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Immediacy and the Novice Gardener

by Guest Author Wendy Kiang-Spray I had a great neighbor who has since moved away. The first day we met him, he invited us over for empanadas. He and his wife were perfect neighbors for first-time homeowners to have. Old enough to know the neighborhood stories, young enough to hang out from time to time […]

Read more in: Guest Rants, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 18, 2014 at 8:11 am   This post has 11 responses.

If I had a nickel for every garden cliché I’ve ever heard…

Guest Rant by Amy Campion Like thistles invading a garden, hackneyed phrases have seeded themselves into garden writing and need to be rooted out. They choke out good prose and distract from the message.  What’s more, they really irk me.  If you write about gardening, I beg you to...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Amy Campion on April 17, 2014 at 6:15 am   This post has 36 responses.

Stop Tilling Your Vegetable Garden!

Guest Rant by Megan Cain I get why you till. There’s something in all of us gardeners that leaps with joy when we see a freshly tilled bed. That rich, dark, blank canvas beckons us to come on over and work our vegetable magic. We imagine ourselves gently planting...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Megan Cain on April 10, 2014 at 7:30 am   This post has 13 responses.

Learning my Place from Nature’s Graveyard

by Dr. Amanda Morris Splintered fence. Shattered shrubs. Shredded trunks. And pine needles. Everywhere, pine needles. Destruction with the scent of Christmas. As I made my way into the barely accessible remains of yard, gingerly pulling back heavy pine branches to expose anything left visible, I touched a ripped...

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Posted by Amanda Morris on March 27, 2014 at 7:36 am   This post has 11 responses.

After the Storm, Chores

The nor’easter that roared up the East Coast recently dumped another foot of snow on our part of Upstate New York. I found myself struggling through drifts thigh-high to get to my livestock. Our yearling goat, Tanner, stepped out of her shed into snow up to her neck. Her...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 6, 2014 at 6:14 am   This post has 5 responses.

Down with Leylands!

Below, author Ruth Kassinger summarizes a chapter from her new book, A Garden of Marvels, published this week. Tomorrow we’ll have a book review and giveaway. Lately, with heavy snow here in suburban Maryland, I’ve had to keep an eye on my neighbor’s Leyland cypresses that stand in a...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Ruth Kassinger on February 27, 2014 at 8:22 am   This post has 11 responses.

Beware of the Wronged Coconuts!

Coconut palms are the quintessential symbol of tropical paradise. Spindly, tall trees with large feathery leaves wisp in tropical breezes on tropical beaches of white sand, under blue sky and by turquoise water. Beach in Hawaii with coconut palm tree. (cc) anda (: on Flickr. Up in the crown...

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Posted by Lena Struwe on February 20, 2014 at 7:05 am   This post has 5 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...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 7:15 am   This post has 16 responses.

My Favorite Turfgrass? Sheep Fescue!

Guest post by Thomas Christopher Enhancing biodiversity is fundamental to transforming lawns from the polluted green deserts that they now are into the sustainable, environmentally constructive landscape features we desire.  For that reason, in my plantings I’ve avoided becoming too reliant on any one grass.  Instead, I try to...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform
Posted by Thomas Christopher on February 13, 2014 at 7:42 am   This post has 11 responses.

Succulents are OUT? Oh, No They’re NOT

Guest rant by Debra Lee Baldwin, a rebuttal to Ivette Soler’s rant in which she expressed ennui about succulents and proposed that the plants’ popularity is diminishing. If anyone ought to be sick of succulents, it should be me, having spent a decade studying and photographing them, and twice...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Debra Lee Baldwin on February 11, 2014 at 7:39 am   This post has 25 responses.

Believe it or Not: Rutabaga Souffle

Think of Thanksgiving dishes you most dread and mashed rutabaga probably springs first to mind. What was that vaguely bitter orange stuff Aunt Tilly was so fond of anyway? Outside Minnesota, rutabaga have all the appeal of a dead skunk on the highway. Or do you have to be...

Read more in: Eat This, Guest Rants
Posted by on February 6, 2014 at 8:37 am   This post has 3 responses.

Plants with (Those) Benefits

by Helen Yoest, author of Plants with Benefits The last two things a woman puts on before meeting her date for dinner is a touch of perfume and a smile. We want to be attractive to our evening companion. Even Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, more than 2000...

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Posted by Helen Yoest on February 4, 2014 at 7:46 am   This post has 7 responses.

When good garden writers give bad pruning advice

Yes, ProfessorRoush has not blogged for quite some time.  January has frankly been dismal here in the Flint Hills, and I’ve been leery of planning the return of green and glorious landscapes lest I awaken the wrath of the Winter Gods and precipitate another late April snowstorm. I was rudely roused, however, from...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on February 3, 2014 at 6:39 am   This post has 38 responses.

Celery – Stems, Stalks or Sticks?

Celery is a vegetable and plant that is prominent in American cooking, and infuses both cooked and raw dishes with its very special flavor.  When I arrived in America I couldn’t believe how much celery was added to tuna salads, soups, stews, and on plates with peanut butter.  Back...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by :Lena Struwe on January 31, 2014 at 8:57 am   This post has 7 responses.

A Blogger’s Lament

A productive weekend is behind me.  I’ve re-organized the shed, wired in a new light for the barn cats, planted six five-gallon Itea and marked out the corners for the spring vegetable garden.  There’s a new straw bale encampment for the leftover camellias, a water barrel installed on the...

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Posted by Marianne Willburn on January 30, 2014 at 6:35 am   This post has 23 responses.

Stock Photo’s ID Error Leads to Wrong Mutants Singing the Blues

An article published Jan 6, 2014 in The New York Times (‘Mutant Petunias Sing the Blues’) about some exciting new research on the evolution of blue color of some garden petunias was illustrated with this nice photo: This is not a blue petunia, it is a morning glory. Screen...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Lena Struwe on January 23, 2014 at 8:46 am   This post has 10 responses.

Catching the Runaway Boy Goat

I could begin this story enumerating all the reasons people told us not to buy goats. They’re always trying to escape. They smell. They’ll jump on your car and wreck it. “Goats get up in the morning thinking of new ways to make your life miserable,” said our friend...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by on January 21, 2014 at 7:47 am   This post has 5 responses.

Someone, Please, Turn Up the Lights

Every year, I go to my local flower and garden show and contort my body into weird yoga poses that don’t exist. Why? Well, it’s not because I’m stretching (which would probably be good for my back) but because I’m trying to get a good look at the plants...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by Karen Hugg on January 20, 2014 at 8:36 am   This post has 10 responses.

Batman and Poison Ivy’s Leaves

The weeds and botanical inaccuracies have also entered the world of comics. In 1966, Batman had a new nemesis, Poison Ivy, a botanist turned bad. (Brilliant!, says the botanist and author of this blog.) The poison ivy plant is one of the most obnoxious weeds of North America. Issue...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Lena Struwe on January 16, 2014 at 6:16 am   This post has 8 responses.

Wintering Over in the Garden Center

Business is slow.  This is the reason some garden centers here in Massachusetts close until April, but there is so much to do here before then.  In between selling carts of wood and the occasional orchid or pot of paper whites, while we water what’s left of the rosemary...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by Janet Belding on January 9, 2014 at 6:52 am   This post has 11 responses.
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