In the garden

Get yardwork done with up-to-date tools


Fort Worth Star-Telegram

It’s time to work in the garden. From pretty planters to techy tools, we’ve culled a list of backyard must-haves. These products won’t just show off your green thumb. They’ll make your neighbors green with envy.

•  Waste not: The does-it-all NatureMill compost bin is the perfect product for turning your yard and kitchen scraps into fertilizer. Put waste in the top chamber, and the machine’s heating and aerating process will turn it into compost in just two weeks. $359, Gardener’s Supply Company,

•  Mower magic: Forget pushing a lawn mower. The Robomow RS630 does it all for you. It’s quiet and durable, and it even docks and charges itself with no supervision. Just schedule the mowing time and go about your business. Yard work has never been so easy. $2,499, available online only through Brookstone,, and Sears,

•  Water wise: Fake a green thumb with the Koubachi Wi-Fi plant sensor. Insert the sensor into the soil of any plant and it will do its thing, measuring moisture, evaluating light, monitoring the temperature and taking other cues to determine the best care for your greens. Sync the device with its app on your iPhone or iPad, and you will be given advice and instructions on when and how to care for your plant. $129.95, Apple.

•  For a rainy day: Plow & Hearth’s rain barrel urn is lovely and eco-friendly. The urn collects and stores rainwater, and the hose spigot allows you to easily recycle it for watering. Add a bit of color in the self-draining planter on top, and water conservation has never looked so good. $179.95, Plow & Hearth,

•  Hand care: Crabtree & Evelyn’s Gardeners Soothing Hand Care Tin includes a cuticle and nail treatment, a hand recovery lotion, a hand therapy lotion, and an age-defying hand remedy. The products promise to help keep your hands soft and hydrated, no matter how much time you spend in the dirt. $31.50, P.C. Fallon Co.,

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

This impressive and rather rare vase was made in England by a company that was founded in 1820 to make utilitarian items out of stoneware.


    How old is this vase from my great-grandfather?

    Q: Attached are photos of a vase that once belonged to my great-grandfather. It is marked “Coulton, Burslem” and is decorated with painted poppies and a three-dimensional dragon. It is marked with an emblem with a crown on top and the number 1922. It is 221/2 inches tall. Would it be possible for you to tell me how old it is and the approximate value?

A native ladybug on a firebush in Terri Stephens’ yard.


    The gardener and the ladybugs

    A citizen-scientist documents the ladybugs in her South Dade yard for a research project.

This patio was made from salvaged Moroccan tiles and the fountain made from an old clawfut tub and a kitchen sink.


    Look to Morocco for decor that is luxurious, powerful

    Morocco. Simply saying the name inspires images of an exotic and exciting location. I don’t know of a single other place in the world that has that same effect on me.

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