Taking Your Gardening Dollar

Assessing my Gloves and Trowels

I began assessing my most vital gardening tools – like gloves and trowels – pre-season, in February. I rounded up all the gloves in my collection and discovered first that they’re super-dirty. Can my favorite cheap gloves (just over $2 a pair) be put in the washer? I’ll be finding out on my next laundry day. But […]

Posted by  on March 24, 2017 at 10:54 am.   This post has no responses.

Me and my Weepers

Guest Post by Bob Hill. I have never fully understood my attraction to weeping plants and I really don’t want to pay some nerdy-looking guy with a psychology degree about $250-an-hour to find out. Truth be told, I’ve spent some time drinking beer and exchanging words like “theorization” and...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 22, 2017 at 9:28 am

How to make your region as garden-crazed as Buffalo

May is the month designated for extra gardening coverage in the magazine I edit, so I’m in the middle of preparing that right now. This year I decided to focus on classes, workshops, and reliable online learning (giving a nod to Susan’s gardening video site). I’m almost done, and...

Read more in: Garden Walk Buffalo, Real Gardens
Posted by on March 21, 2017 at 9:50 am

Turn off the tap for a better garden

I spent the last two weeks in Morocco; as travel is supposed to do, this provided me with a new perspective. Morocco is a semi-arid to arid country. In Fez, where I spent the most time, the wettest month is February, with an average of just 2.8 inches of...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on March 20, 2017 at 11:54 am

My “Welcome to Good Gardening Videos” Video

I finally finished my short video introducing Good Gardening Videos! And “short” was the trickiest thing about making it – I learned it takes longer to make your point in the fewest words. But the video gurus these days are insistent that these things be under a minute so...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on March 20, 2017 at 9:57 am

Movie Theater with a Garden Connection

This is my local movie theater – the Old Greenbelt. It opened in 1937 and has avoided being divided up or worse, turned into condos, because it’s owned by the city and operated as a nonprofit. It’s in the heart of town, a few blocks from my house. The...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on March 17, 2017 at 9:17 am

Destination weddings—and horticulture

That’s the bonus when you get to travel from the icy fastnesses of the Northeast at this time of year. It’s not just warmer; there’s a whole new world of plants that aren’t ever available in Buffalo except—sometimes—as houseplants and annuals. We were recently at a resort in Punta...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on March 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

Saved by The Marx Brothers and Oak Trees

I am not shy about telling friends who voted for Donald Trump that I think the president is a clown. Many of them agree Trump is a clown, too, but they argue that he’s a better clown than the clown I voted for. We try to be civil with...

Read more in: Science Says, What's Happening
Posted by on March 15, 2017 at 7:35 am

Enlightened Lawn Care for Spring

I’m sure you’ve noticed the barrage of ads every spring telling us to “green up” our lawns with fast-acting fertilizer, and don’t forget the pesticides! Sadly, the Internet, where search results are dominated by click-bait sites from dubious sources and even from known quacks, isn’t much better. That makes me...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on March 10, 2017 at 6:56 am

It’s show time!

Tis the season for “Home and Garden” shows throughout the land. There are also the iconic flower/garden shows held in Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and a few other places. I’ve never been to any of these, though I did attend Canada Blooms a couple times; it’s a large and...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on March 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

From Light Shows to Mangroves

Rose and I returned home from Sanibel, Florida, a few weeks ago. I couldn’t stir up a bingo game there but found plenty of other subtropical diversions for old people. I was homesick the whole time but the beach was good to us. Glimpses of spring arrived in Kentucky...

Read more in: Science Says, What's Happening
Posted by on March 8, 2017 at 6:57 am

Challenging Our Assumptions

To be the best gardeners we can be we need to challenge our own assumptions from time to time. Recently, I have been doing just that by reading Emma Marris’ book Rambunctious Garden – Saving Nature in a Post Wild World. In this book, Marris questions the practicality and...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Science Says
Posted by on March 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

Do Orchids Belong in a Sculpture Museum?

Boy, do they ever! At least in the Brutalist bunker that is the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall. The orchid show, a yearly event put on by the Smithsonian and the U.S. Botanic Garden, is described as “colorful time-based installations, constantly changing throughout the exhibition’s four-month run. Visitors are...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on March 3, 2017 at 8:57 am

Finally, they’re coming for the leaf blowers

At least in California. According to an NPR report I heard yesterday (2/28), these will be the biggest ozone polluters in that state—pulling ahead of cars—within three years. Most Rant readers know how much we (at least Susan and I and probably our partners as well) hate these evil...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on March 1, 2017 at 8:00 am

Peter del Tredici Talks about Urban Ecology

Thomas Christopher’s recent post about Peter del Tredici’s Wild Urban Plants of the  Northeast:  A Field Guide prompts me to post this video of his talk for the Cultural Landscape Foundation. Peter was also profiled here on GardenRant after his 2010 talk to the ASLA annual conference.

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on February 28, 2017 at 10:14 am

Best Videos about Planting Trees, Shrubs and Perennials – and Let the Arguing Begin?

“There’s controversy in gardening?” is a question I’m often asked, as if gardening were crafting, I suppose. Rant readers, who can answer that question while citing the hottest topics in gardening today, may be surprised to learn about a new one – soil amendments, good or bad. Yes, despite...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on February 24, 2017 at 8:02 am

Gardening with a purpose

This phrase appears in many recent industry trend reports, but I don’t quite remember what they mean by it. Here’s what I mean by it. For years now, it’s been abundantly clear that the country (and planet) we all garden on is threatened with wide-ranging environmental peril. We all...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on February 21, 2017 at 9:34 am

A New Take on Invasive Plants

I’ve been reading an important book. It’s not new – it was published in 2010 – but it is even more relevant today than when it was fresh off the press. It is Peter Del Tredici’s Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast. Conceived of as a field guide to...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Science Says
Posted by on February 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

Trees are Worth more Dead than Alive (to Wildlife)

Walking around the lake near my house I’ve noticed the preponderance of snags – dead trees left standing, most of them without their tops. Here’s one along the path. Knowing they’re important for wildlife, I was happy to see so many, but it took a bit of googling to...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on February 17, 2017 at 10:13 am

Sweet Land of Liberty, from Salvisa to Sanibel

  Two weeks ago, while stuck at winter’s ugly intersection of “alternative facts” and grays skies, I sat patiently and watched the red light flash green. It dried out, and the sun shone for a day. “I think I can, I think I can,” I began muttering. In a...

Read more in: Science Says, What's Happening
Posted by on February 15, 2017 at 7:46 am