Recent Posts

Unusually Clever People

The Garden and Nursery Boat

I stared out my elementary school window for years, bored out of my skull, determined to forsake fractions for adventure. The Ohio River, my escape route, was a few miles away. My curiosity for the river life was inspired by Huckleberry Finn and amplified years later by Harlan Hubbard’s...

Posted by on July 12, 2017 at 8:13 am.   This post has 6 responses.
Public Gardens, Real Gardens

Garden Bloggers take DC (area)

First, it must be stressed that I am not a good tour taker. I love looking at gardens, but I can enjoy a smaller garden pretty quickly, and then I’m done. I’m better in big public gardens, where you can keep moving and there’s always something different around the...

Posted by on July 11, 2017 at 10:28 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Real Gardens

I’m a City Center Gardener

People in my town routinely pass this garden spot as they walk from the parking lot to the town center (appropriately named Roosevelt Center, since the town was built as a New Deal works and housing project). But walk a few more steps and just before reaching the Center you...

Posted by on July 7, 2017 at 7:37 am.   This post has 9 responses.
Guest Rants, Shut Up and Dig

Till Like It’s 1899!

For years I rented rototillers or—more expensively—owned gas tillers of my own. There’s nothing like tearing up a big patch of ground until your hands are so numb and tingly you can barely hoist a glass to celebrate your gardening rampage. Many of us feel like we should cut...

Posted by David the Good on July 6, 2017 at 8:00 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Guest Rants, Real Gardens

Mort Libby

Scott Beuerlein returns with another Guest Rant and pays tribute to one of the good ones. Somewhere back in the late 80s, I decided I knew more than at least half the landscapers out there and took that as a sign that it was time to start a side...

Posted by Scott Beuerlein on July 5, 2017 at 7:58 am.   This post has 9 responses.
Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig

Editing for Autumn

I’ve been spending a good deal of time recently at Wave Hill, the 28-acre horticultural paradise in the Bronx – I’ve been asked to write a book about its garden art.  Wave Hill is famous for many things:  its matchless collection of exquisite plants, its daring color combinations, and...

Posted by on July 3, 2017 at 9:07 am.   This post has 5 responses.
Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

joe gardener Goes Live!

For months I’d been dying to set my eyes on Joe Lamp’ls new website joegardener.com, hoping for a lot. It launched last week and at the risk of gushing, it includes everything a how-to-garden site should have and some stuff I didn’t think of. In Joe’s words to me...

Posted by on June 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm.   This post has one response.
It's the Plants, Darling

Perfect Prairie Meadow? More like Field of Broken Dreams

My lust for the perfect prairie meadow show – aided and abated, of course, with the need for a new septic system – began with the lacy-pink flowers of Queen-of-the-Prairie, or Filipendula rubra. I had not seen The Native Queen in all her glory until purchasing our history-worn Hoosier...

Posted by on June 28, 2017 at 7:32 am.   This post has 8 responses.
Ministry of Controversy

Keep the cats inside

This was to be a post touting the glorious weekend I had exploring the DC area with fellow garden bloggers. But, while I was away, I received news that a nest of birds we’d been hosting has possibly fallen prey to one of the many free-roaming/feral cats that plague...

Posted by on June 27, 2017 at 10:38 am.   This post has 31 responses.
Gardening on the Planet

Testing Pollinator Plants at Penn State

Just in time for National Pollinator Week, my Garden Writers region planned a fabulous outing for members – to see the Penn State Trial Gardens near York, PA, especially their trials for pollinator plants. The goal is “to evaluate native species and their cultivars for attractiveness to pollinators and suitability for...

Posted by on June 23, 2017 at 6:50 am.   This post has 5 responses.
Real Gardens

Wildlife Encounters

I’ve posted before on this blog about the attraction of wildlife tracking in the garden.  Garden wildlife, I noted then, reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then typically leave without communicating about what they have been up to or what their plans are. Reading...

Posted by on June 19, 2017 at 9:30 am.   This post has 7 responses.
What's Happening

Flingers, First Trip to DC?

Gardening get-togethers like the Garden Blogger Fling and Garden Writer events are the best possible ways to see great private gardens, and the Fling attendees coming to the Washington, D.C. area next weekend will see lots of them. But like Elizabeth, when I visit a city that’s new to me...

Posted by on June 16, 2017 at 8:45 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Unusually Clever People

A Gardening Education: Alberta and Omer

  While I wait for my first social security check to arrive later this month, I have been thinking about two crucial mentors. Alberta Coleman and Omer Barber fostered my gardening career. They were as different as a peony and a prickly pear. I volunteered to work with Alberta...

Posted by on June 14, 2017 at 7:22 am.   This post has 5 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

Ask not for whom the lily beetle tolls

Finally, they’re here. For at least 5 years, now, I have been hearing tales of destruction and dire prophecies from friends and garden visitors who live to the east and northeast of Buffalo. “Do you have the lily beetle yet? They’re everywhere in (Rochester/New England/Ithaca, etc.). I don’t grow...

Posted by on June 13, 2017 at 10:16 am.   This post has 7 responses.
Who's Ranting About Us

Winning Writers and Gardeners at the American Hort Society

Last night the American Horticultural Society held its annual awards gala at its headquarters (above, an estate formerly owned by the Geo. Washington family) on the shores of the Potomac in Alexandria, VA. I was there, along with two GardenRant award-winners an assortment of movers and shakers in the plant world....

Posted by on June 9, 2017 at 7:57 am.   This post has 4 responses.