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    Shut Up and Dig

    A fall manifesto: enjoy the mess

    Twice a year, at the beginning and end of the growing season, gardeners are exhorted to do various tasks that will—in spring—prepare the garden for the plantings to come, and—in fall—shut down the garden to protect it from the depredations of winter. Some of these jobs are necessary, but...

    Posted by on September 22, 2014 at 8:07 am.   This post has 12 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

    Give me spots on my apples and holes in my sweet potato vine

    Remember the Joni Mitchell song “Big Yellow Taxi” about paving paradise and putting up a parking lot? Every organic gardener’s favorite line is surely “Give me spots on my apples. But leave me the birds and the bees. Please!” So, when people notice the insect holes in the sweet potato vine...

    Posted by on September 19, 2014 at 8:55 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy, Real Gardens

    Death Enhances a Garden

    Death plays a significant role in my garden, and in so many ways, it makes the garden more interesting. Death provides comfort. I don’t routinely snip or snap off dead flower heads, not even the large dahlia blooms that stand on their stems brown and bedraggled for weeks. I...

    Posted by on September 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm.   This post has 18 responses.
    Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People

    A hard act to follow

    But at least he agrees with me on one of my most cherished gardening principles. I was privileged to be on the same bill with David Culp at Rochester’s Gathering of Gardeners on Saturday, and I can assure you that I was as entranced as the rest of the...

    Posted by on September 15, 2014 at 8:38 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    Real Gardens

    Late-Summer Scenes from DC

    At the National Arboretum in late August: Joe-Pye Weed and Crapemyrtle blooming in the Gotelli Dwarf Conifer Collection. Behind a wildflower meadow, the Capitol Columns.  They once held up the U.S. Capitol. Around the Friendship House, plant and design ideas for residential gardens. In the National Gallery’s Scultpure Garden...

    Posted by on September 13, 2014 at 10:16 am.   This post has no responses.
    What's Happening

    Partying with the Friends House Gardeners

    GardenRant has a core of engaged readers who comment on our posts (and we thank you!) but the other 2,000 or so daily readers are unknown to us. So it was a nice surprise to be contacted out of the blue by Rant reader Lucille Ridlon, inviting me to...

    Posted by on September 12, 2014 at 7:50 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Guest Rants

    No Thanks to Flaming Autumn

    Guest Rant by Jane Scorer I know what is just around the corner… I can guess what I will be reading about, any time soon…the joys of the autumn and winter garden, that’s what. There will be pages about flaming autumn colour, and we will be encouraged to buy...

    Posted by Jane Scorer on September 11, 2014 at 7:19 am.   This post has 27 responses.
    What's Happening

    Driving Alaska with My Three Miss Daisies

      Bears loomed large last month in Alaska, but there was more danger lurking for a scrapulation.* Close quarters and too much family togetherness always make for a menacing vacation threat. Rose, my daughter Molly, granddaughter Story and I spent ten days driving around south central Alaska. I’m happy...

    Posted by on September 10, 2014 at 5:37 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Books, Everybody's a Critic

    The good and the bad from the Brits

    Many of us have a love/hate affair with gardening advice and essays that come from across the Atlantic.  There is always love, of course, for this mothership of great estate gardens, internationally known garden events, and giants of gardening design and literature like  Gertrude Jekyll, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Pearson,...

    Posted by on September 8, 2014 at 8:45 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform

    Support this Lawn-to-Prairie Make-Over

    Friend-of-Rant Benjamin Vogt wrote to tell me about his exciting new project on Indiegogo -ripping out his front lawn and replacing it with a wildlife garden that he’ll use to spread the word about how beautiful wildlife and native-plant gardens can be – even in front yards.  He went...

    Posted by on September 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm.   This post has 12 responses.
    Real Gardens

    B&B Garden Attracts Customers

    At least the tiny garden in front of the Royal Rose Inn in Rehoboth Beach, DE got this potential customer’s attention when I walked by it this week, and you better believe I’ll be staying there the next time I visit.  The garden said to me:  ”Fun place to stay!”...

    Posted by on September 5, 2014 at 9:36 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    But is it Art?

    Murals without vandalism. How do they do that?

    Wandering around Pittsburgh I came upon this fabulous mural depicting cherry blossoms in bloom and a charming collection of old homes.  It was off the beaten track, enlivening not a park but the parking lot for a neighborhood restaurant. How does something so wonderful get done, anyway?  By an...

    Posted by on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm.   This post has 19 responses.
    But is it Art?, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

    The Parklet Craze

    This year’s international Park(ing) Day falls on September 19, a mere two weeks from now. On that day, individuals, groups, and businesses in cities around the world will commandeer on-street parking spaces and convert them to temporary parklets. These people-friendly spaces might include plants, seating, bike parking, games, exercise...

    Posted by on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    But is it Art?

    Ruin Garden at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory – a Must-See?

    From my recent stay in Pittsburgh I’ve shown you Randyland, which writer/adventurers Susan Reimer,  Ginny Smith,   Carrie Engel and I stumbled upon while playing hooky from hotel conference rooms. We were on our way to another destination,  installation-art gallery the Mattress Factory, which had been called a “must-see” by keynote speaker...

    Posted by on September 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm.   This post has 7 responses.
    Grab Bag

    Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, Late August

    I spent a sublime morning this week at the Blackwater  National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, in the beautiful State of Maryland. Outside the Visitor’s Center, a wildlife garden that includes Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), The very-familiar Rudbeckia with the less common Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana). One...

    Posted by on August 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm.   This post has 4 responses.