That Porn on the Patio

Guest Rant by Alan Burke  I was asked a few years ago to put together a landscape design for a historic school in Seattle. Wrapping the bases of the building’s large Corinthian columns with Bears breech (Acanthus mollis), I pointed out to the client that Acanthus was the plant motif used to ornament the column […]

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Posted by Alan Burke on August 2, 2017 at 8:25 am   This post has 3 responses.

When it comes to gardening coverage, think locally!

I can’t remember a time when the Houston Chronicle wasn’t a part of my life.  My parents were faithful subscribers, just as my husband and I have been since we married in 1983.  I was fortunate enough to be a contract employee for a while, working with garden editor...

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Posted by Cindy McMorris Tournier on August 1, 2017 at 9:07 am   This post has 14 responses.

So Beekeepers, You Want to Save the World?

Guest Rant by Helen Yoest I was only six years old when Rachel Carson changed my world. And by all standards, Ms. Carson influenced a generation with her book, Silent Spring. That was some powerful stuff. Since that time, so many of us are engaged in saving everything from birds...

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Posted by Helen Yoest on July 18, 2017 at 10:40 am   This post has 20 responses.

Till Like It’s 1899!

For years I rented rototillers or—more expensively—owned gas tillers of my own. There’s nothing like tearing up a big patch of ground until your hands are so numb and tingly you can barely hoist a glass to celebrate your gardening rampage. Many of us feel like we should cut...

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Posted by David the Good on July 6, 2017 at 8:00 am   This post has 4 responses.

Mort Libby

Scott Beuerlein returns with another Guest Rant and pays tribute to one of the good ones. Somewhere back in the late 80s, I decided I knew more than at least half the landscapers out there and took that as a sign that it was time to start a side...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on July 5, 2017 at 7:58 am   This post has 10 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 10 responses.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

In the Time of the Long Shadows

Fall. A time of the year I love and hate. Love most of the weather. Love the clear blue sky and bright orange autumn leaves. Love the way it makes me want to start nesting. Hate the shorter days. Hate the weather on days that are cold and damp....

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Posted by Irvin Etienne on November 23, 2015 at 8:04 am   This post has 5 responses.

In Defense of the Undefensible

 Today’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein shines a bright light on a maligned tree. The common hackberry deserves some love. Long ago, in the early days of internet gardening chat groups someone started one of those “Best Ten Trees” discussions. I was approaching the apex of my rare-plant geekdom, and...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on November 2, 2015 at 7:35 am   This post has 14 responses.

A Pill Box Hat and the Jackie O Plant

Today’s Guest Rant by Irvin Etienne takes us down memory lane to a happy rediscovery. I recently got back a plant that I killed several years ago. Not THE same plant. Just to be clear. But the same species and cultivar. I had Googled it, of course. It never...

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Posted by Irvin Etienne on October 5, 2015 at 7:36 am   This post has 7 responses.

On the 25th Anniversary of Bold Romantic Gardens

Today’s Guest Rant by Susan Rademacher is a fond reminiscence of garden makers Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Bold Romantic Gardens. After 25 years, I can still recall the boyish enthusiasm that bonded Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme in...

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Posted by Susan Rademacher on September 24, 2015 at 7:37 am   This post has 2 responses.