Something you may not know about me is that I love spicy food. My tabletop spices are salt and red pepper flakes, not salt and black pepper. When I make dishes for potlucks and gatherings, I have to change almost all of my recipes so I don’t accidentally ruin someone’s day with my hot pepper…

My retail past is a strong part of who I am, and old habits die hard. If the calendar says fall, regardless of the temperature, it’s time for fall. Clothes, accessories, food and, yes, the garden all must reflect the change in the season.

The West Virginia University Extension Service’s Master Gardener program in Kanawha County will offer a tree pruning class on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the North Charleston Community Center located at 2009 7th Avenue in Charleston. The class is free and open to the public.

As members of the human race, we have had countless experiences, from the unbearably mundane to the spectacular. This influences everything, from the choices we make to the way we think. And no two people have had the same set of experiences.

By the time a young Tom Hardman started working at his family-owned business in Spencer in 1972, the Hardman Supply Company’s happenstance relationship with a very specific green bean had already been long established.

School bells and school buses — it must be September. As summer is winding down and the school year is getting started, I am thinking about the ABCs of fall gardening.

County fair, school fair, heck, “My Fair Lady.” I love a fair, but nothing is quite like a state fair. It’s August, which means I’m headed to Fairlea, home of the fairgrounds and the State Fair of West Virginia, which runs Aug. 8-17.

I’m just in from walking my back gardens, and the blackberry lilies are getting ready to bloom. It’s always fun to watch new buds turn to flowers, but this plant excites me. There is something special about its flower, like it is hiding a secret to reveal later.

Referencing the American Begonia Society, there are over 1,000 named species in the begonia genus or family, and they are often divided into seven different categories. Some are much more common than others, so for the sake of this column, let’s focus on two of the well-known types — cane and wax.

Around this time each year, I start getting calls from family, friends and the general public asking about sick or under-performing apple trees. Most of these calls revolve around the same three questions:

Dearest readers, I have a secret. Sort of. Not really, though it’s perhaps not the common knowledge one might expect. Quite simply, it is this: Gardening is an incredibly accessible and feasible hobby, as long as you approach it with flexibility and without specific expectations.

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FUNERALS TODAY NOVEMBER 13, 2019

DeBoard, Dorthey - 1 p.m., Sunset Cemetery, Bickmore.

Haynes, Donald - 11 a.m., Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville.

Holliday, Dottie - Noon, Wallace & Wallace Chapel, Rainelle.

Holstine, Rosa - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

McNeely, Minnie - 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

Meade, Janet - Noon, Akers-James Funeral Home, Logan.

Pickens, Selbert - 2 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Prince, Evelyn - 1 p.m., O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery.

Rapp, John, Sr. - 11 a.m., Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

Serls, Ralph - 1 p.m., Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston.