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The Attack of the Himalayan Blackberry

I’ve almost staunched the bleeding. The crimson crosshatches etched across my forearms don’t sting much, but they look impressive.  I was just practicing some close quarter combat with that tasty rascal of the Pacific Northwest, perhaps our yummiest weed, nature’s barbed wire, your friend and mine: the Himalayan Blackberry! (clap, clap, clap, clap).  This blackberry […]

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 11, 2013 at 7:23 am   This post has 12 responses.

GardenRant now on Facebook

After 7 years online, GardenRant has (finally) joined the throngs on Facebook, where these days you apparently MUST be.   Despite its many irksome practices, I like Facebook myself and find it an easy way to follow relatives, long-lost friends and the media outlets and TV programs I’m addicted to. ...

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Posted by on July 6, 2013 at 8:06 am   This post has 9 responses.

The Rigors of Chiggers

Some of you had cotton balls stuffed in your ears this past month, deafening the sound of droning cicadas.  But relax.  They will be gone soon for another 17 years. Chiggers, meanwhile, are my unwelcome garden guests. The name copperhead sounds menacing, as does black widow, while chigger sounds...

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Posted by on July 4, 2013 at 10:06 am   This post has 9 responses.

Don’t engineers even grow tomatoes?

Guest Rant by Rebecca Caley The tomato plants are so thick and sturdy, nothing can bring them down.  That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.  Never trust a tomato.  Their goal is to reproduce by getting rotten tomatoes on the ground.  They will fight the trellis, the cage,...

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Posted by on July 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm   This post has 54 responses.

The Fortress Look in Deer Fencing

Guest Rant by Wendy Kiang-Spray I mean, I get it…but I don’t really get it. The lawn is meticulously manicured, the stonework beautiful, and within the lovely iron garden gate (topped by an additional 4 feet of deer netting), the lilies are tall and happy, the shrubs lush and...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by on June 28, 2013 at 9:32 am   This post has 36 responses.

No Bad Yards

Guest Rant by Rebecca Sullivan I was just reading Billy Goodnick’s guest post, and I have to confess that by the end of it, I found myself annoyed. What bothered me is something that bothers me about a lot of garden writing, and that’s this element of judgment, that...

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Posted by on June 27, 2013 at 6:24 am   This post has 22 responses.

Good Yard or Bad Yard? Garden Design Pitfalls

“If someone visiting your yard asks, ‘Did you do that on purpose?’ your yard needs help.” That’s the first sentence on page 40 of my book, and one of my favorites. I told the Rant-ettes I wouldn’t abuse my privilege as guest blogger to flog you with flagrant come-ons...

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Posted by on June 20, 2013 at 8:32 am   This post has 24 responses.

A Stump Story

I was stumped. I had been hacking and levering at a small stump for about a paragraph of swearwords. I would have sat down to rest and ponder upon the stump stumping me but the miserable relic was too small and had numerable jutting sawed-off points. I think the...

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Posted by on June 11, 2013 at 11:55 am   This post has 12 responses.

Imitation of life

This is the time when the newly emerged hostas look their freshest (“June Frost,” below)—no slug damage, leaves torn by the sprinkler, or other signs of wear yet. It’s also the weekend of our annual art festival, which brings “sunshine artists” from far and wide into my neighborhood. You’d...

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Posted by on June 10, 2013 at 7:46 am   This post has 5 responses.

Bless All Parks Big and Small

There is a friendly dispute going on about who has the smallest…umm…park. That’s a big deal. In the U.S., Portland’s Mill Ends Park lays claim to the Lilliputian prize (2’ in diameter), but a challenge has come from Prince’s Park (15’ x 30’) in Burntwood, England. “Wait a minute,”...

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Posted by on June 6, 2013 at 8:24 am   This post has 11 responses.

A Passion for Turfgrass, and other Matters of Taste

I’m not thoroughly anti-lawn, unlike some of my Lawn Reform comrades, especially the ones who live in desert climates.  My beefs with turfgrass here on the Wet Coast are that it does virtually nothing for wildlife and that when it’s cared for in a certain way – the Scotts ideal...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens
Posted by on May 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm   This post has 21 responses.

Purple leaves me crabby

Please listen to ProfessorRoush:  you must plan your garden carefully rather than submit to the whims of spontaneous plant purchases and spectacular momentary blooms!  Science suggests that in an infinite number of parallel universes, almost anything can happen. I’m sure, therefore, that somewhere out in the gardening universe, there exists a gardener who plans...

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Posted by on May 27, 2013 at 8:13 am   This post has 30 responses.

Plant Ideas Needed for Biodiverse Lawn

by Lawn  Reform Coalition Member Tom Christopher Like other members of the Lawn Reform Coalition, I believe that the contemporary model of lawn has got to go. It does have its virtues, though we critics tend to overlook them. For example, traditional lawn provides a relatively inexpensive and easy...

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm   This post has 34 responses.

In Defense of Plant Critics

Anne Raver covered the newsworthy topic of Impatiens suffering from Downy Mildew Disease in her usual clear-headed way for the New York Times – or so I thought.   This week they published comments by some dissenters, readers taking offense at Raver’s dissing of their beloved annuals.  Raver had identified...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on May 10, 2013 at 8:23 am   This post has 25 responses.

When Food is Too Convenient for Our Own Good

Michael Pollan and Wendell Berry were in Louisville during the first week of May. They weren’t on the Derby celebrity runway that rainy day at Churchill Downs. That was left to Kid Rock, Smokey Robinson—among the few names I did know—plus dozens more B-list television, music and sports “stars”...

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Posted by on May 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm   This post has 7 responses.

OG Mag on Wildlife-Friendly Gardens: What’s Wrong with this Picture?

As a big fan of Organic Gardening Magazine, I take no pleasure in expressing my shock surprise at seeing this photo illustrating an otherwise wonderful article about growing wildlife-friendly gardens.  The caption on the right says “Orange Boy watches wildlife from the front porch.” I don’t imagine he just...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on May 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm   This post has 46 responses.

Bedding Your Plants

Guest Rant by Geoff Lewis I would like to speak to the curious sport of bedding plants. Bedding plants – you know, big pansies, dwarf marigolds and their ilk. One’s vision is of an orgiastic colour melee: Vast flocks of the vegetative equivalent of Pekinese and/or Schitzu-Poodle crosses (schit-poos)...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on April 30, 2013 at 10:09 am   This post has 11 responses.

The Run for the Roses is Really About Mint

Thousands of red tulips have been planted in the Churchill Downs paddock and winner’s circle for this year’s Kentucky Derby. They were shipped from Holland months ago.  Nearly 500 red roses will arrive from South America a few days before the race (the first Saturday in May) and be...

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Posted by on April 26, 2013 at 8:02 am   This post has 5 responses.

Wild Bee, I think I love you…*

Guest Rant by Will Raap   Honey bees and wild pollinators need your help and need it now. Gardeners know that good pollination makes for better crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and raspberries. And that’s especially true for certain commercial crops like almonds, which need to have 1 million honey...

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Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants
Posted by on April 25, 2013 at 7:26 am   This post has 5 responses.

Capture the lightning

On a recent afternoon, after a day and a half of strenuous garden work, Professor Roush quit working and took a number of photos to convince himself, and all of you, that spring was beginning in Kansas.  I was sidetracked, however, by the quick appearance of a small storm...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on April 12, 2013 at 9:03 am   This post has 6 responses.
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