HOME & GARDEN September 2022
A special supplement to The Mitchell Republic
2022 FALL HOME AND GARDEN
2 | SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2022
HOME & GARDEN September 2022
What To Know For Upcoming Spring Gardening Season
Plant talk................................................................................. 2 3 entertainment room design features..............................3 Fireplace treads..................................................................... 4 Floor-to-ceiling windows......................................................5 Landscaping on a budget..................................................... 6 Beginners guide to fall planting..........................................7 Protecting landscaping through winter............................ 8 Create welcoming indoor living areas............................... 9 Pre-winter perennial pruning pointers............................ 10 Layout Credits:
Cover and page design: Jen Phillips Section editors: Luke Hagen & Lorie Hansen Contributors: Mitchell Republic Staff
The front of Mebius Nursery that sits along Foster Street in Mitchell, SD
BY CASSIE WILLIAMS Mitchell Republic
MITCHELL — Herb your enthusiasm, it’s time to talk gardening. Whether you’re new to the plant community or a veteran plant-parent, it’s never too late to learn a couple new tricks. It’s hard to be-leaf that fall is already here, but now is the perfect time to talk about tips and tricks for springtime planting. Mark Mebius, owner of Mebius Nursery in Mitchell, said that, despite
things slowing down for the summer season, there’s still a lot to look forward to. “Gardens are getting really popular,” Mebius said. “They’re fairly easy to play around with which makes for a really great, all-year-round hobby.” With the pandemic, Mebius noted a rise in popularity for gardens, as people had more time and interest in having more intricate landscaping or investing more into food-growing plants. And despite a slight drop in interest after everyone returned to work this year,
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
A tomato plant full of tomatoes sits at Mebius Nursery.
Mebius said, “It’s still been a pretty fair year as far as business is concerned.” So what’s the fuss about? Why do people enjoy gardening so much? For some, it’s the end results that makes it a favorable pastime: physical fruits of labor. For others, gardens are simply their happy place. Literally. Research suggests there is a natural antidepressant microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae found in soil that’s said to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac, a commonly used antidepressant, have. This means that gardening can actually be extremely healing to the human body and mind because the microbiome causes an uptick in production of serotonin and norepinephrine. Despite the spring and summer season being over, there’s still time to have your very own happy place and be able to practice those gardening techniques during the winter months. Houseplants, encouraged for beginner gardeners especially, are a very rewarding part of the plant community. Plants like pothos – a vine that normally grows up to 10 feet – monsteras, spider plants, watermelon peperomia and fiddle leaf figs thrive in most indoor environments and are difficult to kill, making them ideal for beginners.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
Though they don’t produce fruit, most houseplants can be propagated, meaning they can grow roots in water. This technique is commonly done by placing a cutting of the desired plant in a glass filled with room-temperature water and setting it in a sunny area. Since it takes less energy for the roots to grow in water versus soil, the plants will grow mature roots quicker than usual. Once the roots have grown a suitable amount, however, the plant will need to be potted. This helpful trick means you can grow your own plants instead of buying them by simply taking grafts from other plants already owned by yourself or a friend. It is also a tactic that can be recreated with fruit- or vegetablebearing plants as well. So, what do the experts say on how to get the perfect garden? Mebius’s advice? Start small, whether it’s one houseplant or a single row of outdoor tomato plants. “Many people underestimate how much work goes into a garden or landscape and how time-demanding it is,” Mebius said. “Start with something manageable. You can always go bigger next year if you feel like you’re up for it.”
PLANT TALK: Page 11
2022 FALL HOME AND GARDEN
features to focus on when designing an entertainment room
It might not take a home theater to enjoy the big game with friends or fire up family movie night, but a spacious entertainment room can certainly enhance such experiences. That’s especially true when homeowners give considerable thought to designing entertainment rooms. Film buffs and sports fans may have different notions of the ideal entertainment room, but the following are three design features that merit consideration by all looking to upgrade their entertainment spaces.
