better homes and gardens
The weather outside may be frightful, but it’s a delightful time to curl up with a stack of gardening books and begin planning next season’s harvest.
Victoria Gazeley considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin, located on 7 acres of fertile earth in British Columbia, a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
These tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News, published in 1970, will make your housekeeping more enjoyable and efficient. Mother has always known best.
A study has found that healthy fats and oils may make fried foods better for you.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
Minneapolis public relations firm Haberman & Associates wants everyone to enjoy a company-sponsored organic vegetable garden like theirs.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
Guy and Kay Baker and their three sons spent five years building a small weekend cabin in Alabama from scraps and salvage. When the 1,100-square feet house was complete, they loved it so much they made it their permanent home.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
At the Healthy Homes Conference in Denver, a health care pioneer said healthy housing is as important as diet and exercise in maintaining well being and that access is a social justice issue. The Home Depot Foundation is addressing that.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
This morning in my inbox: Orlando Bloom announced at Wednesday night’s Global Green pre-Oscars party that he’s building a green, solar-powered home in London. And an RISMedia report stating that despite the downturn in the general housing market, demand for green homes continues to be a hot trend.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
Don’t have the space (or the nerve) to tackle a full-scale garden? Never fear! This gardening rookie finds that a container garden can yield a harvest to rival any in-ground plot.
Lurie Garden is a popular tourist attraction in Chicago during the day, but a secret escape at night.
As more Americans tighten their belts to save a penny or two, many are finding they can save money by growing food-producing gardens.
Don’t let winter get you down! Look ahead to warmer months and find some garden inspiration with these beautiful garden images.
Create growing space for a small space garden with pocket gardens for posts, chairs, walls and doors.
The Guerilla Gardener finds that his downtown Kansas City guerilla garden has been vandalized. Find out his next plan of action to keep fresh herbs and vegetables growing in downtown Kansas City.
When the Lemon Verbena Lady visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens during her NYC vacation she quickly learned that timing is everything when it comes to herbal travels.
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
Location near public transportation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse Here Sonya gets ready for a busy week of subcontractors for the NewenHouse kit home. The interior of the home is nearing completion!
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how hemp, a renewable resource, can aid in building zero-carbon homes.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
Rock gardens are one way to brighten your house without having to actually grow things.
The Guerilla Gardener scopes out the site for a guerilla garden in downtown Kansas City.
The Guerilla Gardener continues his mission with Operation Slippery Slope in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Guerilla Gardener continues Operation Slippery Slope in downtown Kansas City.
The Guerilla Gardener plants marigolds, basil, tomatoes and other herbs and plants in downtown Kansas City.
The Lemon Verbena Lady makes a visit to an herbal Peruvian clinic & botanical garden in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
Take a walk around a blooming botanical garden this spring and explore new flower themes, events, workshops and recipes.
Mighty Fine Gardens’ vertical garden kits provide families with a way to teach their children the value of outdoor time and of making healthy choices with food.
David Salman encourages gardeners to fertilize in fall when root growth is most active and winter fertilizing imperative.
Sit back with your favorite herbal beverage and join the Lemon Verbena Lady as she travels from Canada to Europe and back to the United States visiting gardens and checking items off her herbal bucket list.
A visit to The Cloisters medieval museum and gardens in New York City reminds the Lemon Verbena Lady just how close gardens an art are related.
A few jayhawks planted a medicinal garden at the University of Kansas.
Once you plant your container garden, the recipe to a happy garden involves water, sunlight, nutrients, pest control—and passion, of course.
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes moving into the first NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the super-insulated, sustainable and small NewenHouse kit home she's planning to bring to market in 2012. The prototype, being built in Viroqua Wisconsin, is striving for LEED Platnium and Passive House certifications.
The Lemon Verbena Lady shares her travels to the historic Chelsea Physic Garden, an apothecary herb garden in the heart of London.
In Bethel, New York, a developer that has specialized in large luxury homes is building modest houses to appeal to a younger crowd--more anecdotal evidence that smaller homes are here to stay.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
President Obama revealed plans for his new Home Star Program, also known as Cash for Caulkers, which will offer rebates for energy-efficient home renovations such as replacing windows, adding insulation and sealing ducts.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on the earth’s constant underground temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to provide comfortable indoor climates. The technology works in any size or style home, in nearly any setting on earth.
Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Laporte began experimenting with building a house using straw and Iowa's excellent clay. In the process, he discovered what makes a home's soul.
An annual survey of home buyers found that Americans want smaller homes with a focus on casual living and togetherness. From larger kitchens to outdoor living spaces, these 10 features were the most popular. Find out how you can get them, too!
