This year marks the 45th year I’ve been writing this column. I’ve been told it is the longest-running syndicated column written continuously by one author. That takes “Dear Abby” out of contention.

I was 15 years old when I landed my first job. While many of my friends who were also starting their employment went the fast food or grocery store route, I did something that was much more glamorous.

Question: Why do we say “lead” pencil when it is not really lead? (Asked by Cruz Freimeyer, of Grantsville, W.Va.)

Q: Our son is 7 years old and in the second grade. His school went virtual this past spring and we see no end to it, not in the near term at least. When he was going to a brick-and-mortar schoolhouse, he did very well. Close to the top of his class, in fact. Ever since last spring, however, …

Properly pruning plants might feel like going into battle, especially without the right tools. Dull or undersized pruning tools can leave the plant unnecessarily damaged and will cause you to work harder to get the job done. Choose the correct tool for the size of the stem or branch that wil…

Q: I teach 3- and 4-year-olds in a child care center in Australia. I always have a few difficult children in any group and the book in which you describe Alpha Speech (“The Well-Behaved Child”) has been very helpful. My disciplinary options are limited to separating a misbehaving child out o…

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties in December last year. The report showed that Florida (2nd), North Carolina (6th) and Georgia (9th), were top 10 states in horticultural sales. These ranking…

The picture attached to this column represents what a parent will do for his/her children when they really want something; and how every story can have a twist in a matter of seconds.

Despite the many ways a pandemic made this a strange and difficult year, 190 Master Gardeners put in more than 1,800 hours of community service in Greenwood County in 2020.

In a year that historians will surely point to for ages to come, I’m wondering if we’ve been too hard on ol’ 2020. She came in with such hope and so much promise.

Trivia Time! After a day full of unwrapping gifts, why not unwind with a few pieces of trivia everyone should know?

Q: Our 14-year-old daughter desperately wants to begin wearing makeup, which all — and I mean all — of her classmates are allowed to do. We have held off not only because of our beliefs but also because of her immaturity. Up until recently, for example, she has continued to throw magnificent…

As I prepared to write a column for Christmas Day, I thought about plants that are significant during the holidays, and I asked myself, “What is Frankincense anyway?” As a child, I was told that it was a valuable gift of incense, a precious thing that would honor a king. Frankincense is the …

It is that time of year again. If COVID wasn’t enough for us to put on an extra 10 or 20 pounds, now we have to contend with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and ringing in the new year.

In 2017, the average U.S. household spent more than $500 a year on lawn care and gardening activities (statista.com). With the surge in home gardening because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I can only expect that number has gone up for 2020.

Houseplants are much more than strategically placed living décor. They can benefit mental and physical health. There are many easy-care houseplants to choose from, with plants such as pothos and succulents thriving on neglect. But when a houseplant declines it can be a frustrating scenario, …