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    Ministry of Controversy

    Who’s more controversial – Michelle Rhee or Scotts Miracle-Gro?

    To most of the media, it’s the famous education reformer Michelle Rhee, ex-DC Schools Chancellor, who’s controversial, unpopular, even reviled by some, especially teachers’ unions. (Interesting read on the subject.)  So when Scotts MiracleGro recently named her as a trustee, teachers called for a boycott of Scotts, and readers were presumably left with the...

    Posted by on August 22, 2014 at 9:03 am.   This post has 19 responses.
    Lawn Reform, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig

    Courtyard Garden: One Year Later

    It’s time for an update on my courtyard garden. The thrill of saying that hasn’t dimmed after a year, and I imagine I will still be delighted about it if I am lucky enough to have a courtyard garden decades from now. First, a quick before-and-after pairing to show...

    Posted by on August 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm.   This post has 11 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens

    Riverscaping

    While on a brief getaway in the northern Catskills, we saw plenty of natural beauty, including late summer wildflowers (rudbeckia, asters, eupatorium, and more) along the trails. We also saw some lovely manmade landscaping that took full advantage of its context. Along route 28, just past Phoenicia, you’ll pass...

    Posted by on August 18, 2014 at 9:20 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Real Gardens

    Contrasting Gardens in Pittsburgh

    I’m home from visiting Pittsburgh, where I attended the big Garden Writers Symposium, and thankfully I returned with a few photos to post here.  (After posting here for eight years this summer I’m thrilled to find anything new to write about.) First up, a study in contrasts starts with the...

    Posted by on August 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm.   This post has 19 responses.
    Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

    Where’s the Wow? The Green Industry Takes Stock.

    Garden suppliers’ sights are set on next spring. Last month, representatives from nurseries, greenhouses, independent garden centers and even Big Box Stores loaded up their cars, vans and trucks, heading to two vastly different Ohio trade summer shows. Cultivate ’14, in Columbus, is the biggest North American trade show,...

    Posted by on August 13, 2014 at 6:37 am.   This post has 39 responses.
    Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling

    Judging

    All I could think about was how defenseless—even pathetic—the flowers looked in their little bud vases. As I walked among them, they presented a bewildering array of colors and shapes—spheres, spikes, sprays, buds, gnarly tangles, full blooms. And then there were mixed containers of herbs and even a few...

    Posted by on August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am.   This post has 12 responses.
    What's Happening, Who's Ranting About Us

    Pinterest tells us what you like

    Hey, bloggers among you, have you ever checked to see which of the photos you’ve published are pinned to readers’ Pinterest boards?  It’s kinda fun, and here’s how.  For this blog I went to: www.pinterest.com/source/gardenrant.com.   You get the idea. Pinterest only displays the most recent but I’ve been checking...

    Posted by on August 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm.   This post has 10 responses.
    Everybody's a Critic, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens

    The Patience of a Gardener

    Recently we’ve hosted lively discussions here at Garden Rant about spending gobs of money on our gardens, choosing native over non-native plants, and to what extent gardens are art. To me, there is a more personal and pertinent issue at stake with regard to America’s current horticultural practices: how...

    Posted by on August 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm.   This post has 40 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy

    On natives—we’re all alright

    There’s no more surefire way to get everybody all riled up on this site than to talk about native plants—whether or not to use them, how much to use them, who is too obsessed with them, who isn’t obsessed enough, where they work best, and where they work worst....

    Posted by on August 5, 2014 at 7:30 am.   This post has 29 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens

    Garden Affluence in Another Era

    While here at GardenRant the hot topic was rich people’s gardens,  love ‘em or hate ‘em, I was strolling the garden of one of the super-rich – Marjorie  Merriweather Post (as in Post Cereals). Here’s the very grand mansion, named Hillwood, filled with Russian imperial art (including Fabergé Eggs) and...

    Posted by on August 1, 2014 at 7:20 am.   This post has 22 responses.
    Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens, Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Uncategorized

    Gardening Under The Affluence

      I’m getting a little uncomfortable with something, and I’d like the Ranting World to let me know if I’m on point or totally off the mark. As I look through magazines and design blogs, I see fancy gardens everywhere. Industries are colluding to make us desire an outdoor...

    Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm.   This post has 112 responses.
    Everybody's a Critic, Garden Walk Buffalo

    Observations of the toured

    As many Rant readers must know by this time, in Buffalo we have a yearly free garden tour called Garden Walk. Started in 1995 by two urban gardeners who wanted to show how verdant city living could be, the walk has grown to include close to 400 gardens, and...

    Posted by on July 28, 2014 at 7:52 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Science Says

    How to Grow Bluebirds

    Last Friday I rode shotgun through the Beltsville Ag Research Center in Marcia van Horn’s Ranger as she checked on some of her 175 nesting boxes for bluebirds and tree swallows, with the occasional chickadee, titmouse, wrens or nuthatches taking advantage of the accommodations. Nest boxes were first installed on the 6,700-acre property...

    Posted by on July 25, 2014 at 6:49 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    Real Gardens, What's Happening

    More Foreign Invaders: Possums on the Half Shell

      Robyn Brown, a Nashville buddy and talented gardener, told me last week that her garden is under siege by armadillos. I was all ears. The nine-banded armadillos are rooting around her garden like little armored feral pigs. These foreign invaders arrived in Western Kentucky over twenty years ago....

    Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    Eat This, Guest Rants

    Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Compost?

    Guest Rant by Amy Campion  If we gardeners agree on anything, it’s that compost is wonderful stuff.  We can never have enough of it.  We make it ourselves in heaps and bins and barrels, and we ask for more of it on our birthdays.  Compost makes clay soil loosen...

    Posted by Amy Campion on July 22, 2014 at 8:05 am.   This post has 20 responses.