In search of natural hues? A garden ‘to dye for’

This photo provided by St. Lynn's Press shows the first step to gather plants materials for making an original eco dyed scarf. For this particular scarf, eucalyptus leaves (both in the dye as well as in the bundled scarf), marigold petals, red and yellow onion skins, red rose petal and avocado skins were used. (AP Photo/St. Lynn's Press, Chris McLaughlin)

Homegrown botanical dyes are in, part of today’s shift toward more natural and organic living.

In a jam? It’s time to think outside the PB&J

This June 9, 2014 photo shows an assortment of jams from left to right, Trappist cherry preserve, Bonne Maman fig preserves, Mackays dundee orange marmalade and Crofter's superfruit spread in Concord, N.H. Jams and jellies are good for adding oomph to everything, including sweet-and-sour chicken (apricot jam), barbecue pork ribs (seedless raspberry), beef marinades (orange marmalade), ham glazes (blackberry or cherry), sweet-and-savory dips for vegetables and crackers (red pepper jelly), even sandwich spreads. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

It was probably 15 years ago that I discovered the magic that is a nearly empty jar of jam.

Brave new gardening for brave new climates

This 2014 photo provided by Ann Savageau shows homeowner Savageau in her sustainable drought-tolerant garden in front of her house in Davis, Calif. The new landscape consisted of a variety of cacti and agaves, fescues, sages, and California fuchsia, Pink Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia Capillarias) and Mexican Feather grass (Nassella Tenuissima). (AP Photo/Michael Savageau)

Ripping out the front lawn and its bordering rhododendrons and replacing them with a landscape of native grasses, groundcovers, succulents and rocks once seemed an unfathomable act of defiance.

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