Guest Rants

The Root of All Goodness

We welcome first time Guest Ranter Bob Hill as he digs deep into the past and tucks away stories for the future. When we first moved into our 1860’s farm house in Southern Indiana about 40 years ago, it came with a leaky tin roof, a wiring system apparently installed by a young Tom Edison, […]

Posted by Bob Hill  on December 7, 2016 at 7:09 am.   This post has one response.

A Belated Goodbye

One of the basic rules of gardens is that if you leave, you don’t return. In this respect, I have found, involvement with a garden is like a love affair.   A crucial part of making a success of the experience is having the clarity to know when it is...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on December 5, 2016 at 9:35 am

New Podcast Discovery: “Still Growing”

I’ve complained about the dearth of gardening podcasts and one of my favorites seems to have even gone dormant. But when I came across three podcasts about this year’s Garden Blogger Fling in Minneapolis, which I actually attended, I had to give a listen, and so discovered probably the...

Read more in: GardenRant Airwaves
Posted by on December 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

Disaster in the Smokies

A national park since 1926, the Great Smokies at times seem overshadowed by the spectacular parks of the west: Zion, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone. In fact, a list I saw of the best national parks only includes one park in the eastern US: Acadia. I visited this park a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on December 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm

For Giving Tuesday, consider Kids Gardening

Today only, donations to Kids Gardening will be doubled, up to $10,000.

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on November 29, 2016 at 8:05 am

On the Industrialization of Gardening

Guest Rant by Sheera Stern, who gardens in Metuchen, NJ As fall segues into winter, we are all relieved that the whine of the gas-powered leaf-blower has finally ceased. (By the way, the electric Ryobi is at a lower decibel, but a higher pitch, and possibly even more annoying,...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Sheera Stern on November 28, 2016 at 10:46 am

Red-Free Holiday Decorations!

Same-old holiday decorations, dominated by your basic Crayola red, give me the bah-humbugs faster than “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on repeat play. So the holiday display that opened yesterday at the U.S. Botanic Garden is a relief and a respite for this perennial Scrooge because red seems to have been...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening
Posted by on November 25, 2016 at 8:47 am

Fresh from the farm? Not always a guarantee.

I love Thanksgiving. I love cooking the meal so much, that, though we’re always invited to friends, I buy a turkey and all the fixings anyway and cook it the next day. The ritual of mixing stuffing, wrangling the slippery bird, adding too much butter to the mashed potatoes,...

Read more in: Eat This, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on November 24, 2016 at 11:00 am

Hostas, Hate, and a Helluva Year

  Guest Ranter Scott Beuerlein inherited 300 hostas from a divorcée many years ago. He doesn’t know the name of a single one. There’s more to life.   I have had a long and tumultuous relationship with hostas. There’s been laughter. Tears. Love. Hate. Arguments on the phone. Drunken...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by on November 23, 2016 at 7:39 am

Cellar Holes

I took a break from leaf clean-up the other day (one of the penalties I pay for my garden’s wonderful woodland site) and took a walk to enjoy the late fall woods. This presents a very different aspect at this season, for with the leaves all down, the interior...

Read more in: Tune In, What's Happening
Posted by on November 21, 2016 at 7:30 am

Sex Talk at the US Botanic Garden

I returned last week to the U.S. Botanic Garden for another lesson in plant morphology, but this one was a bit sexier than the foliage talk I posted about here. This time, Dr. Susan Pell talked flowers and her audience quickly caught on that this talk would be R-rated. Early one...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on November 18, 2016 at 8:05 am

#TBT: Top ten houseplants, according to me

It’s houseplant time, at least in the northerly zones. So it seems like a good time to repeat this post from November 2008. I think I pretty much agree with this list, except maybe the sansevieria and the spathiphyllum, both of which I’ve gotten sick of. And I think...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10
Posted by on November 17, 2016 at 9:32 am

My Tiny Oak Forest

  The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. –Ralph Waldo Emerson I’m not giving into global warming or to Donald Trump. I’m planting acorns. I won’t live to see my oaks grow into a thick forest canopy, but time’s a wasting. Regardless of the president-elect’s head-in-the-sand...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy, Science Says
Posted by on November 16, 2016 at 7:20 am

The bad leaf advice—it’s baaack!

It’s that time of year again—gardeners are getting silly advice from the Wildlife Federation and other nature-centric organizations about why they should try to leave their leaves in place to provide wildlife habitat and “natural mulch.” Many gardening columnists and Facebookers are picking up the NWF’s 2014 “Leave the...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 15, 2016 at 9:50 am

Bulb-Forcing Videos

Forcing spring-blooming bulbs is a popular topic here on the Rant, thanks to Elizabeth, our bulb-forcer extraordinaire. She inspired us at Good Gardening Videos to find videos demonstrating bulb-forcing to recommend to viewers – people like me who learn best by being shown. These 8 videos on the topic have...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on November 12, 2016 at 7:03 pm

“Most Beautiful Bike Trail in the East”

Need some calming images? I sure do, so I’m sharing a few from my glorious visit to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware last week, where I greeted this sunrise. I always rent a bike at the beach, then cruise around slowly, admiring the residential landscaping. But for this visit I took...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on November 11, 2016 at 9:44 am

Aunt Rose’s Garden

The sun rose along the Potomac River on Monday morning and swept across a canopy of bright fall colors. Quickly reaching the huge silver maple, along the fenced property line, then swung straight down the middle of Aunt Rose’s long, narrow Georgetown garden. Nothing momentous had happened overnight. The...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on November 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Don’t forget to vote—and even if your candidate doesn’t win, you can win this book!

      We have a winner! Congrats: Linda Gribko! We posted about All the Presidents’ Gardens when Timber ran a contest to win a trip to DC, but didn’t get into too much detail. It’s a really fun book; it’s also very well-researched by author Marta McDowell and...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on November 8, 2016 at 9:04 am

Stone Moving

“Old School” That is how a man from the local quarry described my methods of lifting and moving stones. I use no machinery more complicated than a pair of wooden timbers – “shears” – lashed together with hemp rope, and a block and tackle or, at most, a “come-along,”...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 7, 2016 at 9:45 am

Marijuana, the Hottest Plant in Horticulture

Have you noticed what’s on the shelves in the gardening section of what’s left of book stores? LOTS of new or newly updated guides to growing marijuana, medical or otherwise. The bookstore-challenged can search “marijuana horticulture” on Amazon and find over 400 titles! Marijuana blogs are also hot, reporting on...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on November 4, 2016 at 8:35 am
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