What's Happening

The Obamas’ New Yard

Part 2 of my Garden-Related Thoughts on Inauguration Day is a look-see the Obamas’ home and garden for at least two years while Sasha finishes high school. Enjoy the whole slide show on Cafe Mom, titled: “It’s no White House but Obama’s new $5.3M Mansion is Still Pretty Freakin’ Impressive”. You’ll want to see the […]

Posted by  on January 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm.   This post has no responses.

Canada, o Canada

This is part 1 of my garden-related thoughts on Inauguration Day. If, like millions, you’ve been pining for Trudeau-led Canada, picture this. It’s my friend Linda’s new home on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver, and a view from her deck. She moved there last summer (prescient!) after a two-year legal...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 20, 2017 at 7:00 am

Farmers Dance. Why not Gardeners?

A farmer dancing in his barn is a recent sensation on Youtube and no wonder – he invokes the Let’s Move campaign and his dancing is very cool to watch. But as a kindred spirit and a gardener, my immediate reaction is – Where are the “Dancing Gardeners” on...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on January 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

The Heart and Sole(s) of Horticulture

Over 10,000 nursery folks, greenhouse growers, retailers, landscapers, gardeners, designers, plant brokers, teachers, students, writers and gawkers showed up last week at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), held annually in Baltimore. Anyone interested in a wide selection of seeds of perennials, alpine species, herbs, or ornamental grasses eventually...

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Posted by on January 18, 2017 at 8:58 am

A trendy wish list for 2017

Not having even looked at any of the usual predictions or surveys regarding general gardening behavior, here is my wishful thinking for the coming year: More six-packs, fewer pricey branded pots I am lucky enough to be able to order interesting new cultivars from the yearly sale our botanical...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on January 17, 2017 at 9:34 am

New African American Museum’s Landscape

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, let’s visit the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, located on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The critically praised building is the work of Tanzania-born, London-based architect David Adjaye. I see from his firm’s website that he’s about to...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on January 13, 2017 at 9:49 am

Butterfly weed—why not

Many of you have heard that 2017’s “Perennial Plant of the Year” is Asclepias tuberosa/butterfly weed. It’s not a surprising choice—attention to attracting and supporting pollinators, especially butterflies, especially monarchs, has been peaking for the past few years and shows no sign of declining. A good thing. Normally, I...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on January 11, 2017 at 9:51 am

Robinson Crusoe’s Ten Favorite Perennials

  It’s the dead of winter, and you might be wishing you were stranded—with amenities—on a desert island with Robinson Crusoe. But Robinson Crusoe is not on a desert island. He is stuck in Kentucky. Crusoe is not afraid of cannibals or mutineers, but he is tired of scraping...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on January 9, 2017 at 8:10 am

Bark for the Winter Blues

Guest Post by Bob Hill Somewhere between the January Blahs and a typically mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder – the aptly acronymed SAD – I find comfort in wandering our yard in mid-winter marveling at the upbeat, happy bark offered by our collection of maple trees, especially our...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Bob Hill on January 6, 2017 at 7:10 am

The myth of the plant killer

May 2017 be the year that nobody insists to me that they have a “black thumb.” Except that I know it won’t happen. I was at a small New Year’s Eve party when one of my non-gardening friends asked for advice about an aspidistra (cast iron plant) she’d just...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 4, 2017 at 9:00 am

Goals for a New Year

I have eschewed New Year’s resolutions this year – I typically set myself impossible goals such as moderating my seed purchases and then feel doubly badly about the ensuing order-orgy. But I do have some goals for 2017. I’m going to cap the cost of my seed expenditures by...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Tune In
Posted by on January 2, 2017 at 8:08 am

The Landscapes of McMansion Hell

For making me laugh while I learn, I LOVE the architecture critic Kate Wagner and her highly opinionated blog McMansion Hell. Who could resist her “Pringles Can of Shame ™” award in the photo above? So I recommend McMansion Hell for making me laugh and for educating me with “What the...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on December 30, 2016 at 7:56 am

Dying on the Vine? Part II

Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein, who insists the end is not nigh. Gardeners join together. One of my very favorite quotes came from a supervisor I had many years ago in what seems like a previous life. He said: “It’s not that I want to be an asshole, it’s...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening
Posted by Scott Beuerlein on December 29, 2016 at 7:39 am

Dying on the Vine? Part I

    This is the first of a two-part series on the decline of plant societies and garden clubs. Tomorrow, Scott Beuerlein explains how to dig out of the hole.   Many of us who garden, and who benefit from garden group gatherings, have kept quiet about the decline...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening
Posted by on December 28, 2016 at 7:38 am

At the closing of the year

In our region, the end of the year corresponds rather neatly with the end of the gardening season. Yesterday (Boxing Day), I was texting with a friend who was taking advantage of the freakishly balmy temps to finally getting some bulbs planted I had given him. He wanted to...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on December 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

Garden Flags and Bird Feeders: Failures and Fixes

I’ve complained before about the hassle of bird feeders in my tiny townhouse garden, where the shit-stained baffle isn’t doing the job of keeping squirrels away as these world-class gymnasts simply vault from anything nearby to the feeder. I then complained that hummingbird feeders are too much of a commitment for...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 23, 2016 at 7:14 am

Nothing to be SAD about?

This holiday season, I’m searching for any good news, and this might qualify. Or at least it might save people some money. According to studies conducted by the Journal of Clinical Psychology and the Centers for Disease Control and Production, the condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may...

Read more in: Science Says
Posted by on December 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

BIG Like You Won’t Believe

 Bob Hill has a deal for you. Even in our cell-phone-talking, Kindle-reading, GOOGLE-surfing age, this is the time of year when many of us are dwarfed by the deluge of incoming garden catalogs. In the early years of our marriage, my wife and I debated if we should add...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Bob Hill on December 21, 2016 at 7:41 am

A Better Way With Weeds

I have a love/hate relationship with weeds. Perhaps love is too strong a term, but I do greatly admire the persistence of weeds and the role they play in preserving disturbed soils. Indeed, a number of years ago, I wrote an article for The New York Times Sunday Magazine...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on December 20, 2016 at 8:57 am

How to Recommend Plants with Video

Searching the Internet for good gardening videos for over a year now, I’ve come to lament their dearth in one major category – ornamental plants. Thanks to Extension universities and a few media-savvy experts, there’s plenty of help for new veg-growing gardeners, but if you want to beautify your...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on December 16, 2016 at 8:36 am
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