1. Screen It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of options when choosing a screen for an entertainment room. Televisions have long been a go-to choice, but projector screens merit consideration as well. If the room will be devoted exclusively to entertainment, then a television or a fixed projector screen might be homeowners’ best bets. Fixed projector screens are installed on the wall and projectors are typically hung from the ceiling. Semifixed projector screens provide a similar viewing
experience but can be pulled down or retracted when residents are not watching a movie. Semi-fixed can even be installed in front of a television so residents can stream a movie on the projector and then watch television through a cable box when it isn’t movie night. Projectors often provide much bigger screens for a fraction of the cost of equally sized televisions. However, sports fans may prefer televisions, as live streaming sports has not yet caught up to streaming movies and TV shows in terms of reliability or even availability. As a result,
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many sporting events remain available via cable television only, while even those that can be streamed tend to have a few hiccups during the game. 2. Sound Though televisions and projectors tend to come with built-in audio, the quality of that sound often leaves much to be desired. So homeowners will want to choose a sound system that provides theater-quality sound. If the room is being renovated from scratch, such as a full basement remodel, installing speakers in the ceiling
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can create a genuine theater experience. Ceiling speakers also can be installed in existing rooms, though that will likely cost more and extend the time it takes to complete the project. Surround sound is a must in any entertainment room. Homeowners worried about wires need not fret, as modern wireless surround sound systems are available at many different price points. Some systems are better suited to small rooms than others, so homeowners should measure the room and choose a system that best suits its dimensions. 3. Seating Whether you’re using the space to watch the big game or fire up the latest blockbuster (or both), chances are you’re going to be
spending considerable time sitting in your new entertainment room. A modular sofa might be ideal, as it can be reconfigured depending on what you’re watching and how many people are watching along with you. Comfort is indeed important, but you’ll also want seating that provides ample support so you aren’t battling any aches and pains once you leave the room. That support also can keep residents and guests from dozing off. Everyone has their own ideas on what makes the ideal entertainment space. But sports fans, movie buffs and others can all agree that an entertainment room worthy of the big game or the latest blockbuster has a sizable screen, pristine sound and comfortable seats.
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2022 FALL HOME AND GARDEN
Fireplace trends help create attractive, comfortable rooms Fireplaces are useful features in a home. Fireplaces are sources of ambient heat and also add style to indoor spaces. Fireplaces can complement just about any interior style. Fireplaces can be traditional and burn wood or connect to a home’s natural gas supply for on-demand ambiance. What’s more, fireplaces may come in vented or ventless varieties, depending on homeowners’ preferences and what is allowed by community building codes. That means a chimney or flue may not be needed — expanding the list of rooms where a fireplace can be installed. Certain trends have emerged among fireplace fans in recent years. Here’s a look at what’s getting consumers fired up about these home decor elements. ► Minimalist style: Many fireplaces are designed in neutral colors with minimal trim that directs focus on the fire and not the appliance. When the fireplace is not in use, it blends in with surroundings and will not compete for attention with other design elements.
► Convertible fireplaces: Homeowners can choose between open or sealed fireplaces. A convertible fireplace enables homeowners to have the best features of these options. A convertible fireplace can be converted to wood from gas, or the opposite, in as little as 30 minutes. ► Nature-inspired materials: Natural stone continues to be a material of choice in fireplace surrounds. Light colors work well for a fireplace, and also fit with today’s lighter color interior design preferences. Natural stone also works perfectly with both contemporary and rustic decor. ► Vintage fireplaces: Vintage continues to be a buzzword in 2022, and the choice to go vintage also applies to fireplace styles. A room decorated in vintage elements can be complemented with a vintage fireplace or one designed to look vintage. ► Integrate into wall decor: Fireplaces that are built right into a wall save space. One can have a television and a fireplace on the same wall. These
types of fireplaces work well in modern home designs. Other fireplaces may be built into bookshelves or other wall features.
Fireplaces can improve the appeal of a home. Various trends are popular this year, making fireplaces highly coveted features.
