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In this week's home section

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 30, 2012

 New in this week's home section: growing herbs in spiral-shaped beds, and learning to garden with a new book co-written by Massillon native Brad Halm. 

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Chat with TV decorators Shari Hiller and Matt Fox

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 25, 2012

Fans of TV decorators Shari Hiller and Matt Fox have a chance to chat online with them this Saturday.

The two will be talking with viewers from 9 to 10 a.m. on a special page on their website. The online chat coincides with a 24-hour marathon of their show, Around the House With Matt & Shari, which is being broadcast that day on the cable network Create TV.

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Plastic recycling: beyond milk jugs and pop bottles

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 24, 2012

 Recycling plastic is always a challenge. That’s why I was happy to learn recently about a couple of opportunities for recycling plastic items.

Thanks to the folks from Trex, the composite decking manufacturer, I found out that grocery store collection bins accept a much wider array of plastic film than just plastic grocery bags. They’ll take any No. 2 or 4 plastic film, including:

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New this week

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 23, 2012

In this week's Home section: How to create and maintain hanging baskets, and a column on housekeeping in the 1920s

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The tulip tale continues

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 20, 2012

 Regular readers might remember my story last spring on Patty Tubbs, a Medina County gardener who feels her mother’s presence in her flower garden. Tubbs went outside on Mother’s Day 2010 to find a single white tulip in bloom, which she had never planted -- but which was her mother’s favorite flower.

 Those readers might also remember that, shortly after the story was published in 2011, I found a single white tulip growing in my yard. We figured it was Tubbs’ mom, Gerry Williams, saying thanks for the story.

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Paqarina Farm expands

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 19, 2012

 For a couple of people who started out just wanting to grow some food for themselves, Jeff Boni and Karmi James sure have gotten steeped in farming.

 Last year, with a season of vegetable gardening under their tool belts, the two started Paqarina Farm next to their apartment on Ira Avenue. The impending foreclosure of their building forced them to find new digs over the winter, but luckily they landed on a farm in Valley View that’s part of the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy.

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Nobody likes me, everybody hates me ...

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 12, 2012

That's not really why I ate meal worms this week. It was more a desire not to be shamed by a bunch of third-graders.

I volunteered Wednesday at Cafe Insecta, one of the stations at the kids' program A Bug's World at the Ohio Research and Development Center near Wooster. Retired entomologist Dave Nielsen cooked up a selection of insects for the kids and adults to try, and I bit -- literally.

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New this week

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 9, 2012

 In this week’s Homes section: sheep as lawn mowers and a blogger who specializes in renovating what she calls “midcentury modest” homes.

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On the air

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 9, 2012

 I’ll be back behind the mike Saturday morning as a guest on My Beautiful Home on radio station WAKR.

Hosts Andy January and Kathryn DeLong will be chatting with me about all things home-related.

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Target bringing popular boutiques to your neighborhood

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 9, 2012

 Trendy Target is teaming up with some hot boutiques and specialty stores to offer limited-edition collections of their goods.

The items will be offered starting May 6 in a new department called The Shops at Target.

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For some, lawn care is like pulling teeth -- or maybe worse

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 4, 2012

For people who love green lawns, Americans aren't exactly enthusiastic about mowing them.

A recent survey by Consumer Reports shows many people have higher priorities than caring for their lawns. According to the survey, 62 percent would rather cook, 49 percent would rather grocery shop, 38 percent would rather clean the house and 17 percent would rather see the dentist.

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