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Spring Clean Your Pantry in 3 Simple Steps

As part of a good spring cleaning routine don't forget your pantry. Here are three simple steps to a clean pantry and three ingredients to toss, without exception.

It’s that time of year.  Open the windows, roll up your sleeves and dig in. Many of us take the time each spring to eliminate old paperwork, magazines and clothes that we no longer need or use. My mantra as I begin the task of spring cleaning is a quote I read by William Morris, “Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” As part of a good spring cleaning routine don't forget your pantry. Here are three simple steps to a clean pantry and three ingredients to toss, without exception.     

The Whistling Gardener's May Check List

The Whistling Gardener's May checklist.

WELL, I THINK IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT SPRING HAS SPRUNG. I am now mowing my lawn twice a week (but only because I like to keep it very short), watering my containers several times a week (these are pots with permanent plantings that tend to shed the rain), the frogs are making a ruckus every evening and the robins are at it every morning around 5am or earlier. Why on earth do robins have to start chirping so damn early in the morning anyway? Yes, spring is in full swing and it’s time to get serious in the garden. Here are my key points for this month.

LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING BLOOMING PLANTS—Flowering shrubs like Forsythia, Pieris, Winter Heather and early rhodies and azaleas should be pruned back now to control and shape the new growth. Candy tuft, Aubretia, creeping phlox and just about anything that will finish blooming this month needs to be cut back and groomed when the flowers fade. This small task will reap huge dividends by keeping your plants compact and tidy and covered with new blooms next season. Left undone you will end up with scraggly and overgrown specimens that after a few years you will want to rip out and replace. It is also smart to fertilize after pruning to support the new growth.

Chateau Ste. Michelle announces 2013 summer concert series

Chateau Ste. Michelle invites you to share a part of your summer with them. Enjoy the fresh air, delicious wine, and perhaps a picnic dinner while listening to the vibrant sounds of live music from your favorite band.

Chateau Ste. Michelle invites you to share a part of your summer with them. Enjoy the fresh air, delicious wine, and perhaps a picnic dinner while listening to the vibrant sounds of live music from your favorite band.

Hosting live performances since 1984, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Summer Concert Series stands as one of the Pacific Northwest’s great music venues. The annual series features a diverse line-up of top jazz, rock, blues and contemporary artists that are drawn to the intimate Amphitheatre setting.

Tickets are sold in the Chateau or through Ticketmaster at face value only. For Ticketmaster, visit any Tickectmaster outlet or call 800.745.3000. The winery is not responsible for tickets or ticket packages sold through other vendors or programs.

Tickets go on sale Saturday 27th, April at 10:00am.

2013 Washington State Spring BBQ Championship

Central to the Evergreen Spring Festival on April 27th and 28th, 2013 will be the Washington State Spring BBQ Championship, a two-day barbecue cook-off.

The Evergreen State Fair will once again be hosting the Spring Festival on April 27th through 28th, 2013. The 50th anniversary of the creation of the Snohomish Parks Department will be celebrated during the festival.

Central to the Spring Festival will be the Washington State Spring BBQ Championship, a two-day barbeque cook-off to be located in the covered Judging Arena south of the Evergreen Events Center. The competition will feature cooking demonstrations of outdoor grilling and BBQ techniques.

Mill Creek Women's Club members learn how to create outrageous garden containers

Steve Smith and Rachael Zeutenhorst showed how to create an outrageous garden container from scratch.

The guest presenters for the April 17, 2013 Mill Creek Women's Club luncheon, were Steve Smith a.k.a “The Whistling Gardener” from Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, and Rachel Zeutenhorst from T&L Wholesale Nursery in Woodinville. Together they showed how to create an outrageous garden container from scratch.

Smith explained that he is from Southern California and when working there he would always whistle before entering a customer's backyard, just in case they were out there doing a bit of sunbathing! Hence the name “The Whistling Gardener.”

Smith and Zeutenhorst are neighbors and quite often give presentations together. Smith explained that he is the nerd and Zeutenhorst is the container expert.  Rachel’s container creations have won many awards.

Members and guests were entertained with Smith and Zeutenhorst's extensive knowledge of plants and their passion for gardening sprinkled with plenty of humor.

Plant Insurance - Who Needs It?

Steve Smith reviews some basic planting procedures that will help insure success for all of us. He wants to drive home the importance of compost, fertilizer and to a lesser extent transplant shock reducing products.

This weekly column is being reproduced with the permission of Steve Smith, The Whistling Gardener, and owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.

Now that we are in the thick of the planting season I think it is prudent to review some basic planting procedures that will help insure success for all of us. Mostly, I want to drive home the importance of compost, fertilizer and to a lesser extent transplant shock reducing products. So, here we go..................

Is your food stressing you out?

Did you know April is National Stress Awareness month? Stress is something we all experience on a daily basis and it affects each one of us differently.

Did you know April is National Stress Awareness month? Stress is something we all experience on a daily basis and it affects each one of us differently.  Simply put, stress is anything that causes strain on the body, regardless of its origin. How many times have you told a friend “I’m so stressed out” or “I’m under a lot of stress right now?” What would you most attribute this source of stress?

For most of us our lives are a non-stop dance from one task to another. Americans work more now than ever before. According to a study done by the International Labor Organization, 85.8% of males and 66.5% of females work more than 40 hours per week. When compared to other industrialized nations, Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers. What does that mean? We are not taking enough vacation days.  

"Six Weeks to a Healthier You" presented by Joe Piscatella

The "Six Weeks to a Healthier You" program led by Joe Piscatella begins May 13, 2013. This program can help you improve your eating and cooking habits, manage your stress, lose weight, and exercise smarter.

Register now for the six-week program that had South Snohomish County buzzing in 2012. 

Led by Joe Piscatella, a nationally acclaimed speaker, health expert and best-selling author, the program can help you improve your eating and cooking habits, help you manage your stress, lose weight and exercise smarter.

See for yourself what the nearly 500 participants in 2012 were talking about. Everyone is welcome!

Desperate for Rest?

According to the National Sleep Foundation 30% to 40% of Americans suffer from insomnia and women are 1.3 times more likely to have chronic insomnia than men.

Having trouble sleeping is one of the main concerns I hear from folks I see in my practice. Why is it that so many of us, after having a full day of activity, have difficulty falling asleep--and staying asleep? According to the National Sleep Foundation 30% to 40% of Americans suffer from insomnia and women are 1.3 times more likely to have chronic insomnia than men. For most of us, adequate sleep means seven to nine hours a night.  The National Sleep Foundation found that the number of people sleeping fewer than six hours per night has doubled over the last four decades to nearly a third of the population.

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