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What to know about floor-to-ceiling windows METRO CREATIVE Modern homes showcase many dazzling features, but perhaps none draw as much as instant attention as floor-to-ceiling windows. Often seen in high-rise apartments that boast panoramic city views, floor-toceiling windows also are right at home in single-family dwellings. Homeowners considering floor-to-ceiling windows may have lots of questions. The following rundown can provide some basic information that can help homeowners decide if floor-to-ceiling windows are right for their homes. COST Cost is often the primary consideration when mulling a home renovation, and that’s even more significant as the world confronts the rising costs associated with inflation. The cost of installing floorto-ceiling windows depends on a host of variables, including how many windows will be needed and where homeowners live. According to Modernize¨,
a service that facilitates connections between renovation-minded homeowners and local contractors, a floor-to-ceiling window wall costs somewhere between $700 to $1,600 per linear foot. Framing and glazing will add to those costs. Homeowners considering floor-to-ceiling windows are urged to receive several estimates for the project prior to choosing a contractor. LIGHTING AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY One of the more appealing aspects of floor-toceiling windows is all the natural light they allow in. Of course, all that light also can drive up energy costs on sunny summer days. One way around that is to install energy efficient windows. Such windows include extra insulation to prevent cool air from escaping the home on summer days, which can reduce the need to lower the thermostat on your air conditioning. A wall of glass also can provide less insulation against the cold. The extra insulation in energy efficient windows also helps keep warm air from escaping a home in the winter. Energy efficient windows may cost more than
less efficient alternatives. However, over the long haul, a wall of less efficient floor-to-ceiling windows will likely cost more due to excess energy consumption. PRIVACY AND FADING It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the view floorto-ceiling windows provide, especially in homes surrounded by serene natural settings like woods or properties that abut waterways. But that view outward also provides a view in, potentially compromising privacy. All that extra exposure to sunlight also can cause fabrics to fade over time. Floor-to-ceiling blinds and shades can protect homeowners’ privacy and reduce fading on furniture, but this extra feature will add to the final cost of the project. Smart window tinting is another way to improve privacy and reduce fading, but this feature also will drive up the cost. Floor-to-ceiling windows can be awe-inspiring. Homeowners considering such windows for their homes are urged to do their homework to ensure their homes are well-suited to this unique feature.
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REVITALIZE YOUR LANDSCAPE ON A BUDGET METRO CREATIVE
Many homeowners think they have to spend tons of green to get green in their landscape, but that isn’t necessarily so. Homeowners can improve their landscapes without digging themselves into financial holes. These strategies can help anyone save some cash and still end up with attractive gardens and more. ► Use stones or gravel for a walkway. If commercially installed pavers or cement walkways are not within your budget, there are some affordable alternatives. Flagstone or individually purchased and spaced pavers and pea gravel can be used to create pathways. Some construction sites even offer free stones when asked. Soften the look with moss or other plants on the perimeter. ► Remove some lawn. Lawns can require hours of upkeep that may involve the application of expensive fertilizers and weed-killing products that are not always so eco-friendly. Reduce the size of a lawn by putting in a mixed planting bed of perennials or ornamental grasses, or use landscape fabric and mulch. ► Look for free mulch. Municipal recycling centers may offer residents access to free mulch made from grinding up leaves, branches and other plant debris collected throughout the town. Simply bring a few containers to the recycling center and spread the mulch for an ornamental look or to insulate landscapes over winter and protect against weeds. ► Repurpose old items into planters. Old
wheelbarrows, barrels, watering cans, and other items can be repurposed into container gardening vessels. Figure out if items marked for the garbage bin can be incorporated into garden features instead. ► Invest in plants that are easy to propagate. Perennials are the gardener’s friend when it comes to saving money. These plants sprout anew each year, and many, such as sedum, catmint, ferns, hostas, and black-eyed Susans, can propagate by division. Figure out the best times of year to divide the plants and start growing them in individual containers before planting the sturdy new shoots in the ground. A single variety of plants grouped together in mass plantings is affordable and easy. ► Shop end-of season sales. Garden centers may begin to make room for holiday items come the fall. Take advantage of reduced costs on remaining plants and landscape accessories during this time of year. Plants can be covered or allowed to thrive indoors until they can be planted in the spring.
