Real Gardens

While This Agave Gently Weeps

The agave is weeping because not only are we in a multi-year drought in California, now we are headed for a catastrophe of biblical proportions. EL NIÑO!!!!! (shrieks are heard in the distance) The warm waters in the Pacific will herald in unprecedented winter storms, and all sorts of hell will break loose. Why? Because […]

Posted by  on October 28, 2015 at 3:31 am.   This post has 26 responses.

A houseplant whisperer

Once again, writer Tovah Martin, author of The New Terrarium (reviewed here in 2009), goes where many gardeners fear to tread—within the confines of the average centrally heated American home. This is the threshold that—for many gardeners—forms an impenetrable barrier. “Plant cultivation stops here” may as well be on...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 26, 2015 at 8:00 am

When gardens become reminders of war and tragedy

I have two bones to pick about gardens being destroyed or co-opted to honor the dead.  Yes, I’m going there. First, a national war memorial threatens to destroy an important landscape and second, a garden is used to remind visitors of a local tragedy, a situation that could happen...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on October 23, 2015 at 9:51 am

A Satisfying Stack of Stones

Fresh from a class on dry (mortarless) stacked stone wall building, I am appreciating anew the many contributions of stone to a garden. Of course, I’ve already incorporated two stone patios and a couple of stepping stone paths into my new garden, courtesy of my good friend Jason at...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 21, 2015 at 10:11 am

How I learned to stop worrying and love gardening indoors

At some point, I have to admit that summer is over and last weekend was that point. As I was potting tulips and moving them into the garage, a few strange white flecks (I wouldn’t call them flakes) came drifting down as the sun shone brightly. This weird mixture...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on October 20, 2015 at 9:45 am

First County-Wide Lawn Pesticide Ban Passes

Readers may remember news that the first town in the U.S. had banned lawn pesticides on public and private property, just two years ago, followed by news of the campaign to make the ban countywide (the town being Takoma Park and the county, Montgomery County, Maryland). Well, this month...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on October 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

Scouting for cider apples

If your neighborhood is anything like mine, there are plenty of neglected apple trees, trees planted by optimistic home landscapers and then more or less abandoned when the owners learned that producing blemish-free fruit requires a strict regimen of sprayings.  Blemish-free fruit isn’t necessary for cider-making, of course, and...

Read more in: Drink This, Feed Me
Posted by on October 15, 2015 at 7:02 am

Axis Shrugged for Nostalgia and Fun

  Ogden, Snodgrass and Uebelhart is not a pricey, litigious law firm. O.S.& U. was a garden collaboration, solidly rooted on terra firma, stretched across three continents. The O.S.& U. principals, led by axis-averse Australian garden designer Mel Ogden, are artists, visionaries and seedsmen. Ed Snodgrass is a progressive...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on October 14, 2015 at 7:04 am

Who needs leaf peeping when you have your own arboretum?

“I’m not an environmentalist.” That’s one of the statements I remember from my morning visit to one of Western New York’s foremost tree experts, Thomas Draves, who’s also a certified nursery and landscape professional and attends to the tree needs of clients throughout the area. He’s not an environmentalist,...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 13, 2015 at 9:59 am

Chanticleer – the Garden, the Book, the Launch Party

The highlight of a great week in garden events for me was the book launch party at Chanticleer Garden, hands down, for the chance to see the garden again (my fifth visit, and not my last), and to meet and greet the authors and photographer. Plus, Chanticleer and Timber...

Read more in: Books, Public Gardens
Posted by on October 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

Please Take Care of My Bird

Female rufous hummingbird on hummingbird mint (Agastache rupestris ‘Acapulco Orange’) in my Boise garden My garden right now is a sensory feast. This morning, I cut the peppermint back from the path and hung bundles of it from the covered arbor in which I’m sitting, and its aroma perfumes the...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on October 7, 2015 at 1:52 am

End-of-season stars

As much as I love spring ephemerals, July’s lilium, and other flash-in-the-pan, prettyboy plants, at this time  I take a good, hard look around and pay homage to those stalwarts that are still going strong in early fall. It’s also when I make decisions about which perennials no longer...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on October 6, 2015 at 9:10 am

A Pill Box Hat and the Jackie O Plant

Today’s Guest Rant by Irvin Etienne takes us down memory lane to a happy rediscovery. I recently got back a plant that I killed several years ago. Not THE same plant. Just to be clear. But the same species and cultivar. I had Googled it, of course. It never...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Irvin Etienne on October 5, 2015 at 7:36 am

“Post-Wild” Book Talk and Giveaway

I had the chance to hear a talk about the much-anticipated book Planting in a Post-Wild World by the authors, Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. I know I promised a book review and giveaway today, but having now read the whole book, I’ve decided that it’s so thought-provoking, I want to comment at...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on October 2, 2015 at 7:24 am

Historic Flavors of Fall

Once upon a time, cider-making, not football was the fall preoccupation throughout much of this country.  Wherever apples grew – and thanks to pioneering nurserymen like John Chapman that included much of the Midwest and upper South as well as the Northeast and Pacific Northwest – the fruit was...

Read more in: Drink This, Eat This, Feed Me
Posted by on October 1, 2015 at 7:03 am

The Butterfly Effect

  For weeks, my garden has been ALIVE with the beating of orange wings! I have Gulf Fritillaries coming at me from every corner of my garden – I think the other day I counted more than 20 – and more are emerging from cocoons every day! I am...

Read more in: CRRRITIC, Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens
Posted by on September 30, 2015 at 1:13 am

We get questions

  This was going to be a post about trees, but I just got an email asking me about another topic that is equally on my mind at this time of year. In fact, both in the spring and fall, I am focused on trees and bulbs more than...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on September 29, 2015 at 8:10 am

Fans of Garden Design Magazine

Here I am with everyone’s favorite landscape architect Thomas Rainer before he and Claudia West spoke about their book Planting in a Post-Wild World  yesterday in Oxford, Maryland. (Book review and giveaway coming this Friday). But today’s post is about the new+improved Garden Design Magazine, about which Thomas used these words:...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on September 28, 2015 at 9:18 am

Zinnias for Pollinators!

A recent guest post in defense of butterfly bushes prompted the usual debate (natives v. exotics) but also this wise comment by an avid wildlife gardener: My yard is filled with native flowers, shrubs and trees. However, the surrounding area is not, so giving them something extra that blooms...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on September 25, 2015 at 8:08 am

On the 25th Anniversary of Bold Romantic Gardens

Today’s Guest Rant by Susan Rademacher is a fond reminiscence of garden makers Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Bold Romantic Gardens. After 25 years, I can still recall the boyish enthusiasm that bonded Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme in...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Susan Rademacher on September 24, 2015 at 7:37 am
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