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All About Raised-Bed Gardens

The right top layer-—about 3 inches thick—discourages weeds, retains moisture, adds nutrients, and keeps the soil where it belongs.Use these to improve the soilSTRAW OR HAY: Straw (harvested grain stalks) stays put, doesn’t mat, and insulates the soil. Hay (alfalfa or a grass) breaks down faster, enriching the soil; but avoid the fresh stuff used for animal feed—it contains weed seeds. Instead, spread salt hay (a marsh grass) or old feed hay that has started to decay; their seeds won’t sprout. FALLEN LEAVES: Another boon to soil fertility, if you can find enough of them in the spring. Grinding them…

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The Life Aquatic in Cornwall: A Waterfront House—and One-Time Dinghy Club—Reinvented

When lighting designer Chris Millard and interior design Flo Millard relocated from London to the fishing village of Rock in Cornwall, they hoped and dreamed for exactly this sort of project. A one-time dinghy club and restaurant perched on the waterfront in tiny, steep Polruan, on Cornwall’s south coast, the wooden structure had long ago been converted into living quarters, but was in need of a top-to-bottom rethink. “The house had been reinvented several times over the years,” Flo tells us, “and the result of these reiterations meant it was a patchwork of rooms with a rather confusing layout.” Millard…

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Native Son: Matthew Cox Antiques in Stamford, England

Discovered via our designer friend Cassandra Ellis: third-generation antiques dealer Matthew Cox, who operates between Stamford (where he’s based) and London. He lives in the same town he grew up in, in a “very old, very large house on the town square; I pretty much live in the equivalent of my childhood home,” he says. “History is repeating.” “Matthew is an antiques dealer and maker of incredible pieces of furniture and lighting,” Cassandra says. “He manages to combine pieces in a way that is comfortable, modern, and traditional. Telling stories through objects and the magical ‘Ma.’ or space in between.…

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Researchers Study Impact of Energy Disclosures on Home Sales

In Chicago, an analysis of real estate sales found that properties whose energy costs were part of the listing sold more quickly and at a higher percentage of the asking price than houses whose listings didn't include that information. [Image credit: Stephen M. Scott / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr] Massachusetts real estate agents are hoping that lawmakers won’t force home sellers to tell prospective buyers how energy-efficient their houses are. The reason? Disclosing energy use in older homes might depress sales and put homeowners at a competitive disadvantage. But in Chicago, a study of how energy cost disclosures affected sales…

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Why Expensive Asbestos Litigation Just Won’t Go Away

The remarkable properties of asbestos led to its use in a variety of industrial and consumer goods, and helped spawn lawsuits worth hundreds of billions of dollars when health risks became known. [Image credit: Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA / Flickr It is tempting to dismiss asbestos as a problem of the past. The height of its consumption was in the 1970s, and asbestos litigation began over a half century ago. Many of its leading manufacturers and mining companies are long gone. Yet asbestos litigation is back in the news. In July 2018, a trial court ordered Johnson & Johnson…

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Sandra Bullock’s Georgia Home | FOR SALE

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock is not only diversified when it comes to the rolls she plays from awkward and lovable girl next door in Miss Congeniality to romantic comedy in films like Hope Floats, a film in which she not only starred but was also executive producer. Her highly successful film career has also given her the wealth to own almost any home she chooses, and she doesn’t choose like other celebrities who vie with each other to own the latest and greatest Hollywood pad. In fact, While You Were Sleeping, Sandra has quietly been building a diversified real estate…

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