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    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

    The Art of Digging and Where we Learn It

    Avid gardeners, I bet you love your tools as much as I do, especially the ones for digging. Gloves I buy by the dozen but digging tools I expect to last forever, which of course they don’t. I recently destroyed my long-handled shovel by treating it like it was...

    Posted by on April 10, 2015 at 8:22 am.   This post has 18 responses.
    Science Says, What's Happening

    Bourbon Disease Could Be Worse Than a Bad Hangover

      The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner—the first Saturday in May. I am gripped with fear. I won’t lose sleep over another losing Derby bet, but I’ve just read in the past few weeks that Bourbon disease could rear its ugly head.  I hope not, but who...

    Posted by on April 9, 2015 at 7:57 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People

    There’s Hope for Urban Design

    ‘Tis the season of garden seminars. Recently I participated in a thought-provoking one-day seminar on the theme of bringing nature into our cities. I spoke about hellstrip gardens, but a couple of the other speakers addressed larger-scale landscapes. After seeing their photos and hearing about so many projects that...

    Posted by on April 8, 2015 at 2:03 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Books

    Garden Rant Giveaway Grand Drawing

    While visiting in Louisville, Panayoti Kelaidis and Jan Fahs of Denver, Colorado graciously agreed to make the drawing for the Garden Rant Giveaway that you’ve all awaited.   Drum roll, please…The lucky winner of Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden: is Mary Beth Martin of...

    Posted by on April 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm.   This post has 2 responses.
    Science Says, What's Happening

    Pesticide Bans Arriving in U.S.

    The banning of pesticides on ornamentals plants started in Canada but is gradually spreading to the south. Liberal Takoma Park, MD recently became the first place in the U.S. to implement such a ban on public and private property, as reported here. And now the proponents of that ban are taking it...

    Posted by on April 3, 2015 at 8:33 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    Books, CRRRITIC

    Essential Perennials…You Gotta Have It.

        Are you ready for another great Garden Rant Giveaway? Now’s your chance! You could be the lucky winner of Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden. Post a comment below and tell us what your favorite perennial is and why you like...

    Posted by on April 2, 2015 at 7:55 am.   This post has 109 responses.
    Public Gardens

    So Visit a Garden Already!

    Wherever you live, this mini-rant is for you. The DC Gardens crowd-sourcing campaign to promote gardening and public gardens is happening through May 1 at Indiegogo.

    Posted by on March 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm.   This post has no responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy

    Clinging to big chem

    Glyphosate and neonics—herbicides and pesticides contested as benign by most of big ag and big gardening— were in the news again. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has stated that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans; its evidence came from human agricultural exposure as well...

    Posted by on March 30, 2015 at 8:30 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling

    On Lady Bird Johnson, Beauty, and Tulips v. Daffodils

     Photo by John Taylor.  Title: Lady Bird’s Gift Another great column by John Kelly for the Washington Post – this time about Lady Bird Johnson’s “beautification” program. Lady Bird’s beautification campaign started in the spring of 1965. She was involved with a group called the Society for a More...

    Posted by on March 27, 2015 at 8:26 am.   This post has 14 responses.
    What's Happening

    Floral Design Clash at the White House: French v. Modern

    First there was news that head White House floral designer Laura Dowling had left her job a few weeks ago, with no fanfare, and no one knew why.  There were reports that she’d actually been “escorted off the grounds”! Two days later the Washington Post’s gossip-column had an update –...

    Posted by on March 26, 2015 at 8:12 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Public Gardens, Real Gardens

    The Other Garden

      A person’s relationship with a garden can be one of the most profound relationships we can have. Just as profound as the ones we have with our husbands, our wives, our children. A connection with a garden can be like the one we have with a lover –...

    Posted by on March 25, 2015 at 12:12 am.   This post has 31 responses.
    Shut Up and Dig

    Seasonal survival strategies

    By now we northeasterners are aware—though not surprised—that the first few days of “spring” aren’t bringing much relief. Snow cover is still receding, temps are still minimal, and it seems incredible that within weeks we’ll be seeing daffodils and hellebores. Here’s how I get through the last dreary gasps...

    Posted by on March 23, 2015 at 8:00 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Grab Bag

    Late Bloomers on CBS, and They’re Not Talking Asters

    CBS Sunday Morning story this week did a story on late bloomers, which had me looking up from my newspaper expecting flowers.  Turns out, it was much more interesting, at least to this late bloomer. First up, reporter Susan Spencer introduced us to Carol Gardner who (in her 50s) started a...

    Posted by on March 20, 2015 at 9:26 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig

    Borrowing stones and scenery

    Even in New England the snow is melting and soon I will be confronted with what the winter – and the plow truck – have done to my stone walls.  I take a particular pride in these, not because they are such beautiful specimens of the craft, but because...

    Posted by on March 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm.   This post has 11 responses.
    Public Gardens, What's Happening

    Let’s Spread the Word about Public Gardens in D.C. and Elsewhere

    I just donated to help fund a website that showcases DC-area gardens, a project spearheaded by fellow Ranter Susan Harris. Wherever I go, I visit gardens; no doubt many of you fellow gardeners do too. And sometimes it is difficult to quickly figure out which public gardens are near...

    Posted by on March 18, 2015 at 12:15 am.   This post has 5 responses.