It would be nice to see these again.

What I want in 2014

  Pardon the delay in my 2014 wish list. Here it is with one caveat—it’s really more of an impossible dream list. No more bug-of-the-months. There have been way too many overwrought scares about pests. Pests will always be with us. Rather than freak-out attacks on bugs like the emerald ash borer, I’d rather see […]

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Posted by on February 18, 2014 at 7:56 am   This post has 26 responses.

It’s Valentine’s Day. Do You Know Where Your Roses Came From?

Guest Rant by Debra Prinzing Earlier this week, Libby Francis-Baxter, owner of The Modest Florist in Baltimore, made headlines in the local media by announcing her plans for a rose-free Valentine’s Day. “I don’t support outsourcing flower production to South and Central America at the expense of our own...

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Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 7:15 am   This post has 16 responses.

Hey, Pantone! Roy G. Biv called; he wants his rainbow back.

Color trending is silly by definition, but it’s a way to make a living. I have followed Pantone’s (and Color Marketing Group’s) successive “colors of the year” for over a decade now. Every year, a color—with maybe a secondary color—is picked, and then touted among home design and fashion...

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Posted by on January 6, 2014 at 7:54 am   This post has 17 responses.

Evil, Frivolous Gardener!!!

I am ruining the world. Because I like pretty plants. Because I practice the dubious art of ornamental gardening. Yes – I admit it. I have planted non-native exotic species in my garden. I have planted them in gardens of others. I am one of those thoughtless, arrogant gardeners...

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Posted by on November 27, 2013 at 1:07 am   This post has 149 responses.

Fall Color Marred by Cleavage

Guest Rant by Wendy Kiang-Spray I am not an arborist.  Nor am I a landscape architect, city planner, neighborhood developer, or anything of the sort. This is why I’m so confused about the planting of large trees under phone and power lines.  Throughout my neighborhood, these trees grow so...

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Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on November 7, 2013 at 8:10 am   This post has 13 responses.

Scary House

Since we don’t know each other very well, I am going to start my association with the venerable Garden Rant with a confession. My house is the “Scary House” It wasn’t ALWAYS like that. My garden was gorgeous! It’s been in magazines and books! My garden was in Martha...

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Posted by on October 30, 2013 at 1:20 am   This post has 65 responses.

The perils of giving and receiving garden criticism

I can’t get this provocative post by Anne Wareham out of my  mind.  (It’s on the U.K.’s Think in Gardens – highly recommended!)  It seems that a well-known gardener was shocked to read criticism of her garden, which criticism was so well known that Anne was shocked that the...

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Posted by on October 18, 2013 at 9:18 am   This post has 36 responses.

Garden Design Mag is Back and Totally Different!

Once a fan of Garden Design Magazine, I came to dislike it enough to ask for my unused subscription money back after it changed its target audience to the rich and beautiful people of Southern California, with their $1,000 patio chairs and al fresco dinner parties.  So I wasn’t...

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Posted by on October 11, 2013 at 10:31 am   This post has 18 responses.

The “Queen of Green”? You be the Judge

Cheap-shot alert!  Because yes, we’re all sent cheesey emails from publicists that could be posted here for a laugh.  So we resist-resist-resist until along comes one that makes me say HOLD ON, I can’t stand it any longer; this one MUST BE MOCKED. I’ll used italics to highlight the...

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Posted by on September 27, 2013 at 7:08 am   This post has 34 responses.

Late season observations

Double lilies I’m sold. I first posted images of these here last month, when they had already been blooming for a week or so. Well, they’re still blooming and I can envision at least a week more. That’s 5-6 weeks of flowering and scent from a lily plant—enough for...

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Posted by on September 9, 2013 at 7:45 am   This post has 8 responses.

Adventures in Gardening? Define “Adventure.”

  I got a press release this morning from the people at the UK-based After5.TV advertising a new show called “Adventures in Gardening” that will air online for a fee.  You get “10 Action-Packed Episodes” for $31. The show is hosted by Tony Buckland, a garden expert and popular...

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Posted by on August 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm   This post has 2 responses.

A Passion for Turfgrass, and other Matters of Taste

I’m not thoroughly anti-lawn, unlike some of my Lawn Reform comrades, especially the ones who live in desert climates.  My beefs with turfgrass here on the Wet Coast are that it does virtually nothing for wildlife and that when it’s cared for in a certain way – the Scotts ideal...

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Posted by on May 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm   This post has 21 responses.

In Defense of Plant Critics

Anne Raver covered the newsworthy topic of Impatiens suffering from Downy Mildew Disease in her usual clear-headed way for the New York Times – or so I thought.   This week they published comments by some dissenters, readers taking offense at Raver’s dissing of their beloved annuals.  Raver had identified...

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Posted by on May 10, 2013 at 8:23 am   This post has 25 responses.

OG Mag on Wildlife-Friendly Gardens: What’s Wrong with this Picture?

As a big fan of Organic Gardening Magazine, I take no pleasure in expressing my shock surprise at seeing this photo illustrating an otherwise wonderful article about growing wildlife-friendly gardens.  The caption on the right says “Orange Boy watches wildlife from the front porch.” I don’t imagine he just...

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm   This post has 46 responses.

Blossom-less FDR Memorial delights. MLK Memorial just looks sad.

The memorial to FDR has been a local favorite since it opened in 1997, and yesterday it was the first stop on my cherry blossom tour via bicycle.  (You can get your own bike there via subway or rent one when you get downtown.)  But like thousands of other...

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Posted by on April 5, 2013 at 8:26 am   This post has 15 responses.

Unsurprising, but still sad

A few years ago, I was offered about ten years worth of Garden Design magazines if I paid for the postage to get them to me. The two boxes came and I put them in a closet, intending at some point to unpack and shelve them somewhere I could...

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Posted by on February 12, 2013 at 7:33 am   This post has 29 responses.

Love Downton, but Where are the Gardens?

Guest Rant by Layanee DeMerchant I confess; I’m caught up in the romance and intrigue of the PBS series, “Downton Abbey.” I’m enjoying the fashion, the opulence and the stunning backdrop of a castle, on top of the great acting and the fascinating changes going on in British society...

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Posted by on January 19, 2013 at 8:43 am   This post has 52 responses.

Here’s someone who hasn’t lost his edge

Did you see the Renegade Gardener’s 2012 High Spot/Black Spot awards? I don’t always catch these, but Renegade Gardener Don Engebretson (award-winning Minnesota garden writer and designer) is recently a Facebook friend and that made it easier. There was much to love in this year’s batch of awards, but...

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Posted by on January 7, 2013 at 8:00 am   This post has 11 responses.

Was Frederick Law Olmsted a Conservation Leader?

On a visit to the nearby Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge, I stopped to read the signage about America’s “Conservation Leaders” and was surprised to see Frederick Law Olmsted right there, with Audubon, Thoreau, Jacques Cousteau and Morris Udall.  The sign described his work pioneering Yosemite Valley before it became...

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Posted by on December 28, 2012 at 9:46 am   This post has 15 responses.

NYT on “Wild Life of American Cities”

A New York Times Magazine article titled “Bloom Town: The Wild Life of American Cities” got my attention and that of several Rant readers, who wrote to me about it.  And no wonder – it appears to be about a subject we’ve written about here over the years, and...

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm   This post has 8 responses.
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