September 7, 2007
Back in June, Joann Taylor thinned out her irises in Portland, Ore., packed about 18 pounds of extra rhizomes into a box, and shipped them off to Cheltenham Township, where she grew up. These irises are special, descended from a variety planted by John McDermott, Taylor's great-grandfather, more than a century ago on the 49-acre estate belonging to the Elkins family, for whom the Cheltenham neighborhood Elkins Park is named. The estate, known as Elstowe Manor, was on Ashbourne Road. McDermott, an Irish immigrant, was the Elkinses' gardener, and as Taylor recounts the story, he loved these flowers so much he planted them at his own house on Beech Avenue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June 27, 2002 |
When collectors open up boxes of 2002 Bowman Baseball, they will find a unique bonus surprise - a redemption card for an "uncirculated" card. They also will find the usual supply of "rookie" cards, featuring players who, in many cases, are still years away from a big-league box score. Thanks to a grandfather clause in Topps' agreement with the players association, the company can produce cards of virtually any player under contract to a big-league organization, then mingle them with current big-leaguers in the same set. The other licensees are limited to the basic, 40-man roster for their "rookies.
May 12, 2003 |
Retiree W. Donald Sparks figures his investments would carry him for seven or eight years if those assets were the only thing between him and a diet of pork and beans. That is a sobering decline from the 11- to 12-year cushion he estimated when he retired in late 2000. But Sparks, 70, is not fretting. A lawyer by trade, he goes to his office in Media three days a week, joining two other septuagenarians in his firm who are still working full time. "If the market came back, I'd take less time" practicing law, Sparks said.
April 13, 2014 |
Diaz: Monogamy's for the birds Prospective Cameron Diaz mates may want to pay close attention to the Charlie's Angels angel's chat with InStyle. "I don't know if anyone is really naturally monogamous," Diaz, 41, tells the mag. "We all have the same instincts as animals. But we live in a society where it's been ingrained in us to do these things. " Diaz, whose dating portfolio includes Matt Dillon , Jared Leto , Justin Timberlake , and Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez , says people chase after monogamy "because they've been told, 'This equals happiness.' " Instead, we end up with a big bowl of misery.