• Follow Garden Rant

    Follow Me on Pinterest RSS
  • Recent Posts

    Public Gardens

    New African American Museum’s Landscape

    In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, let’s visit the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, located on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The critically praised building is the work of Tanzania-born, London-based architect David Adjaye. I see from his firm’s website that he’s about to...

    Posted by on January 13, 2017 at 9:49 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Butterfly weed—why not

    Many of you have heard that 2017’s “Perennial Plant of the Year” is Asclepias tuberosa/butterfly weed. It’s not a surprising choice—attention to attracting and supporting pollinators, especially butterflies, especially monarchs, has been peaking for the past few years and shows no sign of declining. A good thing. Normally, I...

    Posted by on January 11, 2017 at 9:51 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens

    Robinson Crusoe’s Ten Favorite Perennials

      It’s the dead of winter, and you might be wishing you were stranded—with amenities—on a desert island with Robinson Crusoe. But Robinson Crusoe is not on a desert island. He is stuck in Kentucky. Crusoe is not afraid of cannibals or mutineers, but he is tired of scraping...

    Posted by on January 9, 2017 at 8:10 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling

    Bark for the Winter Blues

    Guest Post by Bob Hill Somewhere between the January Blahs and a typically mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder – the aptly acronymed SAD – I find comfort in wandering our yard in mid-winter marveling at the upbeat, happy bark offered by our collection of maple trees, especially our...

    Posted by Bob Hill on January 6, 2017 at 7:10 am.   This post has one response.
    Shut Up and Dig

    The myth of the plant killer

    May 2017 be the year that nobody insists to me that they have a “black thumb.” Except that I know it won’t happen. I was at a small New Year’s Eve party when one of my non-gardening friends asked for advice about an aspidistra (cast iron plant) she’d just...

    Posted by on January 4, 2017 at 9:00 am.   This post has 12 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Tune In

    Goals for a New Year

    I have eschewed New Year’s resolutions this year – I typically set myself impossible goals such as moderating my seed purchases and then feel doubly badly about the ensuing order-orgy. But I do have some goals for 2017. I’m going to cap the cost of my seed expenditures by...

    Posted by on January 2, 2017 at 8:08 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic

    The Landscapes of McMansion Hell

    For making me laugh while I learn, I LOVE the architecture critic Kate Wagner and her highly opinionated blog McMansion Hell. Who could resist her “Pringles Can of Shame ™” award in the photo above? So I recommend McMansion Hell for making me laugh and for educating me with “What the...

    Posted by on December 30, 2016 at 7:56 am.   This post has 22 responses.
    Guest Rants, Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening

    Dying on the Vine? Part II

    Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein, who insists the end is not nigh. Gardeners join together. One of my very favorite quotes came from a supervisor I had many years ago in what seems like a previous life. He said: “It’s not that I want to be an asshole, it’s...

    Posted by Scott Beuerlein on December 29, 2016 at 7:39 am.   This post has 16 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening

    Dying on the Vine? Part I

        This is the first of a two-part series on the decline of plant societies and garden clubs. Tomorrow, Scott Beuerlein explains how to dig out of the hole.   Many of us who garden, and who benefit from garden group gatherings, have kept quiet about the decline...

    Posted by on December 28, 2016 at 7:38 am.   This post has 16 responses.
    Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig

    At the closing of the year

    In our region, the end of the year corresponds rather neatly with the end of the gardening season. Yesterday (Boxing Day), I was texting with a friend who was taking advantage of the freakishly balmy temps to finally getting some bulbs planted I had given him. He wanted to...

    Posted by on December 27, 2016 at 10:37 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    Real Gardens

    Garden Flags and Bird Feeders: Failures and Fixes

    I’ve complained before about the hassle of bird feeders in my tiny townhouse garden, where the shit-stained baffle isn’t doing the job of keeping squirrels away as these world-class gymnasts simply vault from anything nearby to the feeder. I then complained that hummingbird feeders are too much of a commitment for...

    Posted by on December 23, 2016 at 7:14 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    Science Says

    Nothing to be SAD about?

    This holiday season, I’m searching for any good news, and this might qualify. Or at least it might save people some money. According to studies conducted by the Journal of Clinical Psychology and the Centers for Disease Control and Production, the condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may...

    Posted by on December 22, 2016 at 9:02 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Guest Rants

    BIG Like You Won’t Believe

     Bob Hill has a deal for you. Even in our cell-phone-talking, Kindle-reading, GOOGLE-surfing age, this is the time of year when many of us are dwarfed by the deluge of incoming garden catalogs. In the early years of our marriage, my wife and I debated if we should add...

    Posted by Bob Hill on December 21, 2016 at 7:41 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    Shut Up and Dig

    A Better Way With Weeds

    I have a love/hate relationship with weeds. Perhaps love is too strong a term, but I do greatly admire the persistence of weeds and the role they play in preserving disturbed soils. Indeed, a number of years ago, I wrote an article for The New York Times Sunday Magazine...

    Posted by on December 20, 2016 at 8:57 am.   This post has 2 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Watch Someone Else Do It

    How to Recommend Plants with Video

    Searching the Internet for good gardening videos for over a year now, I’ve come to lament their dearth in one major category – ornamental plants. Thanks to Extension universities and a few media-savvy experts, there’s plenty of help for new veg-growing gardeners, but if you want to beautify your...

    Posted by on December 16, 2016 at 8:36 am.   This post has 7 responses.