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
Think having a green home is out of your price range? Here are some easy, realistic ideas to create an eco-friendly living space that might actually save you money!
Guest blogger Sarah Lozanova talks about the advantages of downsizing to a small home as her family moves to Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage.
Join the Lemon Verbena Lady as she visits some community gardens in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia to get you ready for this year's gardening season.
One guest blogger loves building fairy houses for kids and with kids. She never ceases to be amazed at their instinct for this activity. They see things in nature to use and create with that we could never imagine. Check out some fairy garden ideas from the brightest children.
Discover delightful garden projects for kids. The author of the Fairy House Handbook shows you how to make fabulous fairy creations out of mud.
One rookie gardener battles seasonal temperature fluctuations and too much rain in the quest to grow the perfect tomato—and realizes she isn’t alone.
I wish you could experience the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. Blooming wisteria drapes over rows of trellised classical columns and flowering fruit trees shimmer in the breeze.
The Lemon Verbena Lady describes her 20th wedding anniversary trip to the Loire Valley in France and shares her search for unusual herbs.
During her recent visit to England, our Lemon Verbena Lady explored the historic gardens on the grounds of London's Fulham Palace.
Family vacations to natural botanical gardens offer just as much all-ages fun without the hassle of crowds or pollution common at most amusement parks. Visit one of the oldest and largest botanical institutions in the United States: The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. See photos here!
"Help! My plant is under insect attack - what are they, what will they do to my other plants and how can I attack back?" Find out here!
Herbalists can benefit greatly from tending a backyard beehive in their garden. Learn why every herbalist should consider keeping bees and how to go about it.
In a wabi-sabi garden, plants are chosen because they belong in that climate, and they’re allowed to strut their stuff if they’re considerate of the plants around them. Both plants and guests are encouraged to meander and explore.
The Lemon Verbena Lady has a chance to revisit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 2013, getting a chance to finally see the newly renovated Herb Garden.
We found another cute garden decor idea. Check it out!
Fond memories of an anniversary trip to France and the beautiful Chateau de Villandry inspires the Lemon Verbena Lady to advocate kitchen gardens. Not only do they attract beautiful insects but they also spice up your summer meals.
The Lemon Verbena Lady finds a lovely vegetable and herb garden at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden in South Beach, Florida.
The Lemon Verbena Lady visits New York City and discovers the New York Botanical Garden.
Watch out for these three common technique mistakes in your garden this spring.
These three homes--in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina--use passive cooling techniques to eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning. Check them out and learn a few tricks for reducing--or eliminating--your AC bills this summer.
When jalapenos take over, what’s a rookie gardener to do? Dry ’em, freeze ’em, smoke ’em, and more.
Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term 'certified home' includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home design without the end result looking like "junk."
Designed as a shotgun-style house for natural ventilation, the Alligator House was designed and built as part of the rehousing effort in post-Katrina New Orleans.
The U.S. Green Building Council recognizes the top projects, developers and home builders participating in its LEED program for 2011.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s "Best Green Homes of 2010" list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
The NewenHouse kit home has officially received Passive House certification! The Passive House is also the highest-rated Energy Star home in the state of Wisconsin.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes how and why the Passive House conference inspired her to change the NewenHouse kit home's design to meet Passive House certification.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull explains the different types of manure available for your green garden.
If you can’t build your dream garden just yet, container gardening is a great alternative. Check out these tips for homemade fertilizer and soil retention, and learn how to repurpose common plastic containers into handy individual gardens.
A Detroit neighborhood garden demonstrates how citizens can work together to reclaim rundown sections of their cities and benefit their entire community.
The Herbalista's container garden is planted and almost ready for harvesting. Check out her five favorite herbs to grow in an herb container garden.
Take a trip across the pond with the Lemon Verbena Lady to discover a 300-year-old garden.
Little gnatty flies smothering your prized houseplants? Learn what they are and how to eradicate them, once and for all.
I've had little opportunity to actually test live plants in my tenure with The Herb Companion. So, when DutchGardens.com sent me some of their beautiful tulip and hyacinth varieties, I was excited and impressed! See some results in this photo-blog!
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers an introduction to the Passive House standard, including what makes Passive Houses energy-efficient and how they differ from passive solar homes.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the HRV (heat recovery ventilation) unit and insulation installation for the NewenHouse Kit Home.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace introduces a green gardening series on Biodynamic farming based on her trip to DeLoach Vineyards in Sonoma, California. She details the meaning of Biodynamic farming and a field preparation called horn silica 501.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a 'new, rich architectural typology.' Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
Lemon Verbena Lady is anxious to get planting new herbs in her herb garden. She explores the wonderful world of herb plant catalogs both in print and online in three installments because there is just so much herbal information to pass along!