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  • Around the House: Smelly fireplace could require a chimney sweep's services

    Dear Ken: My wood fireplace always seems to let odor into the house, even when we haven't used it in a while. The place smells like smoke downstairs. Any way to help on this? - Larry Answer: How long since it's been checked and cleaned by a chimney sweep company? If there is excessive buildup of creosote and other combustion products, then...

  • Year-round gardening: Cover crops come with many benefits

    Plant a cover crop this fall and your vegetable garden will be more productive and healthier next season. You may be wondering: What is a cover crop? It's a source of organic matter planted solely to benefit the soil; it is not harvestable. Cover crops give big benefits for minimal labor. They are easy to plant and are low-

  • Over-wintering your perennials in pots? Some tips

    n simpler times, container gardening was small-scale landscaping using flowering annuals: Enjoy their color for one season and go with something new the next. Shifts toward food production and mixed container plantings have changed all that. Who wants to see all those months of devotion go to naught after the first frost if you don't...

  • Colorado Springs area home and garden events starting Oct. 25, 2014

    Nov. 1 Homebuying - 10 a.m.-noon, Ent Federal Credit Union, 7350 Campus Drive, free. Registration: 574-1100, ext. 6670, ent.com/seminars. Nov. 8 Veggie Garden Class - A to Z in Gardening - 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Aspen Valley Ranch, 1152 County Road 231, Woodland Park, $60. Registration: tinyurl.com/m5y2un7. Nov. 15 Silk Flower Centerpiece for...

  • Quoth the raven, 'Happy Halloween'

    Edgar Allan Poe and Halloween are enmeshed like cobwebs on a lamppost. In classics such as "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Masque of the Red Death" and more, the master of horror fiction gave us imagery - sinister masquerade balls, mysterious catacombs, menacing city streets - that has long inspired Halloween...

  • Easy Halloween decorations can last into late fall

    Halloween isn't just for kids anymore - it's become a real treat for grown-ups, too. The holiday has become one of America's favorites, and folks are ready and willing to spend money on it. "It's changed a lot," said Laurie Baker, customer experience manager at Michaels. "It seems like it's more of a holiday people are recognizing. Our...

  • Year-Round Gardening: Ornamental grasses add interest to yard

    In the Pikes Peak region, autumn brings striking displays of large ornamental grasses, which "flower" late in the growing season. Such grasses are a useful tool for xeriscape gardens - their slender leaves offer a pleasing complement to perennial flowers. Local gardeners tend to use them successfully in a dry corner of the yard, and more and...

  • Around the House: Rely on chemicals when softening water

    Dear Ken: Do you know anything about a water softener that works with sound waves? My husband noticed it at a recent home show. They say they can hook it up outside and that it's harmless to plants and pets. - Mary Answer: I'm sure it is, because I can't imagine this system having any effect on the incoming water quality. This reminds me of...


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