Recent Posts

Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens

What Happens when a Rain Garden isn’t Weeded

I love this rain garden in my neighborhood, on land owned by my co-op, even as it’s changed over the years. There once were many more types of plants here, though without a plant list I can’t name them. Here’s the only sign at the garden, an old, weathered...

Posted by on February 8, 2018 at 2:04 pm.   This post has 2 responses.
What's Happening

Hanauma Bay to Petropolis

Sorry to be late with winter coping tips, but I’ve got two ideas that might be worth mentioning. If you’re at your wit’s end of winter, try to find a sunny and warm place to snorkel (preferably in the tropics), or go to a local tropical fish store. My...

Posted by on February 7, 2018 at 9:08 am.   This post has 8 responses.
Gardening on the Planet

Planting natives along the gorge

Niagara Falls is cool, but it’s a cheap thrill compared with the equally spectacular six-mile gorge that its river has created. You can spend a whole day walking along the gorge, which is up to 200 feet deep; you’ll see tumbling rapids and clashing waves, dramatic rock formations, and...

Posted by on February 6, 2018 at 9:51 am.   This post has 4 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling

Pining for Conifers in Winter

My townhouse garden doesn’t yield much in the way of evergreen trimmings for the holidays. So to cover these pots that hold coleus all season I snatched some juniper clippings from a nearby garden I adopted. The juniper parts still look good three months after they were cut, I’m happy...

Posted by on February 1, 2018 at 7:29 pm.   This post has 8 responses.
Shut Up and Dig

There may be an app for that, but I’m not sure I care

Mid-winter is generally a time for trend predicting, seed talk, and other speculative matter in the gardening press. Much of the country is still huddled around the fire, so there’s not much call for cultivation or maintenance advice. Pity the poor garden columnist at this time. If it were...

Posted by on February 1, 2018 at 11:11 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Real Gardens

The SAD Pursuit of Inner Happiness

Current politics notwithstanding, I again deal in late winter with a mild case of SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – that sluggish, depressed feeling that winter has already lasted 15 months, why should anyone have to get out of bed before noon and why is it I can’t even...

Posted by on January 29, 2018 at 8:39 am.   This post has 11 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling

From Mt. Cuba – Best Natives you can Actually Buy

Typically, growers in the hort industry fund plant trials (like the ones at Penn State I visited last year) to find out from actual research which plants they should put into production and then market like crazy. But homeowners need trials of plants that are already on the market...

Posted by on January 25, 2018 at 6:35 pm.   This post has 2 responses.
Unusually Clever People, What's Happening


Two weeks ago I stood in the checkout line at Louisville’s Whole Foods. Sleet, freezing rain and snow were predicted for the next day. (I knew ahead of time that I would have to pay a price for spending ten warm and sun-drenched days in tropical Hawaii.) The forecast...

Posted by on January 24, 2018 at 8:01 am.   This post has 2 responses.
Shut Up and Dig

Hygge and houseplants

On a whim, I googled the two words, and, as expected, houseplants are included in the lifestyle instructions issued by the hygge movement. I wouldn’t be insulting readers by assuming they don’t know what this Danish word means because there is no good English translation, but I am sure...

Posted by on January 23, 2018 at 9:24 am.   This post has 8 responses.
What's Happening

Possible Trump Bump for HGTV

A Twitter-following friend alerted me to the hashtag “WatchHGTVinstead” started by a David Hoffman. The purpose is to deny Trump high ratings for his State of the Union performance in the most effective way possible – by tuning in to another channel, especially one in particular. Responders argued over how...

Posted by on January 19, 2018 at 9:05 am.   This post has 13 responses.
Gardening on the Planet

Year of the Bird

Hell, yeah. As a rule, I’m not really a fan of designated days, weeks, and months. According to incoming press releases, every month seems to be devoted to some kind of disease, which is kind of depressing (though if it brings in money, fine). And it’s pretty easy—frighteningly so—to...

Posted by on January 18, 2018 at 10:46 am.   This post has 6 responses.
Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People

Land Mines of Botanical Vernacular And The Virtues of IPPS

 Scott Beuerlein returns with another Guest Rant. Unless you’re some kind of freak show superstar brainiac like Paul Cappiello, Bill Barnes, or Win Dunwell, at one time or another you’ve been stressed and humiliated by botanical Latin and horticultural terms. Ever enjoy the mixer at the International Plant Propagators...

Posted by Scott Beuerlein on January 17, 2018 at 9:09 am.   This post has 19 responses.
Gardening on the Planet

Climate Change Gardening

One of the virtues of gardening is that it brings its practitioners into intimate contact with natural systems.  As I discovered as a young gardener many years ago, and a practitioner of the “better living through chemistry” school of my craft, you cannot long ignore and abuse the living...

Posted by on January 15, 2018 at 10:29 am.   This post has 9 responses.
What's Happening

Best Gardening Event of Winter? MANTS!

Yesterday I made my yearly pilgrimage to Baltimore to attend MANTS.  the largest nursery trade show in the East – by far. This year there were 900+ vendors in 1,200 booths, and over 10,000 pre-registered attendees. It was a blast for me – getting to see dozens of garden-world...

Posted by on January 12, 2018 at 11:14 am.   This post has 2 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening

The Little Greenhouse That Could

My first greenhouse was neither big nor fancy. Built in 1980, the 14’ X 32’ hoop house—small by commercial greenhouse standards—became my plant propagation house for the next 15 years. I spent a lot of time in the little greenhouse at Holbrook Farm and Nursery near Mills River, NC....

Posted by on January 11, 2018 at 9:25 am.   This post has 6 responses.