Jenny Kendler, Milkweed Dispersal Balloons, Archival inkjet print, 2014

Coming to a town near you—an art project for monarchs

Among all the many seed distribution strategies I’ve seen discussed or proposed, this one is both simple and beautiful. Jenny Kendler’s Milkweed Dispersal Balloons project consists of a mobile unit towing a flotilla of balloons filled with milkweed seed. As the artist says on her website: The artist and a team of performers walk the […]

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Posted by on May 26, 2015 at 8:10 am   This post has 4 responses.

The Compostable Cup Trials

Some years back, I ran across some compostable water bottles at a Starbucks in Seattle and, because of the skepticism deeply embedded in  ProfessorRoush’s academic soul, I thought it would be a neat idea to try to bring them back in my luggage and test their compost-worthiness at home....

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Posted by on May 11, 2015 at 7:26 am   This post has 24 responses.

LANDSCAPE SNARK-ITECHT!!!

Okay, this is a RANT. For some reason, colleagues always want to introduce me as a Landscape Architect – and I always correct them. I am a Garden Designer, and proud of it. I don’t even like the title “Landscape Designer” – I think “Landscape Designers” want to separate...

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Posted by on April 29, 2015 at 1:12 am   This post has 45 responses.

Garden Rant Giveaway Grand Drawing

While visiting in Louisville, Panayoti Kelaidis and Jan Fahs of Denver, Colorado graciously agreed to make the drawing for the Garden Rant Giveaway that you’ve all awaited.   Drum roll, please…The lucky winner of Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden: is Mary Beth Martin of...

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Posted by on April 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm   This post has 2 responses.

Essential Perennials…You Gotta Have It.

    Are you ready for another great Garden Rant Giveaway? Now’s your chance! You could be the lucky winner of Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden. Post a comment below and tell us what your favorite perennial is and why you like...

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Posted by on April 2, 2015 at 7:55 am   This post has 109 responses.

What Makes Cities Attractive, and our Intellectual Confusion about Beauty

Pertinent to our discussions here of garden criticism – right or wrong – enjoy this video by architecture writer Alain de Botton.  At about 11:15 he gets to the “first obstacle to beautiful cities” – the intellectually confused position that no one has the right to say what’s pretty...

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Posted by on March 14, 2015 at 7:58 am   This post has 4 responses.

Washington Post Gives Nice Boost to DC Gardens

DCGardens.com and its local supporters are loving the feature about it in the Washington Post this week. Reporter John Kelly chatted me up for an hour and then called a photographer I recruited to join the cause after spying him with his tripod and expensive camera at the National...

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Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm   This post has one response.

Whitewashed Tree Trunks: The Unvarnished Story

After a few swipes on Aunt Polly’s plank fence, Tom Sawyer  tired of painting whitewash. So it doesn’t surprise me that there’s no hint, in Mark Twain’s novel, that Tom took a paintbrush to tree trunks. I have been intrigued with this peculiar cultural phenomenon since I was Tom...

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Posted by on March 11, 2015 at 7:43 am   This post has 13 responses.

The Annual Buying (and subsequent killing) of the Air Plant and Plumeria Stick

Guest Rant by Wendy Kiang-Spray Having been to the Philadelphia Flower Show for many years in a row now, my annual trip has taken on a really wonderful rhythm and familiarity. My friend Grace is tiny and swift. Her job is to zip in and out through the crowds while...

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Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on March 10, 2015 at 9:07 am   This post has 8 responses.

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Chunky Gravel And Indifferently Chosen Plants

**Trigger Warning*** This is a rant, and the images that follow may be unpleasant to some. They certainly are to ME. A bit of background to set the stage: Los Angeles is in a severe drought. Considering the fact that Los Angeles is a city built in a desert...

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 11:00 pm   This post has 63 responses.

Hostile or Helpful?

by Marianne Wilburn Recently, C.L. Fornari challenged garden writers to consider the way in which we portray the act of gardening.  She asked us to discuss whether our tendency to proclaim the virtues (meditation, creativity, exercise) might be greater than our desire to tell the truth about the work...

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Posted by Marianne Willburn on February 2, 2015 at 7:56 am   This post has 31 responses.

Scotts Miracle-Gro, you can stop asking.

Dear readers, I went through my in-box and discovered some delicious hate-reading!  Ready? First, from somehow actually hired by Scotts Miracle-Gro to promote them, pasted below with commentary in brackets. Hi Susan, I’m reaching out on behalf of Scotts Miracle Grow to see if you have 30 minutes...

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Posted by on January 30, 2015 at 8:18 am   This post has 6 responses.

The Siren Song of Seeds

by Amanda Morris, Ph.D. Super Sugar Snap. Queen Lime, Dancing Girls, and Color Crackle Zinnias. Chantenay Carrots. Moulin Rouge Beets. Mardi Gras Radishes. Neon Lights Swiss Chard. Just listen to the party; a lively, colorful, tasty Spring party destined for my garden beds and pots (and dinner plates). I...

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Posted by Dr. Amanda Morris on January 29, 2015 at 8:31 am   This post has 6 responses.

Inside Outside

  Holy Sissinghurst, Batman!!! There is a way of making gardens that I feel has run its course. It has reached its zenith, its apex, its apotheosis. It can go no further. It has gone far enough. Too far. I speak of the Outdoor Room. Let me be clear....

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Posted by on January 28, 2015 at 10:33 am   This post has 29 responses.

Forcing Winter Interest

I have been thinking about Elizabeth’s post on The Myth of Winter Interest. Having spent 25+ years in Minnesota, and recently moved halfway across the country to (among other things) escape the relentless northern winter, I do identify with the urge to focus only on the indoor world during...

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Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 7:46 am   This post has 19 responses.

Welcome New Ranter Thomas Christopher!

We’re all pleased as punch to announce an exciting new addition to our roster of GardenRant partners – Thomas Christopher, a horticultural journalist with 30 years under his belt, contributor to the New York Times, the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, Martha Stewart Living and many other publications. Thomas...

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Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm   This post has 4 responses.

A meadow’s tale

The first thing I did after I bought the farm was quit mowing the grass. The property is ten acres with a nice rolling aspect, some very good old trees, and a dark deep pond for fishing. The assortment of buildings include a Victorian farmhouse, a big party barn,...

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Posted by David McMullin on December 16, 2014 at 8:15 am   This post has 13 responses.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Landscaping – Sinners Beware!

Guest Rant by Lori Hawkins Just as Dante identified the seven deadly sins in his Inferno, so we will explore the cardinal sins of the landscaping world.  Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride are all alive and well!  They will all be identified with examples of the...

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Posted by Lori Hawkins on December 11, 2014 at 7:21 am   This post has 19 responses.

New Roots is Planting Seeds of Change for Refugees in America

Guest post by Kimberly Bryant What difference can a garden make? To newly arrived refugees in America, the answer is plenty. It’s no secret that gardening is a pleasant way for the average person to get in touch with nature, but it holds an even deeper meaning for those...

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Posted by Kimberly Bryant on November 27, 2014 at 7:53 am   This post has 3 responses.

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...

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Posted by on November 13, 2014 at 8:52 pm   This post has 12 responses.
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