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Gnome and Garden

To some, they are symbols of luck and hope. To others, they are protectors of gardens. And to others still, they are tiny, weird-looking men with beards and pointy hats. But gno matter how you perceive them, it’s time to welcome these whimsical creatures into your home (or office) with Gnome and Garden, a kit that celebrates gnomes through the ages. This lovingly illustrated package includes one miniature garden gnome, one faux lawn, decorative flowers, exotic backdrops, and a full-color illustrated book on the history and mythology of gnomenkind.

Place your plot of grass on a desk or tabletop, choose your favorite backdrop, arrange the flowers, and situate your gnome where you can easily see him. Now you can experience the serenity of the garden indoors!

This unique kit is perfect for gnome enthusiasts everywhere-and anyone who needs more luck in their life. We’re sure there’s gnothing like it on the market!

MARCUS MENNES has been tracking, studying, and observing gnomes for most of his adult life. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Posted by impart

The Home Owner’s Manual

Quirk Owner’s Manuals have taught readers how to “repair” and “maintain” babies, toddlers, dogs, and cats. Now we’re tackling the biggest and most complicated “appliance” of all-your home!

Through step-by-step instructions and techy schematic diagrams, The Home Owner’s Manual explores hundreds of frequently asked questions: How can I drain the sludge out of my water heater? What makes my radiators “hiss” at night? Is there any easy way to unstop a toilet? How can I fill a crack in my wall? And when should I seek professional help?

You’ll also find advice on inspecting a new home, moving in, redecorating, emergency maintenance, and much more. With plenty of helpful illustrations to guide you along, The Home Owner’s Manual makes household maintenance a breeze.

DAN RAMSEY, a licensed building and home improvement contractor, has taught thousands of homeowners how to fix things through his Web site, fixitclub.com (hosted by BobVila.com). He lives in Willets, California.

Posted by impart

Home Economics

The phrase “home ec” recalls fusty visions of baking and sewing classes, but this illustrated guide showcases the movement’s true foundations: applying scientific methods to domestic work. Compiled from a wide range of vintage sources, Home Economics is chock-full of thrifty tips, time-tested advice, informative charts, and tasty recipes that gently teach the art and science of housekeeping. Inside is a wealth of information on health and hygiene, shopping and cookery, furnishings and decor, cleaning and safety, and so much more.

Old-fashioned, yes. But outdated? Never! This is real home economics that everyone will be proud to know.

JENNIFER McKNIGHT TRONTZ is the author of several books, including The Good Citizen’s Handbook and How to Be Popular. She lives in New York City.

Posted by impart

Field Guide to Tools

What’s a plumb bob look like? Where can I find a chop saw? How can I tell the difference between a tire wrench and a box wrench?

If you’ve ever asked these kinds of questions, you need Field Guide to Tools, an illustrated guide to the world of hardware stores and home improvement centers. From glass cutters and marking gauges to grout saws and caulk guns, you’ll learn how to identify and use more than 100 different tools. Author John Kelsey (a columnist for This Old House magazine) provides step-by-step directions for using each tool, along with interesting historical anecdotes and creative alternative uses. Best of all, the book includes color photographs of every tool for easy identification.

Don’t attempt another fix-it-yourself project without Field Guide to Tools!

JOHN KELSEY writes the “Talking Shop” column for This Old House magazine and was formerly the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine. He is the publisher and editor-in-chief at Cambium Press, which specializes in woodworking and furniture making.

Posted by impart

Soil Mates

Just like people, plants search far and wide for perfect companions—their soil mates are special plants who bring out their best traits and keep bad influences away. And it’s our job as gardeners to help these lovelorn veggies find each other.

In this charming guide to companion planting for all your vegetable-garden favorites, you’ll learn why Broccoli ❤ Rosemary and whether Potato + Corn = friends with benefits. (Just watch out for Celery! “Leggy and leafy, she is notoriously easy-going and will happily settle down with just about anyone, raising a ruckus in your raised beds.”) Complete with 20 pairings, full plant information, tasty recipes, and more, Soil Mates is the perfect partner for your horticultural matchmaker.

SARA ALWAY is a graphic designer who believes in sustainable agriculture. She lives in Ohio, where she tends her own garden of happy soil mates. A former farm specialist at Seeds of Change, KELLE CARTER manages her own market garden and CSA in Colorado.

Posted by impart