Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People

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 […]

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

Climate Change Gardening

One of the virtues of gardening is that it brings its practitioners into intimate contact with natural systems.  As I discovered as a young gardener many years ago, and a practitioner of the “better living through chemistry” school of my craft, you cannot long ignore and abuse the living...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on January 15, 2018 at 10:29 am

Best Gardening Event of Winter? MANTS!

Yesterday I made my yearly pilgrimage to Baltimore to attend MANTS.  the largest nursery trade show in the East – by far. This year there were 900+ vendors in 1,200 booths, and over 10,000 pre-registered attendees. It was a blast for me – getting to see dozens of garden-world...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on January 12, 2018 at 11:14 am

The Little Greenhouse That Could

My first greenhouse was neither big nor fancy. Built in 1980, the 14’ X 32’ hoop house—small by commercial greenhouse standards—became my plant propagation house for the next 15 years. I spent a lot of time in the little greenhouse at Holbrook Farm and Nursery near Mills River, NC....

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening
Posted by on January 11, 2018 at 9:25 am

Niagara Falls is not frozen

And it wasn’t three years ago either, which was the last time this clickbait appeared on Facebook. But it is pretty damn cold, and frozen mist has formed a crust of ice over some parts of the still-flowing water—the thinner Bridal Falls, in particular, really looks frozen, though water...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on January 8, 2018 at 11:30 am

Criminal Charges for Bamboo “Blight” in Yard

From articles in the New York Times and the New London Day I learned that the City of New London, CT has declared overgrowth of bamboo in the yard of resident Carlos Carrion a blight. After failing to pay fines and ignoring orders to cut back the plant, he’s become “one of...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on January 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Too darn cold

After reviewing the situation in my root cellar over the weekend, I decided I better just get all the hyacinths out of there, whether their buds are large enough or not. The temps have been in the single digits for days now, with no relief promised, and the root...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 2, 2018 at 10:04 am

Tulip or Not Tulip – THAT was the Question

There is a soldiers and sailors memorial garden near the center of my small Ohio River town that also pays homage to our local police and firemen. Nobody wanted to leave anybody out. It’s just that kind of town. When we moved here to Utica, IN about 40 years...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 29, 2017 at 8:42 am

Rock me, Kokedama

Most Rant readers are likely familiar with Japanese moss ball plants, or kokedama. I was not, however (or maybe I forgot about them), and when I saw a pre-Christmas email from a local plant store offering kokedama of various sizes for sale, with images, I was there the next...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 28, 2017 at 10:27 am

Plant-Based Icons at the U.S. Botanic Garden

The year-old Museum of African American History and Culture on the grounds of the Washington Monument is still so hard to get tickets for, I’ve only seen the exterior (fabulous!) and the landscape (too new to look like much). But while I’m figuring out how to get inside, at...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on December 25, 2017 at 7:54 am

Is Landscape Fabric EVER Not Horrible?

No holiday post from me – but I bet you’ve seen plenty lately and anyway, this post has been sitting in draft for ages. Because I watch so many gardening videos, I’ve naturally come across a few about landscape fabric, also called weed cloth. Though we associate its use...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on December 22, 2017 at 8:36 am

Season’s greetings from Key West

Where: -You would barely imagine that a category 4-5 hurricane had swept past just a few months previously. -Santa is everywhere, as a culture of white-bearded men has already long been in place and just requires a few seasonal tweaks. -Front gardens are the most creative in the less-moneyed...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 21, 2017 at 9:23 am

A Holiday Aspiration

“Disarming Hearts, Forging Peace” is the motto of RAWtools, and who can argue with that, especially at this holiday season? Taking Judeo-Christian scripture literally, this organization is committed to transforming people-killing weapons into implements of peace.  Send RAWtools a gun and it will re-forge it into gardening tools. This...

Read more in: Ask Dr. Bleedingheart, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on December 18, 2017 at 9:59 am

Progress at Good Gardening Videos

I’ve always loved turning people on to gardening and teaching them to succeed at it – whether by writing, coaching, or local activism. This year tried a new way to teach people gardening – by curating gardening videos on YouTube for accuracy and quality and helping people find them....

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on December 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

The landscaping potential of snow

It’s not 12/21 yet, but winter has officially begun in Western New York; I had gotten my final bulbs in just a few days before the season’s first major snowfall hit on 12/10 (making for a really bizarre football game that day). For the most part snowstorms are no...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

The Best Seed Company in the World

It is time to say good-bye to the wonderful and versatile Jelitto Perennial Seeds—at least in one sense. I’ll be clocking out, for the last time, at the end of the year. I am grateful to my friend Klaus Jelitto for giving me a job 22 years ago. There...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on December 13, 2017 at 7:54 am

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...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Rick Perillo on December 11, 2017 at 7:44 am

Plant-Adjacent Gifts to Myself

My family stopped long-distance gift-giving long ago, so holiday shopping for me could’t be easier – what does Susan want? So last week I bought myself a spanking new bike! Not gardening related, but it does let me tour neighborhoods at the right speed for garden-observing, and at a faster...

Read more in: Grab Bag
Posted by on December 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm

If nature bats last, which inning is it?

The assault on wild places continues. As I wrote about here, two national monuments, both in Utah, are much closer to being (drastically) reduced in size: Bears’ Ears by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante by half. What’s next? I would guess plenty; we’ve already heard that drilling in Alaska’s Arctic...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 5, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Insights from Germany

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a lecture sponsored by the New York Botanical Garden, and it was eye-opening. The speaker was Cassian Schmidt, who since 1998 has been director of Hermannshof, a combination botanical and trial garden situated on six acres of in...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 4, 2017 at 8:13 am