► Pool your resources. Homeowners planning on a big landscaping or revitalization project may want to speak with neighbors to see if they’re interested in doing the same. Contractors guaranteed business from a few homes in the same neighborhood may be willing to negotiate lower prices for the volume of work on things like driveway repaving, deck- or fence-building, or installation of paver patios. Some handy ideas can help homeowners transform landscapes without spending too much.
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A beginner’s guide to Fall planting & maintenance METRO CREATIVE Spring and summer are perhaps the busiest times of year for gardeners. However, fall also is a prime time to tend to gardens. The tree and bare root retailer Bower & Branch advises that soil temperatures in many regions of the country may still be warm enough to encourage root growth well into the start of winter. Furthermore, fall is often the ideal time to plant, fertilize and keep a garden going or to get a head start on next year’s bounty. Here are some tips to make the most of the fall gardening season. ► Think about fall annuals and bulb planting. Near the end of September, start planting cool-weather-loving pansies and violas for pops of color as summer flowers fade. Also, it’s a good idea to stock up on bulbs that will bloom in the months to come before they sell out in stores. Wait until the temperatures really cool down before planting them in desired spots for spring sprouts. ► Sow salad seeds. Lettuce, spinach, radishes, and arugula tolerate cooler temperatures. Try new and interesting lettuce varieties and enjoy salads well into the fall season. ► Take inventory of the sun. Positioning a garden carefully means maximizing hours of sunlight, which begin to dwindle in the fall. Experts say gardens grow best in sunny locations that receive six hours of direct sunlight each day. This is where container gardens can be helpful, as they allow
gardeners to move plants into spots that will get ample sunlight. ► Fill in landscaping gaps. Some fall plants can add color around the landscape and brighten up homes to add curb appeal. In addition to pansies and violas, asters, kale and chrysanthemums are fall blooms. Keep in mind that mums can come back year after year. So take them out of those flower pots and get them into the ground. They can be enjoyed next year as well, sprouting in early spring and developing leaves and buds through late summer. ► Clean up unwanted growth. Fall is an ideal time to cut back spent vegetable plants and get rid of errant weeds. Rather than bagging leaves, mow them with a grass catcher and then add the mix to a vegetable garden as an excellent soil insulator. The nitrogen and carbon will fertilize the soil, enhancing growing possibilities and limiting weed growth. ► Propagate plants in the fall. As temperatures gradually begin to cool, start taking cuttings from perennials, gathering seed pods from azaleas and rhododendrons and dividing hardwood cuttings, says the resource Gardening Know How. Consult with a garden center or horticulturist on the proper ways to propagate stems using rooting hormone and other techniques. ► Continue to water plants. Water is essential in the fall and winter as roots can still be growing. Gradually reduce watering duration as plants go dormant. Fall planting and maintenance can extend gardening season and improve the chances of growing a healthy spring garden.
