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in brief

THE SHELF

If you can’t even match your clothes, can you have a beautiful garden?

With Tom Fischer’s help, yes.

Fischer, garden writer and editor, has written “Perennial Companions: 100 Dazzling Plant Combinations for Every Season.”

The book simplifies garden design by suggesting plants that not only complement one another in color, form and texture but also bloom at the same time and have like requirements for sun and moisture. The combinations are categorized by season, so you can choose several to give your garden a succession of interest.

“Perennial Companions” is published by Timber Press, where Fischer is editor-in-chief. It sells for $14.95 in paperback.

WHAT’S NEW

A new line of tools sheds light on hard-to-see places.

UltraTECH’s lighted tweezers and mechanical pickup tool have white LEDs built in to help you see what you’re grabbing. LEDs are light-emitting diodes, small electronic chips that produce light.

The tweezers come in three styles, all of which are a little more than 6 inches long. The pickup tool is 24 inches long and can grasp items up to 1 inch across.

The tools are available online from General Tools & Instruments’ Web site, http://www.generaltools.com. Tweezers are $10.95 and the pickup tool, $12.95, not including shipping. More illuminated tools are expected to be available later this year at select home centers and hardware stores, as well as online.

Q&A

Q: I have wool area rugs that need to be cleaned with a dry powder cleaner. Where can I find it?

A: Dry carpet cleaners are cleaning solvents in powder form that you sprinkle on and then vacuum up after a specified time. Often you’re instructed to spritz the area first with a pretreater and work the powder in with a brush.

A few brands are Host, Capture and Resolve Deep Clean Powder.

They’re often sold at hardware stores, home centers and carpet and vacuum-cleaner dealers. You can search for nearby retailers that carry Capture and Host on their Web sites, http://www.captureclean.com and http://www.hostcarpetcleaning.com. It’s always a good idea to call the store to check whether the product is in stock.

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