It looks like this heavenly weather is going to stick and that we actually are into spring for real. It's time to get to those early-season tasks, both inside and out. To help you with this, we include the spring version of Abode, our supplement concerned with where you abide, be it house or apartment.
Wherever you live, gardening can be in your plans. If not in your own backyard (or front yard, if it appeals to you), then in some acquired planting space. As Mary Ellen Gabriel informs us, we're getting warmer, officially, as the USDA Hardiness Zone Map has promoted us from zone 4 to zone 5. This may allow you to experiment with some new plantings this year.
From the climate map, Gabriel moves on to the lawn, perhaps the most vexing, time- and labor-consuming growing project. She traces the history of the lawn from country estate to suburban conformity and looks at alternatives to the green-carpet approach. Mary Ellen Bell, meanwhile, looks at the "grow it yourself" movement and the increasing popularity of urban farming. This isn't about hobby farming; it's about stretching the food dollar during tight economic times.
Are you a fan of Antiques Roadshow or American Pickers? Then you know that treasures can be found in unlikely places. Cheryl Breuer, in her piece "Hang Time," tells you where to look for affordable art to brighten up your abode on a budget. In "Festoon and Flourish," Laurie Stark gives hints on how to personalize your workspace or office, at home or away.
Linda Falkenstein, who edited Abode, wraps it up with "18 Favorite Kitchen Hacks," tips for inventive solutions to kitchen problems. She kicked off the supplement with her "Emphasis" feature in front. She has done her job; your work is cut out for you in this most invigorating of seasons.