April 15, 2012 Your Home: Garden Glories

Tips for hiring a home improvement pro

From architects to organizers, kitchen designers to landscape contractors, here’s what to look for and the pitfalls to avoid. By Elizabeth Gehrman

In 15 years, the owner has transformed her backyard into a lush oasis; the gate at the far end leads to a secret garden.

At an old parsonage, a heavenly garden

Abundant plantings, a menagerie of statues, and a rippling pond make a little Eden of this third-of-an-acre plot in coastal Maine. By Marni Elyse Katz

Enter our 2012 Homes of the Year contest

Enter your home project for the chance to win a $500 gift certificate and recognition in the Boston Globe Magazine

Globe Magazine


144 free things to do around Boston

Plus, 1 for $1. By Elizabeth Gehrman

globe magazine | Perspective


Why is Boston so obsessed with exercise?

As symptoms of exercise obsession go, the Boston Marathon is just the beginning. By Jon Marcus

Soundtrack


Boston Chinatown’s gaming tradition

Mary Soo Hoo Park hosts intense Xiangqi matches. By Scott Helman

Miss Conduct


Advice on informational interviews and making fun of cancer

Advice on maintaining boundaries in informational interviews. Plus, it’s your cancer--you can make light of it if you want to. By Robin Abrahams

First Person


Glee’s Alex Newell on daring to dream

The Bishop Fenwick High School senior from Lynn talks about winning a spot on Fox’s hit TV show.

Connections

Son of a Sox and a Yankees Fan

My husband and I are diehard fans of opposing teams, but we’ve had to agree to let our own bambino decide for himself. By Erin Blakely

Cooking


Pastas from the pantry recipes

Spaghetti with garlic and oil, simple onion sauce, and sesame-peanut sauce. By Adam Ried

A Restaurant’s Take


Spaghetti with cracklings and hot pepper at Scampo

At Scampo in The Liberty Hotel, chef Lydia Shire has created a spectacular dish she calls spaghetti with  cracklings and hot pepper.

Dinner With Cupid

Blind date between dog lovers

Will these two would-be dog owners go off-leash together?

On the Block


For sale: Homes with great gardens

These properties--in West Roxbury, Charlestown, and Medfield--are suited for those with green thumbs. By Vanessa Parks

Style Watch


In Belmont, a new store for artful decor

At Artefact, furniture to stand the test of time and bright accessories to enliven any space By Jaci Conry

Out and About

From left, Richard Kamidi of East Boston, Ruth Beta of Boston and Alex Kimani of Boston at Ebony and Ivory at Good Life. The week around town

Fuzz, fans, and friends--including the furry kind.

Your Week Ahead


The runners are coming! Vacation week, too

Put these events on your calendar for April 15-22

Tales From the City

When is a pool not a pool?

When it has to do with college basketball’s March Madness, much to a 5-year-old’s disappointment.

One-Liners

B.J. Novak on improbable love

The Newton-born actor in The Office sends a silly Tweet.

Letters

Globe Magazine readers respond to stories on from the April 1 issue

Readers on who makes the best breakfast.