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A Fond Farewell to Evelyn Hadden

After three years as a regular GardenRanter, Evelyn Hadden has retired from blogging to concentrate on her music. Her last post was in October but in hopes that she’d change her mind, none of us announced it, or thanked her for her many wonderful posts, which we know readers will miss. But it’s time. I […]

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Posted by on January 27, 2017 at 7:26 am   This post has 11 responses.

Polar or Bi-Polar? An Honest Assessment of the Winter Garden

     Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein I am a charlatan and a fraud. Maybe they’re the same thing. I don’t even know. But whatever that thing is, I don’t like it. And “it” is me. And I couldn’t be more disgusted with myself. For years, in talks, articles,...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on January 25, 2017 at 7:39 am   This post has 8 responses.

Bark for the Winter Blues

Guest Post by Bob Hill Somewhere between the January Blahs and a typically mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder – the aptly acronymed SAD – I find comfort in wandering our yard in mid-winter marveling at the upbeat, happy bark offered by our collection of maple trees, especially our...

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Posted by Bob Hill on January 6, 2017 at 7:10 am   This post has one response.

The Landscapes of McMansion Hell

For making me laugh while I learn, I LOVE the architecture critic Kate Wagner and her highly opinionated blog McMansion Hell. Who could resist her “Pringles Can of Shame ™” award in the photo above? So I recommend McMansion Hell for making me laugh and for educating me with “What the...

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Posted by on December 30, 2016 at 7:56 am   This post has 22 responses.

Dying on the Vine? Part II

Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein, who insists the end is not nigh. Gardeners join together. One of my very favorite quotes came from a supervisor I had many years ago in what seems like a previous life. He said: “It’s not that I want to be an asshole, it’s...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on December 29, 2016 at 7:39 am   This post has 17 responses.

BIG Like You Won’t Believe

 Bob Hill has a deal for you. Even in our cell-phone-talking, Kindle-reading, GOOGLE-surfing age, this is the time of year when many of us are dwarfed by the deluge of incoming garden catalogs. In the early years of our marriage, my wife and I debated if we should add...

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Posted by Bob Hill on December 21, 2016 at 7:41 am   This post has 10 responses.

Ask a Designer: Deer-Proof Perennials

Next up in our “Ask a Designer” series is designer Claire Jones  in Maryland. How many times do you visit a garden center and get overwhelmed with the many choices that entice with gorgeous foliage and blooms? And you impulse buy the “flavor of the month” perennial that the garden center...

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Posted by Claire Jones on December 8, 2016 at 8:54 am   This post has 2 responses.

The Root of All Goodness

We welcome first time Guest Ranter Bob Hill as he digs deep into the past and tucks away stories for the future. When we first moved into our 1860’s farm house in Southern Indiana about 40 years ago, it came with a leaky tin roof, a wiring system apparently...

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Posted by Bob Hill on December 7, 2016 at 7:09 am   This post has one response.

On the Industrialization of Gardening

Guest Rant by Sheera Stern, who gardens in Metuchen, NJ As fall segues into winter, we are all relieved that the whine of the gas-powered leaf-blower has finally ceased. (By the way, the electric Ryobi is at a lower decibel, but a higher pitch, and possibly even more annoying,...

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Posted by Sheera Stern on November 28, 2016 at 10:46 am   This post has 15 responses.

Hostas, Hate, and a Helluva Year

  Guest Ranter Scott Beuerlein inherited 300 hostas from a divorcée many years ago. He doesn’t know the name of a single one. There’s more to life.   I have had a long and tumultuous relationship with hostas. There’s been laughter. Tears. Love. Hate. Arguments on the phone. Drunken...

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Posted by on November 23, 2016 at 7:39 am   This post has 10 responses.

Don’t forget to vote—and even if your candidate doesn’t win, you can win this book!

      We have a winner! Congrats: Linda Gribko! We posted about All the Presidents’ Gardens when Timber ran a contest to win a trip to DC, but didn’t get into too much detail. It’s a really fun book; it’s also very well-researched by author Marta McDowell and...

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Posted by on November 8, 2016 at 9:04 am   This post has 30 responses.

Gardening for the Future: Why Responsible Beauty Matters

Guest Rant by Fran Sorin There has been a tremendous amount of often rancorous debate about the use of natives vs. non-native plantings in designing gardens over the past several years. Thanks to the internet and our ability to take advantage of viewing photos and videos of gardens around...

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Posted by Fran Sorin on October 14, 2016 at 7:59 am   This post has 34 responses.

Garden Design’s New Issue Comes with 5 Videos and Sadness, Too

I’ve done nothing but heap praise on Garden Design Magazine since its relaunch as an ad-free, more plant-focused publication under the direction of its new publisher, Jim Peterson. And I savor every gorgeous issue before reluctantly loaning them to my nonsubscribing friends. (Full disclosure – thanks to Jim’s attendance at recent...

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Posted by on October 7, 2016 at 7:23 am   This post has 7 responses.

How I Became a Landscape Reformer

Today’s Guest Rant comes from Leslie Nelson Inman, an Adjunct English Instructor at Mercer University and Georgia Tech who is currently taking some time off to write a book. Leslie educated herself about environmental issues and has become passionate about spreading information and solutions widely via social media. Here’s...

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Posted by Leslie Nelson Inman on September 21, 2016 at 6:41 am   This post has 24 responses.

Public Gardens and Signaling Welcome

Guest Rant by Linda Larson, “A Traveling Gardener, wandering, wondering, noticing. . . .” Public gardens in North America welcome visitors from all over the world. While they generally announce themselves with a name sign and offer a map, some ditch the map and post directions in a casual way...

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Posted by Linda Larson on September 12, 2016 at 8:41 am   This post has 7 responses.

Ask a Designer: Make Invasives Great Again

Next in our “Ask a Designer” series is a guest rant by David mcmullin. The debate about invasive plants has become, well, invasive. It crops up anywhere gardens and plants are being mentioned. The general idea is this: gardeners are a band of outlaws set on destroying our Habitat through...

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Posted by David mcmullin on August 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm   This post has 72 responses.

Wild Designer Makes “Beautiful Places for People to Love”

Rant readers know that we love Thomas Rainer’s work and his book Planting in a Post-Wild World (here’s Evelyn’s describing the aha’s she got from it), but there’s another game-changing landscape architect I hadn’t heard of til recently, one who may be having an even greater impact through her ginormous...

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Posted by on August 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm   This post has 2 responses.

I give up on my garden in the dead of summer

I have a confession. I let my garden go to hell in the dead of summer. Even worse? I think I might be okay with that. In the intense sun and dry heat of the Colorado summer, I become a lazy gardener. I have to admit that unlike ranter Allen...

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Posted by Emily Reeves on July 26, 2016 at 7:31 am   This post has 16 responses.

Big Ahas from Planting in a Post-Wild World

Their primary audience may be other designers, but Thomas Rainer and Claudia West’s Planting in a Post-Wild World (Timber Press, 2016) offers many take-aways for regular gardeners too. The book outlines how to design and maintain an ecological landscape, and does so in beautifully clear, fluid language that is...

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Posted by on July 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm   This post has 14 responses.

One Way of Relaxing in an Imperfect Garden

My garden will never be perfect. I know that. And sometimes that makes it hard to relax in. I’ll sit down and try to enjoy being outdoors, but instead I’ll catch myself scanning around for things to add to my mental “want-to-do” list. For my own sanity, there are...

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Posted by on July 5, 2016 at 11:51 pm   This post has 9 responses.