Unusually Clever People, Watch Someone Else Do It

Alexandra Campbell on YouTube Gardening in England

Award-winning English writer Alexandra Campbell, recently described what she calls YouTube Gardening in this post  on her blog The Middlesized Garden. Like me, she complains about there not being enough good gardening videos for her readers – even there in a lively gardening culture like England’s! She wrote that “the YouTube gardening scene currently seems dominated […]

Posted by  on February 23, 2018 at 1:10 pm.   This post has 5 responses.

Starting over with the terrarium

I have always looked at plant failure as an opportunity, but I held out against replanting my terrarium for months. It looked … ok. At first, the fact that one of the succulent varieties was pretty much taking over the thing was fine. But eventually I had to recognize...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on February 22, 2018 at 11:01 am

What Katharine White Might Think of Today’s Catalogs

Onward and Upward in the Garden by Katherine S. White is often recommended as the prima book about gardening. Readers seeking to grow the perfect zinnia or tomato might be disappointed; there’s not a lot of information about how to grow things successfully, or what it feels like to be...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by Constance Casey on February 21, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Saving Seeds for Biodiversity

It’s called the ‘Mostoller Wild Goose’ bean.  Sarah Mostoller found the first seeds in the crop of a wild goose that her son had shot in a mill race in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in 1865.  Sarah planted the rescued beans the following spring and found them to be a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Science Says
Posted by on February 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm

To a Honey Bee, there’s No Such Thing as an Insignificant Flower

By Helen Yoest, with this author’s note: For my native advocate friends, this post is specific for plants’ nectar and pollen value to the introduced European honey bee. Most of their best pollen and nectar plants are native to countries where these bees are native.  What do you value in a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by Helen Yoest on February 19, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Obama with Flowers

I’d seen the new Obama portraits all over the media, so yesterday I subwayed down to the National Portrait Gallery to see them in person. The president’s portrait, on the second floor in the president’s gallery, I found so real, so intense, so HIM, it was hard to pull...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on February 15, 2018 at 7:09 pm

A minor rant and a big rave

Flowers have left the building, as far as the Olympics are concerned. In Rio (2016), medalists were given little sculptures made of resin, polyresin, and PVC, because flowers were “not sustainable.” And this year, in Pyeongchang, the athletes are waving little stuffed animals (tigers) from the podium. There are...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on February 15, 2018 at 9:24 am

The Power of the Sun: Truth or Consequences

I retired from Jelitto Perennial Seeds last month, and it’s been cold and gray in Kentucky ever since. I’m itching for spring. I have to be picky about my newfound spare time. I’m poring over seed and plant catalogs—a fun winter ritual—and I don’t want to be tangled up...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on February 14, 2018 at 7:28 am

What Happens when a Rain Garden isn’t Weeded

I love this rain garden in my neighborhood, on land owned by my co-op, even as it’s changed over the years. There once were many more types of plants here, though without a plant list I can’t name them. Here’s the only sign at the garden, an old, weathered...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens
Posted by on February 8, 2018 at 2:04 pm

Hanauma Bay to Petropolis

Sorry to be late with winter coping tips, but I’ve got two ideas that might be worth mentioning. If you’re at your wit’s end of winter, try to find a sunny and warm place to snorkel (preferably in the tropics), or go to a local tropical fish store. My...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on February 7, 2018 at 9:08 am

Planting natives along the gorge

Niagara Falls is cool, but it’s a cheap thrill compared with the equally spectacular six-mile gorge that its river has created. You can spend a whole day walking along the gorge, which is up to 200 feet deep; you’ll see tumbling rapids and clashing waves, dramatic rock formations, and...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on February 6, 2018 at 9:51 am

Pining for Conifers in Winter

My townhouse garden doesn’t yield much in the way of evergreen trimmings for the holidays. So to cover these pots that hold coleus all season I snatched some juniper clippings from a nearby garden I adopted. The juniper parts still look good three months after they were cut, I’m happy...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on February 1, 2018 at 7:29 pm

There may be an app for that, but I’m not sure I care

Mid-winter is generally a time for trend predicting, seed talk, and other speculative matter in the gardening press. Much of the country is still huddled around the fire, so there’s not much call for cultivation or maintenance advice. Pity the poor garden columnist at this time. If it were...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on February 1, 2018 at 11:11 am

The SAD Pursuit of Inner Happiness

Current politics notwithstanding, I again deal in late winter with a mild case of SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – that sluggish, depressed feeling that winter has already lasted 15 months, why should anyone have to get out of bed before noon and why is it I can’t even...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 29, 2018 at 8:39 am

From Mt. Cuba – Best Natives you can Actually Buy

Typically, growers in the hort industry fund plant trials (like the ones at Penn State I visited last year) to find out from actual research which plants they should put into production and then market like crazy. But homeowners need trials of plants that are already on the market...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on January 25, 2018 at 6:35 pm


Two weeks ago I stood in the checkout line at Louisville’s Whole Foods. Sleet, freezing rain and snow were predicted for the next day. (I knew ahead of time that I would have to pay a price for spending ten warm and sun-drenched days in tropical Hawaii.) The forecast...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on January 24, 2018 at 8:01 am

Hygge and houseplants

On a whim, I googled the two words, and, as expected, houseplants are included in the lifestyle instructions issued by the hygge movement. I wouldn’t be insulting readers by assuming they don’t know what this Danish word means because there is no good English translation, but I am sure...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 23, 2018 at 9:24 am

Possible Trump Bump for HGTV

A Twitter-following friend alerted me to the hashtag “WatchHGTVinstead” started by a David Hoffman. The purpose is to deny Trump high ratings for his State of the Union performance in the most effective way possible – by tuning in to another channel, especially one in particular. Responders argued over how...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on January 19, 2018 at 9:05 am

Year of the Bird

Hell, yeah. As a rule, I’m not really a fan of designated days, weeks, and months. According to incoming press releases, every month seems to be devoted to some kind of disease, which is kind of depressing (though if it brings in money, fine). And it’s pretty easy—frighteningly so—to...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on January 18, 2018 at 10:46 am

Land Mines 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...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People
Posted by Scott Beuerlein on January 17, 2018 at 9:09 am
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