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Stellaaaaa!

Sometimes even ProfessorRoush tires of his opinions, his interminable rants about disease or weeds or flower color or poor performance that keep him from enjoying the garden.  Is it really necessary to constantly pontificate about whether this rose is better than that one, or how one grass is a thug, sprawling over everything in its vicinity, […]

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

Don’t go see “A Little Chaos” for the gardens

A movie about the gardens of Versailles starring Kate Winslet opens today! Imagine my excitement when one of the many publicists who contacted me about it invited me to a free screening. It’s titled A Little Chaos and here’s the synopsis: “A romantic drama following Sabine, a talented landscape designer, who is...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on June 26, 2015 at 7:54 am   This post has 23 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.

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.

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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Read related articles in: CRRRITIC, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 11:00 pm   This post has 63 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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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 7:46 am   This post has 19 responses.

The Monsters Among Us

Happy Halloween. I hope to really scare you. Because there ARE monsters. There are things that are truly frightening in our world, and we gardeners are on the front lines, either fighting these forces of evil, or being victimized by them. OR, we stand by and do nothing… and...

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Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm   This post has 76 responses.

The good and the bad from the Brits

Many of us have a love/hate affair with gardening advice and essays that come from across the Atlantic.  There is always love, of course, for this mothership of great estate gardens, internationally known garden events, and giants of gardening design and literature like  Gertrude Jekyll, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Pearson,...

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Posted by on September 8, 2014 at 8:45 am   This post has 6 responses.

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...

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Posted by on August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am   This post has 12 responses.

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...

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Posted by on August 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm   This post has 40 responses.

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...

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Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm   This post has 112 responses.

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...

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Posted by on July 28, 2014 at 7:52 am   This post has 10 responses.

One size fits all?

What do St. Cloud, Minnesota and Westerly, Rhode Island have in common? Westerly is a seaside community in southern Rhode Island; St Cloud lies in central Minnesota and is bisected by the Mississippi river. Summers and winters are more moderate in Westerly; winter temperatures fall to greater depths in...

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Posted by on July 21, 2014 at 9:07 am   This post has 17 responses.

Advice from others

Here’s more news from the gardening tips for newbies front. Huffington Post published a piece from Hometalk yesterday that offers the “9 best gardening tips for beginners.” I liked it OK—particularly the emphasis on good soil and organics—but couldn’t go along with some of the directives, which seemed chosen...

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Posted by on July 8, 2014 at 7:57 am   This post has 12 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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Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 2, 2014 at 3:09 am   This post has 21 responses.

They asked for it!

A few weeks ago, the Ranters were asked by Time.com’s Money publication to supply a list of good and bad ways to spend money in the garden. I’ll be honest; I usually hate this kind of crap. However, this time, the writer, Brad Tuttle, did a fantastic job. He...

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Posted by on June 26, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 6 responses.

The enigma of Olmsted

Home tomorrow night? You can catch the newest documentary on Frederick Law Olmsted on PBS. Entitled Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, this is a basic overview of the seminal landscape architect’s career, starting with Central Park and ending with his final projects in Massachusetts and North Carolina. We’ve discussed...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 19, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 10 responses.

Boxwoods? Bah!

ProfessorRoush would like to call down a pox on all garden authorities who have advocated various winter hardy boxwoods to be excellent landscaping plants. A further pox should descend on the big box stores who sell the cheapest boxwoods available and thus limit the selection of available cultivars to us. Boxwoods are everywhere these days....

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 at 8:18 am   This post has 39 responses.

Hellstrip Gardening Highlights and Give-away

How could I NOT love Hellstrip Gardening?  The subject is fun and inspiring, and I’m a long-time fan of the author, too – the Rant’s own Evelyn Hadden  (whose earlier book about Beautiful No-Mow Lawns I reviewed here.) But this isn’t a “review.”  (They’re usually so boring!)  Instead, I...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Lawn Reform, Uncategorized
Posted by on April 25, 2014 at 9:09 am   This post has 94 responses.
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