July 8, 2011
For garden-lovers in the Philadelphia area - anywhere, really - there's a new book in town. Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press ($19.77 on Amazon.com), it's called Chanticleer: A Pleasure Garden , by Adrian Higgins with photos by Rob Cardillo. Higgins is the Washington Post's garden editor. Cardillo, who lives in Ambler, is a well-known garden photographer of the first order. In fact, his photographs - almost 100, culled from 4,000 taken over two growing seasons - often threaten to overshadow the prose, only because they're so extraordinary.
May 14, 2010
Most of us decide what to make for dinner, then choose the seasonings to go with it. Not Jeff Cox and Marie-Pierre Moine, authors of a new book called The Cook's Herb Garden (DK Publishing, $18). They do it the other way around. Regardless. If you like herbs and you like to cook, you'll find plenty to absorb in this small book - not just how to grow, harvest, and store 120 different herbs, but how to use them in interesting ways in the kitchen. Example: A friend gave me some sorrel last year and I've never done much with it. Here, I learned that what I have is garden sorrel, Rumex acetosa , which is tangy and sharp, as opposed to French sorrel, Rumex scutatus , which is milder, more lemony and succulent.
November 2, 2007 |
It's obvious from the sumptuous spaces in Bunny Williams' Point of View: Three Decades of Decorating Elegant and Comfortable Houses (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $60) that the interior designer's clients come from the monied set. But it's also clear from her surprisingly down-to-earth text, which offers decorating wisdom along with a memoir of the people and things that shaped her as a designer, that she doesn't believe a big bankroll is required to create a welcoming home. "I don't want people to look at this book and think, 'I could never live in a house like that; I could never afford it,' " says Williams, who spent two decades with legendary design firm Parrish-Hadley before going out on her own. "It doesn't really matter if a chair cost $50 or $50,000.
April 25, 2008
The American Art Pottery Association encompasses all periods and styles, president Arnie Small says. So the weekend events connected to its annual convention, being held for the first time in the Philadelphia area, will reflect the wide-ranging interests of collector and dealer members - from arts-and-crafts-era pieces to 1920s and '30s Rosewood and Weller to studio pottery from the latter half of the 20th century to the work of today's notable potters....
January 18, 2009 |
Last year was brutal for investors, but probably more so if you're a new retiree. Your nest egg could be significantly smaller just when you're starting to tap it. But before you get too discouraged and conclude that you'll have to go back to work, it's time to take a look at where you stand. Kirk Kinder, a financial planner in northern Maryland, has been doing just that for some of his retired clients who lost 10 percent to 18 percent of their portfolios in 2008. These retirees, who usually make modest yearly withdrawals from their portfolios, will not have to change their lifestyles even after going through the worst stock market since the Great Depression, he said.
May 13, 2008
Q: What does rebalancing a portfolio mean? - H.C., Anderson, Ind. A: It involves tweaking the percentage of your portfolio in various holdings (such as stocks, bonds, etc.) by reallocating your money. Imagine that three years ago you invested in 10 companies, putting about 10 percent of your portfolio's value in each. If one of the firms has grown to represent 30 percent of your portfolio, you might rebalance by selling off some of that and reinvesting the money elsewhere. Rebalancing isn't always best.
January 16, 1995 |
What assets are liquid, generate income, reduce overall risks and outperform stocks in some years? Bonds - an important component of an "all-weather" investment portfolio that will perform well in good and bad markets. In 1994, however, many savers discovered that bonds - even government bonds - are risky. Bonds did worse than stocks or cash. The average taxable bond mutual fund lost more than 3 percent, or nearly double the 1.7 percent average loss for general stock funds.
April 20, 2012 |
It's sad, but not surprising, that cut flowers went the way of fresh food, turning what used to be a local enterprise into a $40 billion global network of industrial floriculture producing "factory flowers" every bit as uniform, unappetizing, and fake-looking as their gustatory counterparts. But as Debra Prinzing explains in her new book The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers (St. Lynn's Press, $17.95), the "slow flower" movement is catching up to "slow food," bringing flowers back to local fields and, in season, into our homes.
May 6, 2011
Here's a pruning book written for amateurs like us: The Pruning Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face, Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask , by Penelope O'Sullivan and the late Lewis Hill. With 365 pages and a title like that, you'd expect every problem and question to be included. Not quite. But this little gem from Storey Publishing ($14.95) - and I do mean little - packs a lot into a modest 41/2-by-61/2-inch frame. It includes when and why to prune; right and wrong techniques for flowering, ornamental, evergreen, deciduous, fruit, and nut trees, as well as vines, ground covers, and hedges.
October 28, 2011
If you're a student or admirer of the duPonts, there's a new book to lighten the long winter's darkness. It's called Nemours: A Portrait of Alfred I. duPont's House, by Dwight Young and Grace Gary, with photos by Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson (Rizzoli International Publications, $40). It took three sherpas 30 minutes to haul these 307 pages upstairs to my third-floor desk at The Inquirer. Just kidding. But this is one hefty love letter to "a true American original and the Delaware estate he called Nemours.