I’m writing for Candide, a new website and app for U.S. gardeners

June 30, 2020

Candide, a website and social sharing app for gardeners, recently launched in the U.S., after first growing its user base in South Africa and the U.K. Now that U.S. gardeners have access, I’m happy to announce that I’m writing articles for the website and sharing more-personal gardening photos and posts via the app, which is kind of like Instagram for gardeners.

You can find a few of my gardening articles there now, with more to come.

And if you join the free app, you can find me there too, under the imaginative username PamPenick. If you’ve ever thought it would be fun to have a gardening blog but haven’t bothered with setting one up, or if you share plant pics all the time on IG or FB, boring your non-gardening friends and family, Candide is for you.

Check Candide out, both the website’s gardening articles and the social-sharing app. I’ll see you there!

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.

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Digging Deeper: News

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30 Easy 4th of July Crafts and Decorations

Come Independence Day, everything looks better with stars and stripes. Give your home the star-spangled treatment with these simple 4th of July crafts. We have ideas that will keep kids occupied, as well as some more advanced projects for adults that when completed, can double as your patriotic decor. Get your hot glue gun and your crafting scissors ready, because you’re going to want to try these crafts out for yourself.

Whether you’re an old pro at crafting, or you’re just looking for something to keep everyone busy until the fireworks, there’s something for all ages on this list — including a DIY picnic blanket that you’re going to want to use all summer. When you’re done crafting, be sure to check out more of our favorite summer DIY ideas.

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Kitchen Organization Questions, Answered By an Expert

Mise en place—”things in place.” It’s the first thing any student at culinary school learns, the first thing any rookie cook learns on the line at a restaurant. You have to keep your things in place, your workspace clean, your tools and ingredients organized. But there are so many moving parts: dinner plates and wine glasses, cereal bowls and flatware, spices and pantry items, serving dishes and roasting pans, utensils and baking supplies. Where should you even start?

To put you on the path to organized bliss, IKEA Interior Design Specialist Charlene Tea answered pressing questions you shared about kitchen storage on @goodhousekeeping. The best part? Her tips and product suggestions below are applicable for every kitchen, no matter how big or small, and whether you rent or own.


1. How can you best make use of lower cabinet organization? What are the strategies to use for under the sink, pots and pans, or countertop appliances?

Interior organization is all about inserts. For lower cabinets, Tea suggests using UTRUSTA partition wires to keep items like baking sheets and lids in check, and pull-out wire baskets for pots, pans, and small appliances.

“No more digging through your cabinets to

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Deer noshing on my dianella

June 26, 2020

Getting into my car last week, I was surprised to see a doe walking steadily toward me, ambling down the driveway like she owned the place. Did she have a fawn stashed nearby, I wondered? (I saw twin fawns in the garden soon after, so maybe.)

I gave her space and watched quietly, and she moseyed onto the path toward the back gate.

She checked to make sure I was watching…

…and then started munching my variegated flax lily (Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’). The nerve! I’d noticed that my dianella were getting browsed over the past months, but seeing it happen was a bridge too far. So I stepped out from the car and clapped my hands at her. “Hey,” I yelled.

She just gave me a look that plainly said, “This is my garden. What’s your deal, lady?”

So I left her to it. I guess there’s plenty of dianella to go around. For now. She or her buddies already polished off the native river fern that used to grow over here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click

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64 Easy Fall Craft Ideas for Adults

Mike Garten

Your calendar may already be filling up with fun fall activities, but you should still make time to spend some weekends inside to put your DIY skills to work (especially when the inevitable fall chill hits). These creative fall craft ideas are a great place to start, whether you’re looking for a rainy day activity to keep your kids busy or a simple, affordable way to add seasonal cheer to your home. Best of all: Each and every one of these DIY projects, which range in number of supplies needed and crafting ability, double as fall decorations that you can leave on display from Labor Day through Thanksgiving. Give your home a warm and cozy (and orange!) vibe with these ideas, complete with pumpkins, foliage, acorns, candy corn, and other autumnal favorites.

You know what to do: Grab a mug of apple cider, round up a few of your family members (kids and adults alike), and enjoy a fall crafternoon. And while you’re at it, start brainstorming craft ideas for Halloween and Thanksgiving because those holidays will be here before you know it.

1 of 64

Pumpkin Pots

Dress up your mantel, front

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All the Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Kid-Friendly

Ask any parent what room in their house gets the most action, and they’ll probably say the kitchen. While it’s where families often congregate, the kitchen also contains a lot of not-so-kid-friendly features—hot stovetops, sharp knives, breakable glassware—so designing mindfully is crucial.

Thankfully, IKEA has always designed with the whole family in mind, and kitchen solutions are no exception. You want a space that encourages little ones to learn how to cook, is reliable, and easy to maintain. Here’s how to get all of that and more.

stainless steel kitchen

Ikea

When laying out the kitchen, make sure parents can cook while keeping an eye on their little ones, whether they’re in an adjacent play room or doing homework in the breakfast nook.

If you have a one-wall kitchen that’s adjacent to the living space, add an island to create an area to work where you don’t have to turn your back to the kids. Consider placing the sink under a window to provide a clear view of the backyard while washing dishes.

sharp objects out of reach

This is a no-brainer, but sharp kitchen tools should be as far from little hands as possible. Instead of an easily accessible knife block, install a magnetic wall rack

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