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Meridith Ingram

 My daughter has a theory: that the season in which you are born is naturally your favorite. This may have more to do with how much she loves the attention that comes with her birthday than the actual season—but as a summer birthday person myself, I can get behind the concept. Summer’s my favorite. I love being outside, and as for the heat, well … just add water, and I’m all in.

In this issue of HOME, we’re all in with the outdoors, serving up ideas and inspiration about how to take advantage of all the season has to offer. In the garden, you’ll learn about hydrangeas, the darling of the summer landscape. We also explore growing your own food in manageable ways; you don’t need a fully tilled and tended plot of land to grow your next salad. And while you’re at it, plant plenty of extra herbs, because we share tips on how to preserve them to flavor your food, dressings and drinks all year long.

Summer is also time to bring the outdoors into your interiors. Our article on lightening and brightening your spaces will inspire you to add seasonal touches to every room. We also offer a feature in which local experts weigh in on the latest in windows and doors, with new options in glass letting more light into our homes without sacrificing energy efficiency.

If you want to get away for the day, check out our feature on local outings, whether it’s a day trip to a historical site, an afternoon river float or simply visiting an as-yet-unexplored ice cream shop. If you’re feeling sociable, check out our article on summer-themed parties, and incorporate some of our dessert recipes featuring summer’s sweetest flavors. You may even be inspired to buy a new outdoor pizza oven or grill accessory after reading about the latest gear. And since it can’t be all fun all the time, we offer tips on power washing your exterior so your home can be sparkling clean and ready for these festivities.

We hope this issue inspires you to get outside and have fun this summer. In other exciting news, HOME is entering a new season as well. This issue is the first published under new ownership by James River Media—a great local company committed to continuing to provide you with ideas and inspiration for your home. Thanks for reading!

Meridith Ingram

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