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    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens

    Snow: Lessons in Perspective

    Why is it that, after a snowfall, the landscape looks so much better, even if nothing has changed underneath? Snow offers the opportunity to view your garden with new perspective and insights that can make it more enjoyable in every season. When you hear the phrase “winter interest,” you...

    Posted by on November 19, 2014 at 12:51 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    Taking Your Gardening Dollar

    Possibilities vs. limitations

    As I finish potting up bulbs against the winter, rejoicing in the new space for it I have now that I’m using the attic, it occurred to me that the effort to do more, to go beyond the perceived limits, is my favorite thing about gardening and it’s also...

    Posted by on November 18, 2014 at 9:00 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    But is it Art?

    Disabled Veterans Memorial Shines Despite its Location

    A new memorial opened last month in D.C., this one honoring Veterans Disabled for Life. I’ve watched its progress from the U.S. Botanic Gardens across the street, and seen it presented to a reviewing agency, so was excited to finally see it open. Here’s a fun 2-minute video of...

    Posted by on November 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm.   This post has 12 responses.
    Real Gardens, What's Happening

    Travels with Rufus

      John Steinbeck crossed the country with Charley in 1960. I rode to Louisville last month, from Pennsylvania, with Rufus. Steinbeck, who wrote Travels with Charley, made the road trip with his standard poodle in a camper truck. I took Rufus home in a rental car. I met Rufus...

    Posted by on November 12, 2014 at 7:01 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    What's Happening

    Protecting Turfgrass from Springsteen Fans is One Huge Job

    Tonight, in celebration of Veterans Day, one huge concert will take place on the National Mall, with headliners like Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna and Eminem. You can watch live it on HBO if you’re a cable subscriber, whether or not you pay extra for HBO. Or if you live nearby you can...

    Posted by on November 11, 2014 at 8:42 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

    My sort-of conservatory

    Having just read a series of books about nineteenth century (and earlier) estate gardens, I don’t find myself in the least bit envious of the expansive acreages that these property owners had to tend. But I do long for a refuge where I can enjoy flowering plants throughout the...

    Posted by on November 10, 2014 at 8:55 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Garden clean-up for dry-climate groundcovers

    Lawn replacement is getting some well-deserved buzz and I’m an advocate myself. Unfortunately, ground’s gotta be covered, so what groundcovers do the job with few or no inputs and little to no care? (Something other than English ivy, please.) That’s the big question in the less-lawn movement, and it’s...

    Posted by on November 6, 2014 at 6:58 pm.   This post has 9 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens

    Piling Leaves and Stacking Functions

    There’s a permaculture concept called “stacking functions.” It refers to choosing strategies that have several benefits or accomplish multiple goals. Take, for example, a strategy I’m fond of: smothering lawn with fallen leaves to create new planting beds. I have done and will continue to do this in different...

    Posted by on November 5, 2014 at 5:34 am.   This post has 35 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy

    Oh, TM/® symbols? Don’t use ’em; don’t have to

    Over the weekend, Susan and I heard from a garden writer who worried that he was about to be attacked by the Conard-Pyle company for not naming the Knock Out rose line the way it prefers (all caps with a ®). Instead, the writer was using the single quotes...

    Posted by on November 3, 2014 at 8:05 am.   This post has 20 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

    Surprising Garden Design Choices from 1930

    As I mentioned in this post about hedges, there’s an unusual amount of them in my New Deal town, and they’re associated with our launch in 1937.  So if we care about preserving our history, are we stuck with hedges? I’m not a fan, so I was thrilled to discover a gardening...

    Posted by on October 31, 2014 at 7:57 am.   This post has 18 responses.
    CRRRITIC, Everybody's a Critic, Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy, Real Gardens, Science Says

    The Monsters Among Us

    Happy Halloween. I hope to really scare you. Because there ARE monsters. There are things that are truly frightening in our world, and we gardeners are on the front lines, either fighting these forces of evil, or being victimized by them. OR, we stand by and do nothing… and...

    Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm.   This post has 76 responses.
    Books, CRRRITIC

    Gardening politics through the centuries

    Thanks to a couple of fascinating new releases from Frances Lincoln, Katie Campbell’s British Gardens in Time and George Plumptre’s The English Country House Garden, I’ve beginning to add some dimensions to my starry-eyed reverence for the great English gardens. The reverence is still there, but now it’s accompanied...

    Posted by on October 27, 2014 at 9:40 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens

    Confessions of a Garden Conservancy Open Day Volunteer

    Before I get to the confessions, a short tour of the four fabulous DC-area gardens open to the public through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Gardens Program.  (And thanks to local APLD VP Carolyn Mullet for making it happen.) The home and garden above and in the next three photos are modern in...

    Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 9:09 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV

    Ellen DeGeneres ISO Gardener

    Anyone following Nick the Gardener on the Ellen Show knows that she helped him  land a part in a sequel to the Magic Mike movie. So now she’s looking for a new gardener – click here to apply.  Must be “hot, strong, and have that extra somethin’ somethin’.” I’m not a...

    Posted by on October 23, 2014 at 7:33 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy

    Trashing Out with Kudzu and ‘Sherman’s Ghost’

    Kudzu is the poster child for invasive plants. The vine that gobbled up more than seven million acres in the south became the unintended consequence of the USDA’s plan to stop erosion. When African-Americans, in 1910, began their migration from the rural south to northern cities, the vine would...

    Posted by on October 22, 2014 at 6:15 am.   This post has 18 responses.