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2022 FALL HOME AND GARDEN
Protect landscapes from wildlife and more over the winter METRO CREATIVE
Landscapes are vulnerable to the elements during the cold weather months. Everything from de-icing products to hungry animals to the weight of snow can affect trees, shrubs and other plants. Just because certain greenery will go dormant during the winter doesn’t mean landscape maintenance ends when the mercury dips. Homeowners can take certain actions to winterproof their properties and safeguard landscapes so they recover more readily when spring arrives. UTILIZE BARRIERS AND DETERRENTS When resources are scarce, animals will be on the hunt for anything that’s edible, and that includes whatever greenery is growing on a landscape. Physical barriers in garden beds and around trees can help prevent damage caused by moles, voles and deer. Line the bottom and sides of garden beds with garden cloth to prevent ground-burrowing animals from getting in from beneath, suggests the gardening resource I Must Garden. Wrapping shrubs in burlap or covering them in temporary netting can deter deer, who will seek accessible food sources over the winter. Erect fencing around new trees to keep deer away from the bark and lower branches. Make the yard less attractive to deer and burrowers by opting for fat-based suet cakes to feed birds rather
than loose seeds and berries in feeders, which herbivores will enjoy. Also, don’t overwater or mulch landscapes too early. The loose soil and warmth of the mulch may entice moles and voles and other rodents to stick around in those areas and feed on plants. USE A SAFER MELTING PRODUCT Investigate options in snowmelt products, as traditional rock salt can injure buds and branches and kill lawns. In addition, avoid piling salted snow in one area of the landscape, as it will concentrate the salt in that spot. Spread out snow piles to help minimize the damage to delicate plants. SECURE SAPLINGS AND JUVENILE PLANTS Harsh winds and battering snow can damage young plants. Use stakes and lattices to secure them so they’ll be better able to withstand the weather, suggests Total Landscape Management, a commercial and residential landscaping company. Promptly remove snow from branches to help trees and shrubs; otherwise, the weight of ice and snow can break off branches and cause irreparable damage. ERECT A SNOW BARRIER Prior observation tends to educate homeowners about which areas of the landscape are most
vulnerable to snow drifts and blustery winds. During the winter, winds often blow in from a northeasterly direction, but each homeowner can make his or her own assessment. Put up a tarp between two stakes to serve as a “snow fence” that protects vulnerable areas of the landscape from blowing snow. KEEP PLANTS COZY Wrap plants in burlap, garden blankets and plant domes to insulate them from cold weather and some animals. Move container plants into a garage or shielded area for the winter. Winter can place landscapes in peril. A few strategies can provide protection.
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Create welcoming indoor living areas for cool weather seasons METRO CREATIVE
Plan now to ensure that when fall weather signals the end of “outdoor living,” your indoor space will be a welcoming respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Walk around to inspect furniture, cabinets, use and lack of space, and decor in general. Would new paint on wood furniture, cabinets, doors or trim be brighter (or more tranquil)? How about a new live edge or other accent table or new legs for an existing table? Do closets need a redo to add storage? Could the home office use shelving? Or maybe space exists for a family game area? The possibilities are endless, and Woodcraft has the tools, materials and supplies you need for successful projects, as well as a wealth of how-to insight and information. Below are some tools and supplies and how-to tips for assembly and building projects. There’s also some useful tips for coloring or recoloring wood furniture, cabinets and other pieces with stains and paints. Live Edge Timber Co. Rustic Maple Slabs and Rhombus Slab Legs come predrilled and ready for assembly to create furniture like the coffee table pictured here. DIY Hairpin Legs in black and raw steel are an easy way to add a modern look to a tabletop or slab. Festool’s T18 Cordless Drill Plus Set features a brushless EC-TEC motor and electronic torque setting for precise screw driving and drilling wood or steel. The set includes a belt clip, two 4.0 AH HighPower battery packs, Rapid Charger TCL 6 and Systainer SYS3 M 187.
The Kreg¨ Pocket-Hole Jig 520Pro makes joinery quick and easy. All you need are a drill/driver and screws. A Gyokucho Ryoba Razorsaw is a handy general purpose saw that has rip teeth on one edge and crosscut teeth on the other side. Bore shelf pin holes on 32 mm spacing quickly and accurately using the 1/4” Kreg¨ Shelf Pin Jig or the 5 mm Kreg¨ Shelf Pin Jig. Both are compatible with face frame and frameless cabinets, with alignment windows for added versatility. For comfortable hand sanding, choose the Preppin’ Weapon Sanding Block Kit. Add power with the cordless SKIL¨ POWERCORE Brushless 20V Random Orbital Sander that can tackle refinishing wood furniture, cabinetry rehab and more. To remove paints and other coverings, Blue Bear¨ Soy Gelª Paint & Urethane Stripper is a handy helper. Krud Kutter¨ Prepaint Cleaner TSP Substitute cleans and deglosses surfaces so paint or stain will adhere better to the surface being covered. If you are recoloring or finishing for the first time, GENERAL FINISHES¨ Gel Stains and GENERAL FINISHES Milk Paint are easy to use. Gel Stains come in 15 colors, while Milk Paint is available in 33 colors. Follow GENERAL FINISHES’ instructions for prep, application, and topcoats for paints and stains to avoid any yellowing issues and to ensure the best results over time. There are many other available topcoat products. When choosing and using a topcoat, follow
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Pre-winter perennial pruning pointers METRO CREATIVE Foliage and football might be two things people instantly associate with fall, but there’s more to this beloved season than brightly colored leaves and action on the gridiron. Gardeners know that spring is an ideal time to plan and plant their favorite flowers and most flavorful fruits and vegetables. However, seasoned gardeners know that gardening is a year-round commitment. Pruning is one of the keys to keeping perennials coming back for years to come, and fall is an ideal time to take on this important task. Pruning perennials in the fall is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, some perennials can be cut down after the first killing frost, while others can be left to benefit wildlife, including birds and insects. Understanding pruning and when to do it this fall can help gardeners lay a strong foundation for their gardens that will benefit them next spring.
