When it comes to decorating our homes, our choices are many.

The ever-genial Mitch Cohen, of Cohen Hardware in Philadelphia, e-mailed me recently, reporting that many customers were asking him how to get ice melt's white residue out of their brick pavers.

The Chinese fringetrees have been on the spectacular side the last week or so, and they will be the same in your garden as they have in Savannah, Ga. Botanically speaking they are known as Chionanthus retusus, with Chionanthus meaning snow flower.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Bluebirds have been at it for weeks, and hummingbirds will be at it soon - nesting and feeding baby birds.

Done right, outdoor lighting makes your home safer, more secure and more attractive.

Rustic Canyon's sylvan beauty and funky charm cast its spell on Jill Soffer a dozen years ago. She liked the neighborhood's relaxed environment and abundance of sycamore trees and purchased a home there in 2002.

Skip Forrest has done a number of things professionally over the years, mostly in design and marketing.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a crystal ball to tell us what awaits us in trends and innovation for the future in interior design? Well, some experts have given us hints of what is to come.

People and things inevitably get older. But the people who appreciate older things appear to be getting younger.

What's so beguiling about bunnies? Their long, floppy ears, twitching noses and cotton-ball tails have an undeniable cuteness factor.

Seventeen-year-old Nancy Ondra had high hopes for her first garden: This is going to be easy, fast and inexpensive.

Growing up in Burley, Idaho, on a small farm with a large garden, Camille Wells discovered the healing powers of working in dirt. Especially during her high school days, she grew accustomed to having a garden sanctuary - a place to go to take her mind off everything else.

This is the house that architect Paul Thiry built, in 1929.

The challenge: Nikki and Andrew Dypwick bought their 1950s rambler in Edina because the bedrooms and living spaces were all on one level. But the outdated, closed-off rooms prevented the Dypwicks from mingling with guests and from keeping an eye on their kids doing homework. "We love to entertain, but it was hard being part of the party when you were in the kitchen," Nikki said. "The walls needed to come down."

When it comes to growing our own food, the natural starting point for most of us is a vegetable garden. Yet by stopping there (which many of us tend to do) we are missing out on a lot. Growing fruit is just as important as growing vegetables because it gives us control over what is in our food and where it comes from. But homegrown fruit also provides incredible flavors and a larger selection of varieties than what is typically found in the grocery store. And by growing fruit organically, we are reducing the demand for conventionally grown fruit ... and that supports the environment.

Message boards are all the rage with the busy lives we lead, so make yours pretty with ribbons that accent your decor and colors that make you happy.

Dear Helaine and Joe:

Q: Dear Ed, I have the "bathroom blues" and I want to upgrade my bathroom with a brand new shower head. Since this project is relatively simple for a plumbing project, I may want to explore my shower head options. What are some good, better, best, types of shower heads that can be installed without turning this project into a big deal? Barry, New Jersey

Q: The home I just purchased has a new roof with a ridge vent and gable vents. The inspection reports suggest we either add overhang vents and seal the gables or seal the ridge vent and use the gable vents. I'm confused. Can you explain why this needs to be done?

Dear Angie: What happens if I pour grease down the kitchen sink?

"Hell strips" are what they call narrow planting spaces adjacent to a driveway, street or sidewalk. This is the plant graveyard, where less than resilient species give up the ghost by midsummer. Why are these sun-drenched planters so tough to cultivate? It's because adjacent paving becomes a thermal mass that collects and reflects that heat back on plants both night and day.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a crystal ball to tell us what awaits us in trends and innovation for the future in interior design? Well, some experts have given us hints of what is to come.

It's time to crawl out of that cozy cocoon of your winter bed and hit the "reset" button, lightening your bed up for spring. Rita, who is a wiz at creating to-die-for bedding at my store, Nell Hill's Briarcliff in Kansas City, Mo., has these three suggestions for getting your bed ready for spring and summer snoozing:

Pink is taking another shot at selling a home she owns in Sherman Oaks, this time priced at $3.499 million.

A reader recently asked for advice about whether to operate a humidifier on his furnace, fearing it would lead to mold issues on duct insulation.

If there's a move in your future and you want to hire help with all or part of it, here are suggestions to unpack and stow away, offered by highly rated movers and satisfied customers:

Reclaimed lumber is among the most environmentally friendly building materials because, as any 12-year-old can explain, recycling is good for us and the planet.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Historic Garden Week in Virginia showcases Virginia at its finest, featuring 250 historic and private gardens and homes on tours over eight consecutive days.

When Renata Fossen Brown checks on the progress of a patch of tulips at Cleveland Botanical Garden, schoolchildren across the Northern Hemisphere are watching.

Nature's timing is simply amazing. The native coral honeysuckle just started blooming in the Savannah, Ga., area, and guess who has arrived right on time: The ruby-throated hummingbirds. This is one of the best plants for you hummingbird lovers and native plant enthusiasts will delight in the fact that this scene will be repeating itself as spring moves northward.

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