Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:46AM - 156 Views

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On the shelf

Garden designer and consultant Andrew Keys believes a lot of garden problems can be prevented just by choosing the right plants.

That's the premise of his new book, Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?

Keys points out that many notoriously difficult plants have easy-care alternatives that resemble them closely. His book points out those problem plants and suggests what he calls extraordinary alternatives.

The book offers 255 alternatives for trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, grasses and ground covers.

Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? is published by Timber Press and is priced at $24.95 in softcover.

What's new

The design on Slim & Sage plates is more than just decorative. It's also meant to help users eat healthfully.

The design subtly divides each plate into quarters to make it easier for the diner to eat the proportions of food recommended by many experts - one-quarter of the plate devoted to lean protein, one-quarter to whole grains and one-half to vegetables. The 9-inch plates also are smaller than most dinner plates to help keep portions in control.

The porcelain plates come in two colors and two variations on the design. They're microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

A set of four plates costs $99 at www.slimandsage.com. Shipping is extra.


Q: What can I use to paint Styrofoam? Won't spray paint eat through it?

A: The website for Styrofoam brand foam crafts recommends using acrylic craft paint. Solvent-based paint may damage the foam, the site says.

Some spray paints are safe for use on polystyrene foam and are usually marked as such. Your best bet is to read the label.

-- McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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