the Bix route" feature.

C.J. and Janessa Ormsby of Bettendorf shared their "Fixer Upper" vision and Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch and his wife Terre invited us to see the view from their apartment in the former Kahl nursing home in Davenport.

Historic homes included the Antoine LeClaire House in Davenport, Quarters One on Arsenal Island, the all-metal Lustron home of Marty and Cindy Mahieu in Moline, the 125-year-old Apollonia and Samuel S. Davis Bridal House owned by John and Kathy Wahlgren Ruckauf of Rock Island and the 1860s pilot house owned by Elizabeth Turner in LeClaire.

5. Flowers, gardens.

Chris Noth of Davenport shared his dazzling dahlias, and Janis Harbison of DeWitt let us in on her container garden secrets.

Jean Moffit of DeWitt led us around her "prettiest farm in Iowa" as a preview of the Clinton County Master Gardeners' garden walk, and Gary Kerofsky explained his foundation planting redo for a story about the Silvis Garden Club garden walk.

6. Hobbies. We learned about the pro-wrestling collection of Joyce Paustian, Davenport; the Underground Railroad quilt made by Clayton Peterson, Rock Island; the special Christmas cookies made by Karen Bartel, Davenport; and the blue-ribbon skills of crafters at the Mississippi Valley Fair.

7. Education. University Extension service personnel and many other people  put together programs for life-long learning, from the "Nursery School" of Rock Island County Extension to the "Hort in the Heartland" in Clinton.

8. Miscellaneous. Davenport's Putnam Museum let us into its storage area to see its collection of 3,707 wild bird eggs, the Figge Art Museum exhibited rediscovered paintings of Rock Island native Irma Rene Koen and owners of Scott County Century Farms told us their stories. Davenport attorney/certified organic farmer Cody Kiroff and his wife Meghan explained an innovative indoor food production system called "aquaponics."

9. Bees, pollinators. We wrote a lot this year about pollinators, from the butterfly milkweed being named the "perennial plant of the year" to the Pollinators' Palooza at the Putnam Museum and the third annual Quad-Cities Pollinator Conference at the Davenport River Center.

10. Seasonal decorating. Halloween keeps growing; among the decorators we featured this year were Sam Jacks and fiancé Tara Jones, Helen Kurtz and son Brendan, John and Mindy Mockmore, Kindel Chevrestt, Don and Ruth Sturms and Karen Scott.

Finally, of course, was Christmas. We visited the home of Rick and Denise DeBaillie in East Moline; the former Joseph Bettendorf mansion in Bettendorf, now Rivermont Collegiate; and the side-by-side wonders of Scott and Vickie Aguilar and Tony and Lea Sandoval of Bettendorf.

And we explored two kinds of three-dimensional snowflakes. One was created on a printer by students and staff at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges for the Festival of Trees, and the other was brought to life with a scissors and the creative mind by Keith Bonstetter.

Thank you, one and all. Happy New Year.

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