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    CRRRITIC, Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens

    The Butterfly Effect

      For weeks, my garden has been ALIVE with the beating of orange wings! I have Gulf Fritillaries coming at me from every corner of my garden – I think the other day I counted more than 20 – and more are emerging from cocoons every day! I am...

    Posted by on September 30, 2015 at 1:13 am.   This post has 28 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

    We get questions

      This was going to be a post about trees, but I just got an email asking me about another topic that is equally on my mind at this time of year. In fact, both in the spring and fall, I am focused on trees and bulbs more than...

    Posted by on September 29, 2015 at 8:10 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    Everybody's a Critic

    Fans of Garden Design Magazine

    Here I am with everyone’s favorite landscape architect Thomas Rainer before he and Claudia West spoke about their book Planting in a Post-Wild World  yesterday in Oxford, Maryland. (Book review and giveaway coming this Friday). But today’s post is about the new+improved Garden Design Magazine, about which Thomas used these words:...

    Posted by on September 28, 2015 at 9:18 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling

    Zinnias for Pollinators!

    A recent guest post in defense of butterfly bushes prompted the usual debate (natives v. exotics) but also this wise comment by an avid wildlife gardener: My yard is filled with native flowers, shrubs and trees. However, the surrounding area is not, so giving them something extra that blooms...

    Posted by on September 25, 2015 at 8:08 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    Guest Rants

    On the 25th Anniversary of Bold Romantic Gardens

    Today’s Guest Rant by Susan Rademacher is a fond reminiscence of garden makers Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Bold Romantic Gardens. After 25 years, I can still recall the boyish enthusiasm that bonded Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme in...

    Posted by Susan Rademacher on September 24, 2015 at 7:37 am.   This post has 2 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy

    Goodbye to the creator of a beautiful outlaw garden

    He called it the Garden of Eden, but it was more like a 15,000 acre public artwork that happened to grow vegetables and flowers. In the mid-1970s, environmentalist gadfly Adam Purple started creating a large public garden out of several vacant lots near his tenement apartment on New York’s...

    Posted by on September 22, 2015 at 9:22 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

    Dining in a Field of Slow Flowers

    You know those glamorous-looking field-to-table dinners shown in high-end magazines? Well, just take it up a notch, if that’s possible, and you have Field to Vase dinners like the one I got to crash as “press” last week in Gainesville, Virginia. The event was part of a 10-city dinner tour showing...

    Posted by on September 18, 2015 at 5:53 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Guest Rants

    What is a “Good” Garden Photo?

    Today’s Guest Rant by famed garden photographer Saxon Holt gives a tantalizing hint of what’s offered in his new e-book Good Garden Photography… and we’re giving away TWO COPIES of the book! See below for details. Good Garden Photography is the first of a series of beautifully produced e-books in...

    Posted by Saxon Holt on September 16, 2015 at 2:45 am.   This post has 41 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People

    The politics of decay

    I gave up on home composting a few years back after briefly trying a tall tumbler; there was no good place to keep it, and my neglect of it in its obscure location made for poor or minimal results. However, I couldn’t stand the thought of allowing organic waste...

    Posted by on September 15, 2015 at 8:44 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV

    How NOT to learn to water your garden

    These last many weeks with no rain remind me of my garden-coaching days, when I’d show clients how to hand-water the plants that need it. I’d explain the reasoning behind the amount of water to give each plant – that the root zone needs to be drenched – and...

    Posted by on September 11, 2015 at 8:17 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Eat This, It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening

    Way Down Yonder in the Blue Ribbon Pawpaw Patch

    Tony Joe White’s Poke Salad Annie couldn’t change my mind about pawpaws. Nor about what deserves recognition as the best native plant song of all time. Nothing against pokeweed, but over the years, I’ve grown partial to pawpaws. Once you’ve found yonder, and a pawpaw patch, there is no...

    Posted by on September 9, 2015 at 7:44 am.   This post has 15 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy

    Kudzu, we hardly knew you

    “Like most Southern children, I accepted, almost as a matter of faith, that kudzu grew a mile a minute and that its spread was unstoppable.” —Bill Finch, “Legend of the Green Monster” How many millions of acres do you suppose have been eaten by kudzu, the notorious plant predator...

    Posted by on September 8, 2015 at 7:50 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Real Gardens

    Barbara Ellis and her Liberated Country Garden

    Barbara Ellis is a garden book editor and author, most recently of the terrific Chesapeake Gardening and Landscaping (from UNC Press, with Atkins Arboretum), and she blogs at Eastern Shore Gardener.  I visited her at her home near Chestertown, Maryland with another beloved garden writer, the horticulturist Ruth Rogers...

    Posted by on September 4, 2015 at 8:24 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Shut Up and Dig

    Solace from the Garden at Night

    This week I have been mourning the passing of a friend who lost her battle with cancer. On learning the news yesterday evening, I went out into my garden and sat in the dark for several hours, watching the stars. It was an instinct to go to that haven...

    Posted by on September 2, 2015 at 1:48 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens

    So, an artist, a curator, and a designer walk into a garden (part II)

    Here’s an update on an interesting front garden concept I introduced last year.  (I promised to follow up!) This project by a local curator, artist, and designer is called Territory of Collaboration. Organic shapes and plants suggested by the artist were combined with the ideas of the designer; another...

    Posted by on September 1, 2015 at 8:07 am.   This post has 3 responses.