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    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Ministry of Controversy

    Six Ways to Use Fallen Leaves in Your Garden

    Got leaves? Use them to boost your garden’s soil and plant health, facilitate the design and creation of new planting beds, turn problem areas into productive ones, and save yourself labor and money, all while doing the green thing. Here are six rewarding, practical alternatives to raking leaves into...

    Posted by on November 18, 2015 at 4:58 am.   This post has 14 responses.
    Shut Up and Dig

    Gardening in the dark times

    For years, I’ve been using gardening to ease the transition from the long, light days of spring, summer, and early fall to weeks when I leave the house before dawn and drive home at sunset. The idea is to stay in touch with growing things no matter what. I...

    Posted by on November 17, 2015 at 8:31 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Who's Ranting About Us

    Technical fixes coming to GardenRant

    You may have noticed GardenRant offline for a while this morning and yesterday, too. Turns out we’d been shut down by our server for having too many spam comments. Yes, we use Akismet to prevent almost all of them from appearing on the site, but we’re told that 300+...

    Posted by on November 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm.   This post has no responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic

    NWF’s terrible, no-good gardening advice goes viral

    Somehow, the National Wildlife Federation’s 2014 blog post “Leave the Leaves for Wildlife” has gone viral this year, and not just on the Internet. Its popular chore-relieving advice is being repeated widely on television, too. Unfortunately, this part of the NWF’s advice hasn’t gone viral – the qualifier: A leaf...

    Posted by on November 13, 2015 at 9:23 am.   This post has 35 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

    Hackberry Nerds Not in Lab Coats

    Nowhere else on the planet will you find anything that compares to the geeky and up-to-date Garden Rant coverage of hackberries. Last week’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein nudged the door on the belittled common hackberry. This week we will attempt to blow the door wide open with the...

    Posted by on November 11, 2015 at 7:28 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People

    The question of permeable pavers and paving

    Last week, I posted about a beautiful parking lot that is conserving trees and water. It’s the project of my friend Dave Majewski, who’s been pursuing green infrastructure and remediative landscapes for decades. (This year, Dave received the EPA’s Environmental Quality Award for his urban habitat project on Buffalo’s...

    Posted by on November 10, 2015 at 9:46 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Loss of tree costing me a fortune

    When a diseased tree was removed from my next-door neighbor’s back yard recently I couldn’t stop watching. It took four men almost two full days and a lot of skill to do the job. Huge pieces of trunk dangled back and forth in the air and had to be...

    Posted by on November 6, 2015 at 7:43 am.   This post has 23 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People

    A kinder, gentler parking lot

    “Where are you going?” “I’m driving to Hamburg to look at a parking lot.” “Is it OK if I don’t go with you?” This marital exchange took place on a beautiful Saturday morning a couple weeks ago, before I set off for a suburban village about twenty miles south...

    Posted by on November 5, 2015 at 8:48 am.   This post has 17 responses.
    Books, CRRRITIC

    Understanding Roots

    Call me jaded, but it’s rare now that I find a gardening book that makes me understand gardening in a new way.  But this week, just such a book crossed my path.  It’s Understanding Roots by Robert Kourik.  In it, Kourik shares the fruits of his own deep experience...

    Posted by on November 4, 2015 at 11:22 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Herbal Baths: My New Favorite Cold-Weather Treat

    As grim, grey weather takes hold, there are still hardy herbs growing in my garden. And when I can’t linger outdoors long, I can bring some of that nature inside to do what nature does so well: delight the senses, inspire the mind, soothe the soul. Herbal baths aren’t...

    Posted by on November 3, 2015 at 10:53 pm.   This post has 11 responses.

    Walnut Hill Book Giveaway

    Anyone who’s created a garden over decades and come to love every inch of it understands the origins of this book, the story of a garden. It’s also the story of a family and their collaboration with world-renowned plantsman Kurt Bluemel in transforming two acres near Baltimore into a horticultural masterpiece....

    Posted by on November 3, 2015 at 8:13 am.   This post has 71 responses.
    Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling

    In Defense of the Undefensible

     Today’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein shines a bright light on a maligned tree. The common hackberry deserves some love. Long ago, in the early days of internet gardening chat groups someone started one of those “Best Ten Trees” discussions. I was approaching the apex of my rare-plant geekdom, and...

    Posted by Scott Beuerlein on November 2, 2015 at 7:35 am.   This post has 14 responses.
    Public Gardens, What's Happening

    Delaware Botanic Garden and “Rock Star” Piet Oudolf

    Big news from Delaware? Yes, and it’s not about Joe Biden at all, though top Delaware pols are involved. The news is that the Delaware Botanic Garden (now under development) WILL include a meadow by none other than Piet Oudolf.  This story in the local press makes it official, and plant...

    Posted by on October 30, 2015 at 10:07 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    Real Gardens

    While This Agave Gently Weeps

    The agave is weeping because not only are we in a multi-year drought in California, now we are headed for a catastrophe of biblical proportions. EL NIÑO!!!!! (shrieks are heard in the distance) The warm waters in the Pacific will herald in unprecedented winter storms, and all sorts of...

    Posted by on October 28, 2015 at 3:31 am.   This post has 26 responses.
    Everybody's a Critic, Unusually Clever People

    A houseplant whisperer

    Once again, writer Tovah Martin, author of The New Terrarium (reviewed here in 2009), goes where many gardeners fear to tread—within the confines of the average centrally heated American home. This is the threshold that—for many gardeners—forms an impenetrable barrier. “Plant cultivation stops here” may as well be on...

    Posted by on October 26, 2015 at 8:00 am.   This post has 6 responses.