Recent Posts

What's Happening

Are Images of Gardeners in the Media Finally Improving?

My recent rant about stereotypes of gardeners in a new play got me thinking about the images of gardeners used in advertising and elsewhere. The garden-club-competing gardeners in the play typify the demographic so often used to portray us – white and elderly.   More of the same can...

Posted by on November 3, 2017 at 8:55 am.   This post has 9 responses.
Shut Up and Dig

Still crazy after fourteen years

Pre-blog, my garden practice gets lost in the fog of history. I know I started gardening seriously in 1999, when we bought property, but I am not quite sure exactly what I was doing month by month until 2005, when I started documenting it with a blog. And that’s...

Posted by on October 31, 2017 at 10:22 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Real Gardens

A Back Porch Recipe for Peace

Gardening offers me an outside recipe for inner peace, or at least the opportunity to go hide on our screened-in back porch and ponder the meaning of life, mortality and the furrowed bark and brilliant fall colors of our three-flowered maple. I look out, and the pink and white...

Posted by on October 30, 2017 at 8:15 am.   This post has 9 responses.
Everybody's a Critic

Dueling Gardeners on Stage

Though not a big theater-goer, I HAD to see the comedy  “Native  Gardens” when it played in DC because it’s about next-door neighbors representing different demographics and attitudes toward gardening. I’ll admit that I laughed, but the stereotypes in the play – of people and of plants – bugged me no...

Posted by on October 27, 2017 at 8:30 am.   This post has 10 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens

There’s fall color—and fall color

Every day on my way to work, I always look at a certain house, just before I make my final turn. It is the one vibrant spot of color on a block, which, though perfectly nice, is typified by sedate, small front lawns and a few foundation plantings. But...

Posted by on October 26, 2017 at 10:02 am.   This post has 5 responses.
What's Happening

Waiting for Camus

Albert Camus nearly got it right when he wrote: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is in flower.” The French philosopher didn’t clutter a good line with what really blossoms in autumn for many gardeners. In practical terms, with cooler temperatures, the weeds wind down. This year,...

Posted by on October 25, 2017 at 7:47 am.   This post has no responses.
Unusually Clever People

Discovering Sally Fox, Legendary Cotton Breeder

At my town’s film festival last weekend I met a filmmaker just out of USC film school whose masters project had been accepted by (and then won an award from) the festival. The short film – True Colors by Bethann Morgan – is the scripted true story of Sally...

Posted by on October 20, 2017 at 9:44 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy

Erasing nature

“acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture and willow.” These are the words that have been removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. “attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player...

Posted by on October 17, 2017 at 10:40 am.   This post has 16 responses.
Gardening on the Planet, Science Says

The Case Against Earthworms

When I dug in my Berkshire garden this summer I found a host of earthworms.  That, it turns out, is bad. I was raised to regard earthworms as the gardener’s best friend.  It’s true, these benevolent creatures (or so I regarded them then) aerate the soil with their tunnels...

Posted by on October 16, 2017 at 11:12 am.   This post has 8 responses.
Unusually Clever People

Landscape Architect Wins MacArthur Genius Award

Nice news this week via Brad McKee, editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine, who writes: Kate Orff, ASLA, became the first landscape architect to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, which carries a $625,000 award over five years for “originality, insight, and potential.” Orff was among 24 fellows named by the foundation today, who also included...

Posted by on October 13, 2017 at 8:18 am.   This post has 2 responses.
Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening

Ask Your Budtender First

  I went to a legal pot dispensary in Denver this summer. Marijuana, you’ve no doubt heard, is a hot commodity in Colorado. The dispensary reminded me of the Long Branch Saloon on the long-playing television series Gunsmoke (1955-1975). Miss Kitty traded gossip in the saloon with U.S. Marshall...

Posted by on October 11, 2017 at 8:19 am.   This post has 2 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling

Closing edicts

Lessons learned from the 2017 gardening season (so far): Never again: Morning glory (convolvulus): The central mission of this (gorgeous) blue cultivar seemed to be to envelope every plant within its reach, while making sure to release as few flowers as possible in the process. The blooms, when they...

Posted by on October 10, 2017 at 11:23 am.   This post has 15 responses.
Real Gardens

The Gardens (and More) of Asbury Park, NJ

When I go to the beach it’s in the spring or fall, and even in glorious weather like we’re enjoying this week, I don’t really lie on the beach. As a plantaholic, I gravitate toward nearby gardens and plant-filled natural areas instead. There the blogger in me takes over,...

Posted by on October 5, 2017 at 7:40 am.   This post has Comments Off on The Gardens (and More) of Asbury Park, NJ.
Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants

A Few Timely Points About Growing Trees

I’ve finally gotten around to reading a book called The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. My wife gave it to me as a birthday present a few years ago, hoping it would better inform my drinking. But in a move reminiscent of Jeff Bridge’s version of Rooster Cogburn, I bellowed...

Posted by Scott Beuerlein on October 4, 2017 at 8:03 am.   This post has 6 responses.
Drink This, Feed Me, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour

More on Hard Cider

In my last post I wrote about hunting for the apples with which I make hard cider.  Having done that – I’ve located two trees full of what appear to be ‘Golden Russet’ apples —  I thought I would add a few notes about turning the fresh, sweet cider...

Posted by on October 2, 2017 at 11:30 am.   This post has 4 responses.