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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 […]

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Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 18, 2014 at 8:11 am   This post has 17 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...

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Posted by Amy Campion on April 17, 2014 at 6:15 am   This post has 37 responses.

Behind the Scenes: Making a Video Trailer for a Gardening Book

Though it’s no longer a new idea, it seems odd to me that a gardening book would have a video trailer. How can a video—a very different medium—give a taste of what readers might experience? On the other hand, videos lend drama to their subjects, and though I’d hope...

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 at 3:53 am   This post has 8 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...

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Posted by Megan Cain on April 10, 2014 at 7:30 am   This post has 22 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.

Seen at the garden show

Tis the season. Indeed, many of you have already attended or ignored your local home & garden/garden-only exhibitions, which are timed to capture the attention of property owners as winter fades. Our show happened this past weekend. I used to look forward to this when I was first starting...

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Posted by on March 24, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 18 responses.

The Designer, Post-Makeover, Launches this Week

The smartypants team at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers has something fabulous for us all, and it’s free.  It’s their totally new and stunning digital magazine The Designer, which launches later this week. (But you can subscribe now.)  I got a sneak peak and can attest to the...

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Posted by on March 10, 2014 at 11:00 am   This post has 13 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...

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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...

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Posted by Ruth Kassinger on February 27, 2014 at 8:22 am   This post has 12 responses.

Garden Variety SNARK

I was recently made aware of something that I had no idea about – it was said on an online garden writer’s forum that “The best garden tips are the snarky ones”. WHERE HAVE I BEEN PEOPLE??? If anyone is going to be giving snarky gardening tips, it better...

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Posted by on February 26, 2014 at 1:27 am   This post has 38 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.

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...

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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.

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.
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