Recent Posts

Shut Up and Dig

Why isn’t gardening included in exercise tech?

My husband and I were early adopters of Apple watches when they were first introduced in 2015. I now have a series 3, which can act independently of the iPhone, (solving what had always been a drawback). One of the basic ways I use the watch is as an...

Posted by on November 30, 2017 at 10:05 am.   This post has 6 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

Perennial Royalty: It’s Inbred

There are few families in American horticulture with four generations of successful nursery crops. There are even fewer nursery legends with a story so well remembered as that of Jack Schultz, the 88-year-old Schultz family patriarch and founder of Springbrook Gardens, wholesale perennials growers, in Mentor, Ohio. Jack’s dad,...

Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 7:56 am.   This post has 2 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling

Amo, Amas, Amat in the Garden

The further I get into this horticulture life the more I realize how little I know, especially of its outer edges; all that Latin derivation and categorization stuff. That used to bother me. People forever mistake me for an expert. I’m about over it. I’m in my Old Guy...

Posted by on November 27, 2017 at 8:10 am.   This post has 4 responses.
Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

Bulb-Planting Rules I Break

Who doesn’t love spring-blooming bulbs? I love all of them (well, except for hyacinths) and used to plant a large assortment every fall. Above are shots from my former garden, where I planted tulips, yanked them out after the blooms faded and had the fun of trying new ones...

Posted by on November 24, 2017 at 9:21 am.   This post has 11 responses.
Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling

Goodbye, and thanks for your service

Trees are suffering. First, there are the pests; among the most current are the emerald ash borer, the mountain pine beetle, and the wooly aldegid. Then there are the ravages of fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters; it was awful to see the defoliation in the Caribbean earlier this...

Posted by on November 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm.   This post has 8 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling

Video: Best-Performing Native Plants in my Garden

These days we’re all paying more attention to beneficial wildlife in our gardens, and to that end, looking for good native plants to grow. But which ones? Those official lists of state or regional natives don’t really help the aspiring eco-gardener make their choices. So many of the listed...

Posted by on November 17, 2017 at 8:26 am.   This post has 9 responses.
Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling

It’s a Mast Year

Ever heard of a “mast year?” I hadn’t until we moved to our cottage on the Eastern Shore. That was June.  In early September, it started. Artillery fire. Lying in bed in our loft, with no attic to buffer us, it was like the London blitz—except with acorns. The...

Posted by Sandra Gaffigan on November 14, 2017 at 9:37 am.   This post has 5 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling

Can these Junipers be Saved?

My latest gardening obsession is making over the landscape in front of my housing co-op offices, where the top priority is to do something about the overgrown junipers. Planted too close to the sidewalk and doors, they’d been sheared back, which caused much unsightly needle-browning. The problem wasn’t just...

Posted by on November 10, 2017 at 8:20 am.   This post has 11 responses.
Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People

A Glimpse of a Lunatic’s Garden

I don’t know anyone on this planet, or galaxy, with more runaway enthusiasm for gardening than Jamie Dockery. And that’s not all. Besides his rabid determination to grow anything with chlorophyll, Jamie also raises little cows, little goats, chickens, ducks, donkeys, and tends an aviary with finches and canaries—all...

Posted by on November 8, 2017 at 7:58 am.   This post has 16 responses.
Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants

Our annual long-range forecast rant

And this time, it’s from a guest ranter, artist/writer Bruce Adams. Though his rant is region-specific, this could apply anywhere. The science of weather forecasting has grown in sophistication over the years. Various forecasters now predict general weather conditions for whole seasons. And the good news is, there’s a...

Posted by Bruce Adams on November 7, 2017 at 11:17 am.   This post has 2 responses.
What's Happening

Are Images of Gardeners in the Media Finally Improving?

My recent rant about stereotypes of gardeners in a new play got me thinking about the images of gardeners used in advertising and elsewhere. The garden-club-competing gardeners in the play typify the demographic so often used to portray us – white and elderly.   More of the same can...

Posted by on November 3, 2017 at 8:55 am.   This post has 10 responses.
Shut Up and Dig

Still crazy after fourteen years

Pre-blog, my garden practice gets lost in the fog of history. I know I started gardening seriously in 1999, when we bought property, but I am not quite sure exactly what I was doing month by month until 2005, when I started documenting it with a blog. And that’s...

Posted by on October 31, 2017 at 10:22 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Real Gardens

A Back Porch Recipe for Peace

Gardening offers me an outside recipe for inner peace, or at least the opportunity to go hide on our screened-in back porch and ponder the meaning of life, mortality and the furrowed bark and brilliant fall colors of our three-flowered maple. I look out, and the pink and white...

Posted by on October 30, 2017 at 8:15 am.   This post has 9 responses.
Everybody's a Critic

Dueling Gardeners on Stage

Though not a big theater-goer, I HAD to see the comedy  “Native  Gardens” when it played in DC because it’s about next-door neighbors representing different demographics and attitudes toward gardening. I’ll admit that I laughed, but the stereotypes in the play – of people and of plants – bugged me no...

Posted by on October 27, 2017 at 8:30 am.   This post has 10 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens

There’s fall color—and fall color

Every day on my way to work, I always look at a certain house, just before I make my final turn. It is the one vibrant spot of color on a block, which, though perfectly nice, is typified by sedate, small front lawns and a few foundation plantings. But...

Posted by on October 26, 2017 at 10:02 am.   This post has 5 responses.