Winning Writers and Gardeners at the American Hort Society

Last night the American Horticultural Society held its annual awards gala at its headquarters (above, an estate formerly owned by the Geo. Washington family) on the shores of the Potomac in Alexandria, VA. I was there, along with two GardenRant award-winners an assortment of movers and shakers in the plant world. The weather was perfect and so […]

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Posted by on June 9, 2017 at 7:57 am   This post has 3 responses.

Portrait of a Garden

I had, when I studied horticulture back in the 1970’s, the good fortune to be exposed to the last generation of a great gardening tradition.   At the New York Botanical Garden, where I was a student, there were still a number of elderly gardeners who had been trained on...

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Posted by on May 15, 2017 at 8:15 am   This post has 2 responses.

A Taraxacum officinale Grower Reveals Her Secrets

Guest Post by Amy Campion We were getting ready to go to the Hortlandia Plant Sale, when Scott and I saw it. Its blossoms glowed like pure sunshine. “Oh, my God,” I said. “Is that…?” Heather nodded. “Taraxacum officinale,” Scott said breathlessly. I realized then that Heather had been...

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Posted by Amy Campion on May 7, 2017 at 7:58 am   This post has 11 responses.

Quit throwing out the scary stuff: compost it instead!

As I emptied buckets of human waste into a bin filled with red wigglers, the realization hit me: I had reached peak compost. This was it. Eggshells and hair were just gateway drugs. Later I got into the hard stuff: moldy lasagna, spoiled stew, roadkill… And now here I...

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Posted by David the Good on May 4, 2017 at 8:00 am   This post has 9 responses.

Garden Photographer of the Year Winners

A local photography friend sent me a link to the International Garden Photographer of the Year, which bills itself as “the world’s premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography,” now in its 10th year. The competition works with Kew Gardens and the winners are...

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Posted by on April 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm   This post has one response.

Garden Redesign: Evaluate Everything and Have No Mercy

Guest Post by Wendy Kiang-Spray Usually, when I look out my kitchen window this time of year, I look forward to the delicate, pale purple-topped baptisia that will delight me for a few short weeks, or peony stems poking through whose stunning flowers I’ll stop daily to admire upon...

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Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 5, 2017 at 7:55 am   This post has 11 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 7:45 pm   This post has Comments Off on Wild Designer Makes “Beautiful Places for People to Love”.

Super bloom snapshot

Right now, sprinkled throughout sections of vast Death Valley National Park, are swaths of color standing out from the usual palette of faded greens, and soft grays and browns. A rare super bloom, the result of three unusual October rainstorms, (three inches of rain instead of an annual one...

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Posted by Nancy J. Parisi on March 14, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has 6 responses.

Good Berry Bad Berry

Guest Post by Helen Yoest  As a curious gardener and a naturalist, I have always been intrigued by flashy berries hanging from the branches of trees and shrubs. There was a field next to our house where I grew up, and behind the field on one side of my...

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Posted by Helen Yoest on March 13, 2016 at 10:02 am   This post has 4 responses.

And then—finally—there was one

When we bought our house twenty-three years ago, what I knew about gardening would not have filled a seed packet. I did know early spring flowers were an antidote for winter blahs, so I planted a big sack of snowdrops under the sugar maple. The blooms would be visible...

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Posted by Joanna Brichetto on March 1, 2016 at 11:49 am   This post has 12 responses.

Trends I won’t be following this season

At this time of year, the inboxes of garden writers (and editors of any genre) are flooded with trend report and predictions of what people will be planting, buying, and installing in the coming season. Most of it is so silly that my delete finger doesn’t stop moving enough...

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Posted by on February 23, 2016 at 8:03 am   This post has 26 responses.

Seeds Give-Away

Contest Closed!   “Plant the Seeds, Frame the Art!” When Ken Greene founded the Hudson Valley Seed Library a dozen years ago at the Gardiner (NY) Library, it was the first seed library hosted by any public library in the United States. The concept was that patrons could borrow...

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Posted by on February 1, 2016 at 7:58 am   This post has 29 responses.

Reporting from Iowa

Guest Rant by Linda Larson, A Traveling Gardener This just in: Iowa has beautiful gardens and parks, with grand trees, roses, hostas, and lakes. Despite the frenzy of Iowa’s political caucuses, happy people are ice skating on the pond in Vander Veer Botanical Park and Conservatory in Davenport. They will...

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Posted by Linda Larson on January 28, 2016 at 6:56 am   This post has 4 responses.

In remembrance of Allen Lacy

Sometimes a death can spark a renaissance and I am hoping that will be the case with Allen Lacy who died on December 27th at age 80.   I never knew him well – we spoke over the telephone on a number of occasions and I remember running into him...

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Posted by on January 8, 2016 at 7:53 am   This post has 9 responses.

Waterwise in New Mexico

Today’s Guest Rant by Hunter Ten Broeck, founder of the design firm WaterWise Landscapes based in Albuquerque, highlights an upcoming conference that has changed landscaping and water use patterns in New Mexico while building community. You’ll also get a peek at some regional waterwise gardens. It may surprise you...

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Posted by Hunter Ten Broeck on January 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm   This post has 8 responses.

Neither an Influencer nor a Follower be

Guest Rant by Marianne Willburn Though I enjoy dressing well, I’m no fashionista.  For the most part, I can ignore the “collar in or out this season?” “jeans high or low?” “fly up or down?” as I’m usually wearing heavy boots and dusted all over with the full body...

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Posted by Marianne Willburn on January 5, 2016 at 12:02 pm   This post has 6 responses.

Fine Tuning the Timing

  Well, I suppose the good news is I’ve gradually worked my way from the C to the B List as a garden speaker. For comparison’s sake, I think this is about the equivalent of a porn star getting a minor speaking part in a real movie. So I’ve...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on December 30, 2015 at 7:56 am   This post has one response.

The Master Logger and the Hay Rake in the Walnut Tree

  There is an abandoned fencerow on our Salvisa, Kentucky, farm. It’s marked clearly. A dozen black walnut trees Juglans nigra grow in a straight line, running up a small hill toward the rising sun. A generation ago, squirrels stored thousands of walnuts and forgot about them. The trees,...

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Posted by on December 23, 2015 at 8:36 am   This post has 7 responses.

Sticker shock

Raise your hand if you enjoy spending up to half an hour removing adhesive stickers from ceramic pots. No hands up? What a surprise. I have upgraded my game a bit for bulb forcing and no longer use the cheap (but not unattractive) Home Depot pots. One thing I’ll...

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Posted by on December 15, 2015 at 7:25 am   This post has 9 responses.

An Osage expose

Osage orange fruit. Hedge apples. Monkey brains. Maclura pomifera. Yellow-green, squiggly, hairy spheres the size of grapefruits. If these are underfoot on a fall hike, I guarantee someone will mention the purported insect and/or spider repellant properties of an Osage orange. Rumor has it that a few of these bowling balls...

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Posted by Joanna Brichetto on December 7, 2015 at 7:56 am   This post has 16 responses.