I’d like to start an organic vegetable garden. Is it too late to plant? I’m a beginner, so what would be the best (as in easiest) plants to grow? The garden is about 12 feet square and gets about 8 hours of sun a day. — Anne T., Croton-on-Hudson
We recently moved into a Cape-style house that has good curb appeal except for the driveway, which is weedy gravel with a couple of potholes. My neatnik husband wants to pave it with asphalt, but I think that would be out of place in our rural setting. We have a limited budget. What are the options?
We have a bunch of scuffed, plastic stacking chairs as well as a plastic playhouse in faded, once-garish candy colors. The chairs are useful when we have family get-togethers, and my kids love the hideous playhouse, but I’d really like the back yard to look less like a junkyard. Is there any help for plastic?
This seemed like a question about energy efficiency, so I plunged into the web and found a site called ENERGYguide.com that began by informing us that “doors are necessary for access”—a point I think we can all agree on. That fact established, the site then offered more useful information, which suggested that good weather stripping and a tight seal are more to the point than a storm door. On the other hand, if you have an old, wooden door, ENERGYguide.com suggests that a storm may, in fact, help conserve energy.
Q: What’s the best, low-maintenance area rug to put under a dining table? I’d like something that I could clean myself if there’s a spill, or that wouldn’t cost a fortune to clean if I had to send it out. I’d also like it to wear well, considering chairs will be pulled in and out. And can you offer advice on what colors best hide stains? — D.N., Rye
I want to redo our master bedroom, which is currently painted cream and furnished with a black cast-iron bed, oak dressers, and two small club chairs. The bedding is mostly white, and the curtains are a subdued floral. Our house is a Victorian (although not the frou-frou kind), so I’d like something that fits in but looks a little more up-to-date. Our budget won’t run to replacing everything, but can you offer any suggestions about color or furnishings?
My daughter just bought her first apartment in a co-op. The one problem is that she’s on a busy street and there’s constant noise. What are the soundproofing options?