04.01.08

Great renovators are not unlike great film directors. Both have to creatively drive a team that spans from the big-money professionals with the glamour jobs to the folks who hammer the nails, keeping track of the techies wiring for sound and the artisans who choose the just-right fabrics. Both oversee the experts in special effects (of one sort or another) who make crazy-sounding ideas become real. Both know details matter. They have strong vision, but draw too from the creatives around them.

By Lauren Martin

04.01.08

When I first saw the Chappaquiddick land that would become my home one day, it was covered with low brush and scrub oak. Along one side of the acre and a half was an overgrown peat bog. Up a rise from the bog was a small clearing with a few white and red oaks growing around its perimeter. Beyond the clearing, down a hill, was a grassy valley with four gnarled apple trees. I thought: I’ll put my house there in the clearing on the rise facing the bog, with the oaks on three sides and the apple trees behind.

By Margaret Knight

04.01.08

Late one afternoon on Vineyard Haven’s harbor, eager eyes zoom in on the distant tip of West Chop.

By Shelley Christiansen

04.01.08

As with certain human visitors who wear out their welcome, Martha’s Vineyard hosts many invasive plant pests: purple loosestrife, Norway maple, Russian olive, phragmites, some miscanthus, even the occasional ailanthus tree. But the grand champion of the invaders is Oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus.

By Jim Miller

04.01.08

How can you tell if your deck is safe? Paul Daniele has run a home inspection business on the Vineyard since 1995. Usually when decks collapse, it’s from overloading of people.

By Tom Dresser

04.01.08

Michael Faraca is New England born and bred, but his work life is all Olde England. On this rainy mid-winter day, as he sits sipping hot sweet tea, looking proprietarily across a manicured garden of the North Water Street home that he has tended through three owners, he muses on his past twenty-five years of employment. “In the classic old English tradition,” he says, “the gardener comes with the house.”

By Mike Seccombe

04.01.08

I bought my house in February some years back, and as I drove away with the real estate agent after the first visit, I noted what looked like sticks growing out of the ground – bare branches of small trees planted in no particular order in the middle of the lawn. The acre of land that was to be mine, surrounded by winter and woods, looked hapless against the blustery, gray sky.

By HJ Bernstein

03.01.07

I created my first compost pile in upstate New York in the 1970s when I started serious gardening – but the impulse to conserve and recycle has been with me much longer. After World War II, my mother and sister and I were poor; we scraped by, always having food on the table but knowing we had to make do with scrambled eggs and spaghetti several times a week for dinner. We recycled everything from bread wrappers to bacon fat, and the only paper product my mother ever bought was toilet paper.

By Sally Bennett

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