Ministry of Controversy

Goodbye to the creator of a beautiful outlaw garden

He called it the Garden of Eden, but it was more like a 15,000 acre public artwork that happened to grow vegetables and flowers. In the mid-1970s, environmentalist gadfly Adam Purple started creating a large public garden out of several vacant lots near his tenement apartment on New York’s Lower East Side. The garden took […]

Posted by  on September 22, 2015 at 9:22 am.   This post has 4 responses.

Dining in a Field of Slow Flowers

You know those glamorous-looking field-to-table dinners shown in high-end magazines? Well, just take it up a notch, if that’s possible, and you have Field to Vase dinners like the one I got to crash as “press” last week in Gainesville, Virginia. The event was part of a 10-city dinner tour showing...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on September 18, 2015 at 5:53 am

What is a “Good” Garden Photo?

Today’s Guest Rant by famed garden photographer Saxon Holt gives a tantalizing hint of what’s offered in his new e-book Good Garden Photography… and we’re giving away TWO COPIES of the book! See below for details. Good Garden Photography is the first of a series of beautifully produced e-books in...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Saxon Holt on September 16, 2015 at 2:45 am

The politics of decay

I gave up on home composting a few years back after briefly trying a tall tumbler; there was no good place to keep it, and my neglect of it in its obscure location made for poor or minimal results. However, I couldn’t stand the thought of allowing organic waste...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on September 15, 2015 at 8:44 am

How NOT to learn to water your garden

These last many weeks with no rain remind me of my garden-coaching days, when I’d show clients how to hand-water the plants that need it. I’d explain the reasoning behind the amount of water to give each plant – that the root zone needs to be drenched – and...

Read more in: I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV
Posted by on September 11, 2015 at 8:17 am

Way Down Yonder in the Blue Ribbon Pawpaw Patch

Tony Joe White’s Poke Salad Annie couldn’t change my mind about pawpaws. Nor about what deserves recognition as the best native plant song of all time. Nothing against pokeweed, but over the years, I’ve grown partial to pawpaws. Once you’ve found yonder, and a pawpaw patch, there is no...

Read more in: Eat This, It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening
Posted by on September 9, 2015 at 7:44 am

Kudzu, we hardly knew you

“Like most Southern children, I accepted, almost as a matter of faith, that kudzu grew a mile a minute and that its spread was unstoppable.” —Bill Finch, “Legend of the Green Monster” How many millions of acres do you suppose have been eaten by kudzu, the notorious plant predator...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on September 8, 2015 at 7:50 am

Barbara Ellis and her Liberated Country Garden

Barbara Ellis is a garden book editor and author, most recently of the terrific Chesapeake Gardening and Landscaping (from UNC Press, with Atkins Arboretum), and she blogs at Eastern Shore Gardener.  I visited her at her home near Chestertown, Maryland with another beloved garden writer, the horticulturist Ruth Rogers...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on September 4, 2015 at 8:24 am

Solace from the Garden at Night

This week I have been mourning the passing of a friend who lost her battle with cancer. On learning the news yesterday evening, I went out into my garden and sat in the dark for several hours, watching the stars. It was an instinct to go to that haven...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on September 2, 2015 at 1:48 am

So, an artist, a curator, and a designer walk into a garden (part II)

Here’s an update on an interesting front garden concept I introduced last year.  (I promised to follow up!) This project by a local curator, artist, and designer is called Territory of Collaboration. Organic shapes and plants suggested by the artist were combined with the ideas of the designer; another...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on September 1, 2015 at 8:07 am

The Great Butterfly Bush Debate

Guest Rant by Claire Jones Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii, has been widely bashed from garden writers, ecologists, and conservationists. Attacked from all sides by master gardeners and other garden professionals, I am sticking to my guns on the benefits and pleasures of planting it. “An invasive thug that only...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants
Posted by Claire Jones on August 31, 2015 at 10:33 am

Inside the White House Rose Garden “Memory Book”

For the first time ever, the public is able to see a private scrapbook about the Kennedy Rose Garden created by Jackie Kennedy herself in 1966 as a gift to her old friend Bunny Mellon, who helped design the garden. The scrapbook has been scanned, and the 150 or...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on August 28, 2015 at 7:37 am

My Hot and Spicy Adventures, or She’s On Fire!

I HAVE A HEAT TOOTH!!! Not a sweet tooth, a HEAT TOOTH! I love hot peppers. I have been honing my tolerance for heat for a few years now, and at this point I can take a bite out of a habañero and not pass out or vomit. It...

Read more in: Eat This, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 25, 2015 at 11:34 pm

The wild side

At this time of year, I often prefer hiking to gardening. Late summer is my favorite time for the plants that grow wild in the parks and the preserves of Western New York, and the more common they are, the better I like them.  They don’t even have to...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on August 25, 2015 at 8:11 am

Super-Duper Chanticleer Book and Contest

The Book, available next month from Timber Press, is the story of the garden from its very own gardeners. And Chanticleer Garden is a garden that’s designed and managed, not just cared for by gardeners, so they reveal more than pretty images – though Rob Cardillo’s are amazing.  It’s called...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on August 21, 2015 at 8:17 am

Canning for Ultra-Beginners

I’m by no means a whiz in the kitchen, and honestly, I prefer to eat my garden veggies raw when possible. However, they are piling up! This week, I dipped my toe in the water with a couple of refrigerator-canning projects. They turned out to be pretty easy, so...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on August 19, 2015 at 2:25 am

Worth the wait—Girl Waits with Gun

She kills me. As Garden Rant co-founder Amy Stewart moves into longform fiction, she demonstrates again her powers to surprise, entertain, and inform. Stewart’s latest book, Girl Waits with Gun, is a period adventure novel based on a 1914-15 true story—that of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs....

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on August 18, 2015 at 9:14 am

Weeding Meadows and Neil Diboll on CBS

“CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Steve Hartman confesses his addiction to weeding after Neil Diboll helped him create a meadow. Here’s the video and here’s more on the story.

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on August 17, 2015 at 9:23 am

Garden Professors’ Epic Takedown of Consumer Reports

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, co-founder of the game-changing Garden Professors Blog and award-winning author, happened upon a lawn-care article in Consumer Reports and didn’t like what she saw – a mash-up of garden myths and misinformation.  No citations to actual research in sight.  So she posted her review of the article here...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on August 14, 2015 at 7:53 am

On Top of the Daylily World

David Kirchhoff and Mort Morss helped smooth my horrible mood swings with daylilies. I had loved a few daylilies and left them. I once grew an acre of the things in commercial production, in addition to growing a wide selection of perennials and wildflowers. There was nothing extravagant about...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening
Posted by on August 12, 2015 at 6:59 am
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