osage oranges

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 under one’s bed or kitchen sink […]

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Posted by Joanna Brichetto on December 7, 2015 at 7:56 am   This post has 16 responses.

Making my peace with poinsettias

As you can  imagine, many of my most passionate rants are years in the past, back when we started. You can only inveigh against lawn culture, shake your fist against Big Chem, or rage about cheap resin statuary so many times. Then there the things I’ve ranted against that...

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Posted by on December 1, 2015 at 9:03 am   This post has 20 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.

Technical fixes coming to GardenRant

You may have noticed GardenRant offline for a while this morning and yesterday, too. Turns out we’d been shut down by our server for having too many spam comments. Yes, we use Akismet to prevent almost all of them from appearing on the site, but we’re told that 300+...

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Posted by on November 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm   This post has Comments Off on Technical fixes coming to GardenRant.

NWF’s terrible, no-good gardening advice goes viral

Somehow, the National Wildlife Federation’s 2014 blog post “Leave the Leaves for Wildlife” has gone viral this year, and not just on the Internet. Its popular chore-relieving advice is being repeated widely on television, too. Unfortunately, this part of the NWF’s advice hasn’t gone viral – the qualifier: A leaf...

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Posted by on November 13, 2015 at 9:23 am   This post has 38 responses.

Understanding Roots

Call me jaded, but it’s rare now that I find a gardening book that makes me understand gardening in a new way.  But this week, just such a book crossed my path.  It’s Understanding Roots by Robert Kourik.  In it, Kourik shares the fruits of his own deep experience...

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 at 11:22 am   This post has 6 responses.

Walnut Hill Book Giveaway

Anyone who’s created a garden over decades and come to love every inch of it understands the origins of this book, the story of a garden. It’s also the story of a family and their collaboration with world-renowned plantsman Kurt Bluemel in transforming two acres near Baltimore into a horticultural masterpiece....

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Posted by on November 3, 2015 at 8:13 am   This post has 71 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 houseplant whisperer

Once again, writer Tovah Martin, author of The New Terrarium (reviewed here in 2009), goes where many gardeners fear to tread—within the confines of the average centrally heated American home. This is the threshold that—for many gardeners—forms an impenetrable barrier. “Plant cultivation stops here” may as well be on...

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Posted by on October 26, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 6 responses.

Chanticleer – the Garden, the Book, the Launch Party

The highlight of a great week in garden events for me was the book launch party at Chanticleer Garden, hands down, for the chance to see the garden again (my fifth visit, and not my last), and to meet and greet the authors and photographer. Plus, Chanticleer and Timber...

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Posted by on October 9, 2015 at 9:46 am   This post has 2 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.

“Post-Wild” Book Talk and Giveaway

I had the chance to hear a talk about the much-anticipated book Planting in a Post-Wild World by the authors, Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. I know I promised a book review and giveaway today, but having now read the whole book, I’ve decided that it’s so thought-provoking, I want to comment at...

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Posted by on October 2, 2015 at 7:24 am   This post has 101 responses.

The Butterfly Effect

  For weeks, my garden has been ALIVE with the beating of orange wings! I have Gulf Fritillaries coming at me from every corner of my garden – I think the other day I counted more than 20 – and more are emerging from cocoons every day! I am...

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 at 1:13 am   This post has 35 responses.

Fans of Garden Design Magazine

Here I am with everyone’s favorite landscape architect Thomas Rainer before he and Claudia West spoke about their book Planting in a Post-Wild World  yesterday in Oxford, Maryland. (Book review and giveaway coming this Friday). But today’s post is about the new+improved Garden Design Magazine, about which Thomas used these words:...

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Posted by on September 28, 2015 at 9:18 am   This post has 10 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.

What is a “Good” Garden Photo?

Today’s Guest Rant by famed garden photographer Saxon Holt gives a tantalizing hint of what’s offered in his new e-book Good Garden Photography… and we’re giving away TWO COPIES of the book! See below for details. Good Garden Photography is the first of a series of beautifully produced e-books in...

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Posted by Saxon Holt on September 16, 2015 at 2:45 am   This post has 41 responses.

The Great Butterfly Bush Debate

Guest Rant by Claire Jones Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii, has been widely bashed from garden writers, ecologists, and conservationists. Attacked from all sides by master gardeners and other garden professionals, I am sticking to my guns on the benefits and pleasures of planting it. “An invasive thug that only...

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Posted by Claire Jones on August 31, 2015 at 10:33 am   This post has 31 responses.

Super-Duper Chanticleer Book and Contest

The Book, available next month from Timber Press, is the story of the garden from its very own gardeners. And Chanticleer Garden is a garden that’s designed and managed, not just cared for by gardeners, so they reveal more than pretty images – though Rob Cardillo’s are amazing.  It’s called...

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Posted by on August 21, 2015 at 8:17 am   This post has 2 responses.

Worth the wait—Girl Waits with Gun

She kills me. As Garden Rant co-founder Amy Stewart moves into longform fiction, she demonstrates again her powers to surprise, entertain, and inform. Stewart’s latest book, Girl Waits with Gun, is a period adventure novel based on a 1914-15 true story—that of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs....

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Posted by on August 18, 2015 at 9:14 am   This post has 3 responses.

Wildflowers on demand

Just stop by one of Jenny Kendler’s seed stations, located at strategic spots on Buffalo’s East Side, as well as other Western New York locations, and grab a pack of seeds. The project, titled Rewilding New York, is intended to reintroduce native plants to the urban center, providing sustenance...

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Posted by on August 11, 2015 at 8:53 am   This post has 4 responses.
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