Home & Garden

Home & Garden

On Gardening: Make room, literally, for this expansive tropical shrub

Giant heart-shaped leaves and a cluster of a hundred salmon coral flowers in a pagoda-shaped panicle make the Starshine clerodendrum among the most exotic shrubs for the tropical garden. I first saw this variety a few years ago at the Universtiy of Georgia Plant Trials in Athens, Ga. I knew if I was seeing it there it had dynamite potential in many parts of the country. It does and, as expected, it is growing superbly at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah, Ga., too.

Living

An unfussy chaise lounge made of plywood? Ply not?

Plywood tends to be associated with unfinished building construction, so it's easy to forget that several modernist designers, from the 1920s onward, were obsessed with it as a furniture medium. See, for example, Alvar Aalto's Paimio chair (1939) and Charles and Ray Eames' classic LCW or Lounge Chair Wood (1945). Now the versatile, inexpensive material - comprised of thin sheets of wood veneer (with grains layered in alternating directions for added strength) - has become a mainstay in contemporary, eco-friendly interiors, seen in everything from wall panels to bookcases to bed frames.

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