This is a mock-up; click on the link to see the (very similar) real thing.

Wildflowers on demand

Just stop by one of Jenny Kendler’s seed stations, located at strategic spots on Buffalo’s East Side, as well as other Western New York locations, and grab a pack of seeds. The project, titled Rewilding New York, is intended to reintroduce native plants to the urban center, providing sustenance for pollinators and challenging conventional notions […]

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Posted by on August 11, 2015 at 8:53 am   This post has 4 responses.

Stacking Rocks in Wild Places

Recently I came across this article about the fairly new practice of stacking rocks in wild places. Historically, cairns (rocks piled or stacked by humans) have served important purposes, particularly in parts of the world lacking dramatic natural features to use as landmarks. A cairn might mark a trail,...

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Posted by on July 15, 2015 at 4:00 am   This post has 24 responses.

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...

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Posted by on May 26, 2015 at 8:10 am   This post has 9 responses.

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.

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.

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.

From Lawn to Portrait in Sand to Soccer Field

For just this month a 6-acre strip of lawn on the National Mall has been turned into a portrait in sand and dirt by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada called “Out of Many, One.” Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, it’s a composite of many ethnic groups, a generic face of Americans. About...

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Posted by on October 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Murals without vandalism. How do they do that?

Wandering around Pittsburgh I came upon this fabulous mural depicting cherry blossoms in bloom and a charming collection of old homes.  It was off the beaten track, enlivening not a park but the parking lot for a neighborhood restaurant. How does something so wonderful get done, anyway?  By an...

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Posted by on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm   This post has 19 responses.

The Parklet Craze

This year’s international Park(ing) Day falls on September 19, a mere two weeks from now. On that day, individuals, groups, and businesses in cities around the world will commandeer on-street parking spaces and convert them to temporary parklets. These people-friendly spaces might include plants, seating, bike parking, games, exercise...

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Posted by on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 am   This post has 3 responses.

Ruin Garden at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory – a Must-See?

From my recent stay in Pittsburgh I’ve shown you Randyland, which writer/adventurers Susan Reimer,  Ginny Smith,   Carrie Engel and I stumbled upon while playing hooky from hotel conference rooms. We were on our way to another destination,  installation-art gallery the Mattress Factory, which had been called a “must-see” by keynote speaker...

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Posted by on September 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm   This post has 7 responses.

Garden as Process

Is a particular plant a weed? Is a garden a work of art? And who gets to decide? If you’ve read our recent rantings, you’ve likely noticed these questions do not have simple answers. The answers vary, depending on the gardener. Many gardeners (like me) learn their land slowly....

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Posted by on July 2, 2014 at 3:09 am   This post has 21 responses.

Hot Debate Coming Up: Do Gardens Qualify as Art?

The Royal Hort Society is holding a debate I’d love to hear.  The topic is: “Are Gardens Art?” and get a load of the line-up of debaters — a critic, a designer, a plantsperson and a philosopher: Andrew Wilson (Chair of the debate panel) – Award winning Garden Designer,...

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Posted by on June 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm   This post has 25 responses.

Chagall in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden

For decades,Washingtonians have known about a Marc Chagall mosaic in the back garden of a private residence in Georgetown and have strained to see mere glimpses of it from over the garden wall. Homeowner Evelyn Nef and her husband had been great friends with the Chagalls, who spent summers...

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Posted by on May 23, 2014 at 8:21 am   This post has 3 responses.

A master of botanical accuracy

Just in time for local wildflower season (finally), the Burchfield Penney Art Museum is mounting a show of Charles Burchfield’s early botanical drawings. Along with them, they have the models made by another artist, Paul Marchand, who specialized in dioramas and other 3D displays for the local science museum’s...

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Posted by on May 6, 2014 at 7:07 am   This post has 2 responses.

What Does YOUR Tree Say About YOU?

We are what we eat, right? What we wear says a lot about us, doesn’t it? Basically, everything we put out into the world says something about who we are, and people are reading those cues all of the time. So during this holiday season, I did a thing...

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Posted by on December 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm   This post has 24 responses.

Wildflowers in December

A lot of us gardening addicts think we live in our own little particularized universe, isolated by our allegiance to perennials, seeds, bulbs, vines, compost, mulch, pruners, trowels, and topsoil. Nobody we know cares about gardening as much as we do. I know I feel that way. That’s why,...

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Posted by on December 2, 2013 at 9:05 am   This post has 3 responses.

The Pentagon’s Memorial Landscape

I recently ventured to Virginia to a place I’d never been before – the Pentagon Memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Its design by two young architects had been selected in a heated international competition by a group that included family members of the victims, as...

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Posted by on November 29, 2013 at 11:01 am   This post has 9 responses.

Look at My Big Rock

Not the kind that goes on your finger. We’re talking boulders here, folks. Specifically, one large boulder in the middle of a lawn. What’s up with that? What statement is it making? Is it being displayed as a natural sculpture? Is it being used to add a little textural...

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Posted by on November 20, 2013 at 2:31 am   This post has 25 responses.

Imitation of life

This is the time when the newly emerged hostas look their freshest (“June Frost,” below)—no slug damage, leaves torn by the sprinkler, or other signs of wear yet. It’s also the weekend of our annual art festival, which brings “sunshine artists” from far and wide into my neighborhood. You’d...

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Posted by on June 10, 2013 at 7:46 am   This post has 5 responses.

Drunken Botanist: The Video

Thanks once again to my Hollywood brother for this one, who actually managed to cast an actor to do most of the heavy lifting.

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Posted by on December 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm   This post has 6 responses.
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