Gardening on the Planet

When trees come in handy

In our part of the world (and a lot of other places), the weather news has been simple: pouring rain, day in and day out. It just started to let up over the weekend. Rain is supposed to be good news for gardeners, but you’d never know it from the complaints I’m seeing on Facebook: […]

Posted by  on May 9, 2017 at 8:51 am.   This post has Comments Off on When trees come in handy.

A Taraxacum officinale Grower Reveals Her Secrets

Guest Post by Amy Campion We were getting ready to go to the Hortlandia Plant Sale, when Scott and I saw it. Its blossoms glowed like pure sunshine. “Oh, my God,” I said. “Is that…?” Heather nodded. “Taraxacum officinale,” Scott said breathlessly. I realized then that Heather had been...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Amy Campion on May 7, 2017 at 7:58 am

Meet the New On-Camera Gardening Guru

Laura LeBoutillier was working at her parents’ garden center in Eastern Oregon, and husband Aaron was working at the local cable company. Their lives changed when Aaron bought a new camera that happened to also take video and a relative suggested he use it to make instructional ones with...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on May 5, 2017 at 6:05 am

Quit throwing out the scary stuff: compost it instead!

As I emptied buckets of human waste into a bin filled with red wigglers, the realization hit me: I had reached peak compost. This was it. Eggshells and hair were just gateway drugs. Later I got into the hard stuff: moldy lasagna, spoiled stew, roadkill… And now here I...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Science Says, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by David the Good on May 4, 2017 at 8:00 am

The Run from the Roses

I run from roses until mid-April, when my mood changes, as the Kentucky Derby grows near. The Run for the Roses turns me tenderhearted toward roses. It’s complicated. We have two disease-ravaged and bug-eaten pitiful roses in our garden. I should back up for a second. I’m married to...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening
Posted by on May 3, 2017 at 7:01 am

The Science of Gardening

Despite the cold rain, Saturday April 22nd was a great time to be walking the streets of Washington D.C.  The occasion for my outing was the March for Science, and there were tens of thousands of self-described nerds thronging Constitution Avenue on the approach the Capitol.  Included, besides myself...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Science Says
Posted by on May 1, 2017 at 8:06 am

3 Examples of a Pro-Science Movement in Gardening – Are There More?

The press release below touts a “New Pro-Science Movement in Gardening” based on the popularity of the Garden Professors, the curation project Good Gardening Videos, and the Garden Writers Association’s new science-writing award. Know of any more examples? Or on the contrary, do you know of any blowback from...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on April 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm

I hate being a gardening know-it-all

And the funny thing is that I’m really not. I’m not a master gardener, a CNLP, or any kind of horticultural professional. I’m just a writer/editor who loves to garden, geek out on gardening books, and keep up with new ways of thinking about traditional garden practice. And, yes,...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 25, 2017 at 9:24 am

Olfactory Overload

I’ve been spending more time of late wandering our eight-acre landscape both because after 42 years here I keep finding old plants I too often overlook, and, more important, the chances are very slim I’ll find an aircraft carrier either on its way to Australia or North Korea. Gardening...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on April 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm

The Wrong Way to Teach Eco-Friendly Gardening

I recently attended a “Green Yards and Gardens” talk in my town. The intern giving the talk was more knowledgeable than I expected, but the topics covered were no surprise: natives, invasives, pesticides, composting, and rain barrels, the usual bullet points. Afterward I asked some attendees I knew how...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on April 21, 2017 at 8:05 am

Pollen, Politics and Doomsday Prep

I’ve been a careless victim of too many late nights in my past, but knocking back shots of Bourbon into the wee hours did not redden my eyes this spring. Pollen is the culprit. The warm late winter and early spring brought flowers into bloom earlier than usual. And...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy, Science Says
Posted by on April 19, 2017 at 7:28 am

Garden variety hellebores are still the best

Like many shade gardeners, I am in love with hellebores. They start flowering in March (or earlier) and some stay in bloom right into May. Deer, though not a problem for me, hate them; it’s easy to figure out why—just grab a handful of the plant’s sharp, raspy foliage....

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 18, 2017 at 9:12 am

Starting from Seed

Real gardeners, compulsive gardeners, are up to their elbows in seedlings this time of year.  We (I qualify at least as compulsive) have a number of rationales for starting from seed. To begin with, it’s economical, the only way we can afford all the plants we want.  For the...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig, Uncategorized
Posted by on April 17, 2017 at 8:31 am

Garden Photographer of the Year Winners

A local photography friend sent me a link to the International Garden Photographer of the Year, which bills itself as “the world’s premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography,” now in its 10th year. The competition works with Kew Gardens and the winners are...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on April 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm

The One and Only Poison Ivy Horticulturist

Superman was the most thrilling comic book hero of my boyhood. “Look… Up in the sky…It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman!” I felt better knowing that good would conquer evil—eventually. Now, J.J. Burkman and the “team of horticulturalists-turned-heroes are fighting an evil villain named Heart Root and...

Read more in: Science Says, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on April 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

Sorry, no seeds—or cereal—for me, GM

Full disclosure: I have a relationship with Cheerios. On any given morning, when I step out into the garden, a pleasant smell, kind of like baking, is often lightly wafting through the air. It’s coming from the General Mills plant down at the waterfront. It started making Cheerios as...

Read more in: Feed Me, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on April 11, 2017 at 7:41 am

Eye Candy from a Famous Spanish Designer

In my 40+ years in the DC area, I’ve been invited to very few embassy functions. It was thanks to my garden writing that the Embassy of Spain invited me to a recent event at Dumbarton Oaks – so right there, count me IN, almost no matter the topic. But...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

Garden Redesign: Evaluate Everything and Have No Mercy

Guest Post by Wendy Kiang-Spray Usually, when I look out my kitchen window this time of year, I look forward to the delicate, pale purple-topped baptisia that will delight me for a few short weeks, or peony stems poking through whose stunning flowers I’ll stop daily to admire upon...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 5, 2017 at 7:55 am

Clean water? Fresh air? Unspoiled national parks? Science? Who needs ’em?

After appointing what are essentially bizzaro-world choices to lead the EPA, and other government offices that might affect the natural environment, the current administration has removed key  protections through executive order and plans to get rid of many more through upcoming budget changes. The done deals include allowing coal...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy, Science Says
Posted by on April 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

In the Green

This time of year, when the snowdrops bloom, I always think of Bill Owens.  Bill was a remarkable man:  born in 1905 in the tiny community of Pin Hook, Texas, he was raised in poverty by his widowed mother.  His teaching at a one-room schoolhouse was all from one...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 3, 2017 at 8:53 am
« Previous        |        Next »