Science Says, What's Happening

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 manic burst, I dug three small […]

Posted by  on February 15, 2017 at 7:46 am.   This post has 8 responses.

Stop with the ugly evergreens

Why do so many landscapers think evergreens are an absolute must in cold climates? Aside from healthy mature trees and tree farms that I see on drives, most of the evergreen plantings I see around me in Western New York fail for a variety of reasons. Brown/mostly brown/somewhat brown...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on February 14, 2017 at 9:13 am

PlantPOP Wants to Film your Story

In a recent post I recommended some videos by the very cool “horticultural film studio” PlantPOP (also on Youtube) and promised more about them soon. One phone call later, here ya go. To me it’s a fascinating story of art meets commerce. Art Parkerson grew up in the Tidewater region...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on February 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Beauty and the Beasts

  Paul Hetzler has an ax to grind. “Tree topping is a subject I can really get worked up about. It’s unprofessional, unsightly, outrageous, unethical, dangerous, and I even suspect it causes more frequent rainy weekends and bad-hair days.” Hetzler is the natural resources and horticulture specialist with Cornell...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on February 8, 2017 at 7:12 am

Management, Not Maintenance

Last Monday I went to Plantorama at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a sort of jobs fair, symposium and reunion all rolled into one that is a must for any horticulturist in the New York area in January. Serious gardeners – whether novices or veterans — are also, of course,...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on February 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

Designer Puts Tallamy’s Advice into Practice

New England-area garden designer Matthew Cunningham will be speaking in Silver Spring, Maryland for the local chapter of APLD on Saturday February 11 from 10 to noon. His topic: “Stone, Wood, & Metal in Landscape Design.” (Reserve a spot here.) To bring attention to his talk, we were offered...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on February 3, 2017 at 8:39 am

Garden Videos can Teach or Distract

The February update from Good Gardening Videos starts with the news, then recommends 16 new or newly-discovered videos. Some have no point other than to entertain – so we thank them for the distraction. NEWS: GGVideos Welcomes Nonprofit Supporters The missions of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and Kids...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on February 1, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Stick to gardening

Life is messy. I think we can all agree. You’d like to keep all the separate activities—professional life, family, hobbies, friends, travel, politics—in their little boxes, but it’s never easy. Things run together, things collide, especially in the age of social media. I look at my Facebook posts from...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on January 31, 2017 at 10:07 am

A Fond Farewell to Evelyn Hadden

After three years as a regular GardenRanter, Evelyn Hadden has retired from blogging to concentrate on her music. Her last post was in October but in hopes that she’d change her mind, none of us announced it, or thanked her for her many wonderful posts, which we know readers...

Read more in: Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on January 27, 2017 at 7:26 am

Polar or Bi-Polar? An Honest Assessment of the Winter Garden

     Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein I am a charlatan and a fraud. Maybe they’re the same thing. I don’t even know. But whatever that thing is, I don’t like it. And “it” is me. And I couldn’t be more disgusted with myself. For years, in talks, articles,...

Read more in: Guest Rants, What's Happening
Posted by Scott Beuerlein on January 25, 2017 at 7:39 am

Just the facts

Alternative facts, that is. If there is any group of people that has learned to accept unpleasant realities—often brought on by natural forces—that group is gardeners. So I’m happy to know that I can devise, twist, and present my own version of gardening facts. Now is the time, before...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

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’...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on January 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm

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...

Read more in: What's Happening
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
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