Land Minds of Botanical Vernacular And The Virtues of IPPS

 Scott Beuerlein returns with another Guest Rant. Unless you’re some kind of freak show superstar brainiac like Paul Cappiello, Bill Barnes, or Win Dunwell, at one time or another you’ve been stressed and humiliated by botanical Latin and horticultural terms. Ever enjoy the mixer at the International Plant Propagators Society meeting (IPPS)? Of course you […]

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on January 17, 2018 at 9:09 am   This post has 2 responses.

Where the Giant Redwoods Roam

We grow many things in Los Angeles; desert agaves, tropical kiwis, tomatoes in November, carrots in January. We like to think we can grow anything, climate be damned. So we plant the treasures of our state, California Redwoods (Sequoia Sempervirens). 240 million years ago redwoods lived through much of...

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Posted by Rick Perillo on December 11, 2017 at 7:44 am   This post has 5 responses.

It’s a Mast Year

Ever heard of a “mast year?” I hadn’t until we moved to our cottage on the Eastern Shore. That was June.  In early September, it started. Artillery fire. Lying in bed in our loft, with no attic to buffer us, it was like the London blitz—except with acorns. The...

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Posted by Sandra Gaffigan on November 14, 2017 at 9:37 am   This post has 5 responses.

Our annual long-range forecast rant

And this time, it’s from a guest ranter, artist/writer Bruce Adams. Though his rant is region-specific, this could apply anywhere. The science of weather forecasting has grown in sophistication over the years. Various forecasters now predict general weather conditions for whole seasons. And the good news is, there’s a...

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Posted by Bruce Adams on November 7, 2017 at 11:17 am   This post has 2 responses.

A Few Timely Points About Growing Trees

I’ve finally gotten around to reading a book called The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. My wife gave it to me as a birthday present a few years ago, hoping it would better inform my drinking. But in a move reminiscent of Jeff Bridge’s version of Rooster Cogburn, I bellowed...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on October 4, 2017 at 8:03 am   This post has 6 responses.

All Maters Matter

Guest Ranter Ralph Haas, and his Kailua Farm partners, had a goal of winning a ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair last week. They had one problem. They couldn’t pull together five red tomatoes between them. Ralph wrote a letter of explanation that was submitted with their fair entry....

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Posted by Ralph Haas on August 23, 2017 at 7:10 am   This post has 5 responses.

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...

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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 12 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 5 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.