Real Gardens

Garden Update Five Years On

Since ripping out the turfgrass in my new townhouse garden in 2012, I’m still waiting for the turfless garden to look DONE, like Evelyn Hadden’s new garden seems to have done in barely a season. Here you see the front garden in late May, after the azaleas were done. The evergreens on the outside are […]

Posted by  on July 21, 2017 at 5:27 am.   This post has 2 responses.

Buffalo’s first green roof, ten years later

Buffalo is not landscape architecture central. Aside from a large Olmsted park system (that’s been adulterated in spots), I find many WNY public landscapes uninspired. Private gardens are the thing here; almost 500 of them will be open to the public next week. However, I do have a favorite...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 20, 2017 at 11:14 am

So Beekeepers, You Want to Save the World?

Guest Rant by By Helen Yoest I was only six years old when Rachel Carson changed my world. And by all standards, Ms. Carson influenced a generation with her book, Silent Spring. That was some powerful stuff. Since that time, so many of us are engaged in saving everything from...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants
Posted by Helen Yoest on July 18, 2017 at 10:40 am

What is “cute”?

The other day, a visiting friend gasped when he saw a rat run across a corner of the suburban Connecticut yard where I garden during the week.  I shuddered when he told me.  I could guess what had drawn the creature:  we have a henhouse full of geriatric chickens...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 17, 2017 at 10:43 am

The Success of Mississippi State’s “Southern Gardening”

These days I follow dozens of gardening channels on Youtube, especially those of Extension universities, where there are hundreds of good veg-growing videos are to be found. Except for the topic of turfgrass, videos about ornamentals are a lot less common. So naturally I noticed this guy – Gary...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on July 14, 2017 at 10:00 am

The Garden and Nursery Boat

I stared out my elementary school window for years, bored out of my skull, determined to forsake fractions for adventure. The Ohio River, my escape route, was a few miles away. My curiosity for the river life was inspired by Huckleberry Finn and amplified years later by Harlan Hubbard’s...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

Garden Bloggers take DC (area)

First, it must be stressed that I am not a good tour taker. I love looking at gardens, but I can enjoy a smaller garden pretty quickly, and then I’m done. I’m better in big public gardens, where you can keep moving and there’s always something different around the...

Read more in: Public Gardens, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 11, 2017 at 10:28 am

I’m a City Center Gardener

People in my town routinely pass this garden spot as they walk from the parking lot to the town center (appropriately named Roosevelt Center, since the town was built as a New Deal works and housing project). But walk a few more steps and just before reaching the Center you...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 7, 2017 at 7:37 am

Till Like It’s 1899!

For years I rented rototillers or—more expensively—owned gas tillers of my own. There’s nothing like tearing up a big patch of ground until your hands are so numb and tingly you can barely hoist a glass to celebrate your gardening rampage. Many of us feel like we should cut...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by David the Good on July 6, 2017 at 8:00 am

Mort Libby

Scott Beuerlein returns with another Guest Rant and pays tribute to one of the good ones. Somewhere back in the late 80s, I decided I knew more than at least half the landscapers out there and took that as a sign that it was time to start a side...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Scott Beuerlein on July 5, 2017 at 7:58 am

Editing for Autumn

I’ve been spending a good deal of time recently at Wave Hill, the 28-acre horticultural paradise in the Bronx – I’ve been asked to write a book about its garden art.  Wave Hill is famous for many things:  its matchless collection of exquisite plants, its daring color combinations, and...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on July 3, 2017 at 9:07 am

joe gardener Goes Live!

For months I’d been dying to set my eyes on Joe Lamp’ls new website joegardener.com, hoping for a lot. It launched last week and at the risk of gushing, it includes everything a how-to-garden site should have and some stuff I didn’t think of. In Joe’s words to me...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on June 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Perfect Prairie Meadow? More like Field of Broken Dreams

My lust for the perfect prairie meadow show – aided and abated, of course, with the need for a new septic system – began with the lacy-pink flowers of Queen-of-the-Prairie, or Filipendula rubra. I had not seen The Native Queen in all her glory until purchasing our history-worn Hoosier...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on June 28, 2017 at 7:32 am

Keep the cats inside

This was to be a post touting the glorious weekend I had exploring the DC area with fellow garden bloggers. But, while I was away, I received news that a nest of birds we’d been hosting has possibly fallen prey to one of the many free-roaming/feral cats that plague...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on June 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

Testing Pollinator Plants at Penn State

Just in time for National Pollinator Week, my Garden Writers region planned a fabulous outing for members – to see the Penn State Trial Gardens near York, PA, especially their trials for pollinator plants. The goal is “to evaluate native species and their cultivars for attractiveness to pollinators and suitability for...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on June 23, 2017 at 6:50 am

Wildlife Encounters

I’ve posted before on this blog about the attraction of wildlife tracking in the garden.  Garden wildlife, I noted then, reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then typically leave without communicating about what they have been up to or what their plans are. Reading...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on June 19, 2017 at 9:30 am

Flingers, First Trip to DC?

Gardening get-togethers like the Garden Blogger Fling and Garden Writer events are the best possible ways to see great private gardens, and the Fling attendees coming to the Washington, D.C. area next weekend will see lots of them. But like Elizabeth, when I visit a city that’s new to me...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on June 16, 2017 at 8:45 am

A Gardening Education: Alberta and Omer

  While I wait for my first social security check to arrive later this month, I have been thinking about two crucial mentors. Alberta Coleman and Omer Barber fostered my gardening career. They were as different as a peony and a prickly pear. I volunteered to work with Alberta...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 14, 2017 at 7:22 am

Ask not for whom the lily beetle tolls

Finally, they’re here. For at least 5 years, now, I have been hearing tales of destruction and dire prophecies from friends and garden visitors who live to the east and northeast of Buffalo. “Do you have the lily beetle yet? They’re everywhere in (Rochester/New England/Ithaca, etc.). I don’t grow...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on June 13, 2017 at 10:16 am

Winning Writers and Gardeners at the American Hort Society

Last night the American Horticultural Society held its annual awards gala at its headquarters (above, an estate formerly owned by the Geo. Washington family) on the shores of the Potomac in Alexandria, VA. I was there, along with two GardenRant award-winners an assortment of movers and shakers in the plant world....

Read more in: Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on June 9, 2017 at 7:57 am