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An expensive spice with a long history of famous anointments and international trade, saffron is actually nothing more than the dried stigmas of a crocus flower. 
“Garden design in Turkey is waking up from 50 years of sleep,” says Turkish garden historian and designer Gürsan Ergil. “It is a baby in the crawling stage. But people are starting to think about reintroducing nature in their lives, and I am doing my best to help.” We take a look at some of Ergil's pieces and landscape designs.
A Los Angeles couple takes a surprising approach to designing their new home. 
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A new fruit hit markets in the U.K. this week. Round, red, sweet, and juicy, the hybrid fruit is described as a pear disguised as an apple. Until it receives an official name, the new fruit has been going by T109—or, to its friends, the "papple."  
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For the last forty years, landscape architects in Brussels have installed a colorful public exhibit—an enormous carpet of begonias on the cobblestone square at Grand-Palace. This year's inaguration will be on August 15th, and the begonias will be on display through the 19th. 
In Michael Trapp's world, old plus older equals new. 
A fancy-leaved caladium with large, substantial, heart-shaped leaves up to a foot and a half long, ‘Brandywine’ has bright-red veins extending from the red heart of the leaf all the way to the edge.
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A host of tropical houseplants that have found new life in the great outdoors as annuals in the warm months are still happy denizens of windowsills and sunrooms when the temperature drops
Lory Johansson uses an Earthstone outdoor pizza oven as the centerpiece of this Spanish-revival-inspired outdoor space.

Can you recommend some good sources for buying seeds and offer some tips for starting plants from seed? 

—Julia Tomer, Pittsburgh 

Starting plants from seed, whether flowers, fruits, or vegetables, requires a little research. Some seeds will need an early start indoors; others can be sown directly in the garden. Most seed packets will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful season, as will the websites of many online purveyors. While I still enjoy receiving the odd seed catalogue or two by mail—Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com) is a favorite—I do most of my seed shopping online.

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