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2022 FALL HOME AND GARDEN WHY SHOULD SOME PERENNIALS BE PRUNED? The College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University notes that perennials that have become diseased or infested with insects are pruned to prevent those problems from resurfacing in the spring. In addition, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, many herbaceous perennials have old foliage and dying stems after several hard frosts. If dead foliage or dying stems aren’t pruned, disease, slugs and other pests can overwinter in the plants. Cutting these plants down to the ground after several hard frosts allows the base of the plant to remain dormant over the winter but makes the plant less hospitable to disease and insects. WHICH PERENNIALS SHOULD I PRUNE? The first step to pruning perennials is to recognize which need to be pruned and which can be left intact for the winter. The Old Farmer’s Almanac notes that bee balm and phlox are prone to powdery mildew and should be cut back once they’re gone. Hostas harbor slug eggs, so they, too, should be pruned after a hard frost. Hosta leaves that have fallen on the ground should be
PLANT TALK From Page 2
Another aspect most beginners struggle with is how much and when to water. To Mebius, it doesn’t matter: the more water, the better. “Moisture! Moisture! Moisture!” Mebius said. “Everyone is always worried about over-watering plants, but plants love water. It’s quite difficult to over-water most, if not all, plants.” While outdoor plants vary, most indoor houseplants require pots with drainage holes and need to be watered thoroughly at least once a week. Mebius also encourages plant-parents to take time to plan out the best place for each plant to go. “Some plants do better in the shade, some landscaping can only survive with constant sunlight,” Mebius explained. “It’s best to make sure the plants you want will continue to thrive in the places they’ll be put in.” The same can be said for indoor houseplants as well. Making sure each plant has enough soil while also making sure water can drain through, placing plants where they will have adequate sunlight exposure and making sure they’re on a consistent watering
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removed as well. There’s no need to cut back certain perennials if they’re healthy. For example, hardy geraniums do not require pruning in the fall, and Penn State Extension notes that hardy perennials like garden mums are more likely to survive a cold winter if they’re left intact. That’s because the tops of such plants will collect leaves and snow for insulation and moisture over the course of winter. Gardeners who are unsure about fall pruning can speak with their local gardening center for additional advice regarding which plants to cut back before winter. WHEN TO PRUNE PERENNIALS Gardeners need not rush to prune perennials in the fall. Diseased or infested plants can be pruned at the first sight of disease or infestation, but gardeners can wait until several hard frosts have occurred before they prune healthy perennials. In gardening parlance, a hard frost refers to when temperatures drop below 28 F. Several hard frosts kill the uppermost growth of most perennials, making this an ideal time to prune them. Pruning perennials in fall can be the first step toward creating an aweinspiring spring garden..
schedule can oftentimes seem like a balancing act, but ends up being fairly simple with great rewards. Gardening is such a simple step towards self-sufficiency, a great way to cut rising consumable costs and support local nursery businesses. There’s no better solution for boredom and cutting down on that pesky grocery bill than starting up a personal growery of your favorite fruits and veggies.
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2022 FALL HOME AND GARDEN