Victorian Call Box Still Answering Bells 122 Years Later

Sometimes it’s comforting when things don’t change; solid things, built to last, patiently doing their duty while fleeting trends come and disappear. The call box in our Fargo home is like that. Queen Victoria was on the throne when the brand new house’s call box, primly known as an “annunciator,” was installed in 1895 with…
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Catalpa Trees In North Dakota And Minnesota?

To me, the very word “catalpa” sounds Southern. Like catalpa trees in neat rows lining the long driveway up to the cotton Plantation. Catalpa, magnolia and camellia have a Southern ring to their names. So what are catalpa trees doing in North Dakota and Minnesota? There are two types of catalpa, appropriately named Northern Catalpa…
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New Lilacs Are Repeat Performers

Old-fashioned lilacs will never be replaced by new, young upstarts. Old-fashioned lilacs are like comfortable old grandmothers. We like them just the way they are. Old-fashioned lilacs and their unmistakable fragrance bring back memories of plucking little bouquets to take home to mother on the walk home from school. We’d mix a few dandelions in…
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What Happens To Your Pet If It Eats Your Poinsettia?

The educational campaign to debunk the old myth of poinsettias being poisonous has been quite successful. Most people have gotten the message that poinsettias won’t kill humans if consumed. Poinsettias were considered poisonous as recently as 1970, when the Food and Drug Administration issued a press release saying one poinsettia leaf could kill a child.…
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Watch What Happens When A Geraniums Is Cut Back.

Sometimes working with plants takes a leap of faith. Then, when we realize a technique is successful, it’s not so traumatic next time. Giving geraniums a good cut-back is like that. Geraniums that grew outdoors in summer containers can be wintered quite nicely indoors in a sunny window or under fluorescent lights. The geranium in…
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