What's Happening

Partying with the Friends House Gardeners

GardenRant has a core of engaged readers who comment on our posts (and we thank you!) but the other 2,000 or so daily readers are unknown to us. So it was a nice surprise to be contacted out of the blue by Rant reader Lucille Ridlon, inviting me to a garden party to be thrown […]

Posted by  on September 12, 2014 at 7:50 am.   This post has 7 responses.

No Thanks to Flaming Autumn

Guest Rant by Jane Scorer I know what is just around the corner… I can guess what I will be reading about, any time soon…the joys of the autumn and winter garden, that’s what. There will be pages about flaming autumn colour, and we will be encouraged to buy...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Jane Scorer on September 11, 2014 at 7:19 am

Driving Alaska with My Three Miss Daisies

  Bears loomed large last month in Alaska, but there was more danger lurking for a scrapulation.* Close quarters and too much family togetherness always make for a menacing vacation threat. Rose, my daughter Molly, granddaughter Story and I spent ten days driving around south central Alaska. I’m happy...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on September 10, 2014 at 5:37 am

The good and the bad from the Brits

Many of us have a love/hate affair with gardening advice and essays that come from across the Atlantic.  There is always love, of course, for this mothership of great estate gardens, internationally known garden events, and giants of gardening design and literature like  Gertrude Jekyll, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Pearson,...

Read more in: Books, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on September 8, 2014 at 8:45 am

Support this Lawn-to-Prairie Make-Over

Friend-of-Rant Benjamin Vogt wrote to tell me about his exciting new project on Indiegogo -ripping out his front lawn and replacing it with a wildlife garden that he’ll use to spread the word about how beautiful wildlife and native-plant gardens can be – even in front yards.  He went...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on September 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm

B&B Garden Attracts Customers

At least the tiny garden in front of the Royal Rose Inn in Rehoboth Beach, DE got this potential customer’s attention when I walked by it this week, and you better believe I’ll be staying there the next time I visit.  The garden said to me:  ”Fun place to stay!”...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on September 5, 2014 at 9:36 am

Murals without vandalism. How do they do that?

Wandering around Pittsburgh I came upon this fabulous mural depicting cherry blossoms in bloom and a charming collection of old homes.  It was off the beaten track, enlivening not a park but the parking lot for a neighborhood restaurant. How does something so wonderful get done, anyway?  By an...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm

The Parklet Craze

This year’s international Park(ing) Day falls on September 19, a mere two weeks from now. On that day, individuals, groups, and businesses in cities around the world will commandeer on-street parking spaces and convert them to temporary parklets. These people-friendly spaces might include plants, seating, bike parking, games, exercise...

Read more in: But is it Art?, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 am

Ruin Garden at Pittsburgh’s Mattress Factory – a Must-See?

From my recent stay in Pittsburgh I’ve shown you Randyland, which writer/adventurers Susan Reimer,  Ginny Smith,   Carrie Engel and I stumbled upon while playing hooky from hotel conference rooms. We were on our way to another destination,  installation-art gallery the Mattress Factory, which had been called a “must-see” by keynote speaker...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on September 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, Late August

I spent a sublime morning this week at the Blackwater  National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, in the beautiful State of Maryland. Outside the Visitor’s Center, a wildlife garden that includes Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), The very-familiar Rudbeckia with the less common Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana). One...

Read more in: Grab Bag
Posted by on August 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

The End of Organic Gardening

by Don Boekelheide in Charlotte, North Carolina During a fierce summer thunderstorm last Friday night, I found out that Organic Gardening will no longer be with us next year. As the lightning flashed and the rain hammered down on the tin roof of the packing shed, I stared in disbelief...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Don Boekelheide on August 29, 2014 at 7:49 am

The Success of Failure

By Amanda Morris, Ph.D Twisted, dessicated, browned vines droop across their cages, all life and vitality wrecked by powdery mildew, too much water, not enough air, and failed planning. These are my spaghetti squash, Honey Bear acorn squash, Jubilee watermelon, Sugar Baby watermelon, and honeydew plants; a pitiful display...

Read more in: Eat This, Guest Rants
Posted by Amanda Morris on August 28, 2014 at 6:41 am

Postcards From The Edge – DROUGHT

I have lived through drought before, but I have never seen anything like what I am witnessing now. I live in what is usually called an “up and coming” community – this is one of those places where artists and musicians come to raise their families, and before the...

Read more in: Green the Grounds, Lawn Reform, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on August 27, 2014 at 10:05 am


It’s a fact that botanical gardens have to keep on their toes to attract visitors throughout the year. Just as with art museums, a great collection is not enough.  In addition to the traditional special events, like orchid, mum, spring flower, coleus, and poinsettia shows, there must be model...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on August 25, 2014 at 8:49 am

Who’s more controversial – Michelle Rhee or Scotts Miracle-Gro?

To most of the media, it’s the famous education reformer Michelle Rhee, ex-DC Schools Chancellor, who’s controversial, unpopular, even reviled by some, especially teachers’ unions. (Interesting read on the subject.)  So when Scotts MiracleGro recently named her as a trustee, teachers called for a boycott of Scotts, and readers were presumably left with the...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on August 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

Courtyard Garden: One Year Later

It’s time for an update on my courtyard garden. The thrill of saying that hasn’t dimmed after a year, and I imagine I will still be delighted about it if I am lucky enough to have a courtyard garden decades from now. First, a quick before-and-after pairing to show...

Read more in: Lawn Reform, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on August 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm


While on a brief getaway in the northern Catskills, we saw plenty of natural beauty, including late summer wildflowers (rudbeckia, asters, eupatorium, and more) along the trails. We also saw some lovely manmade landscaping that took full advantage of its context. Along route 28, just past Phoenicia, you’ll pass...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 18, 2014 at 9:20 am

Contrasting Gardens in Pittsburgh

I’m home from visiting Pittsburgh, where I attended the big Garden Writers Symposium, and thankfully I returned with a few photos to post here.  (After posting here for eight years this summer I’m thrilled to find anything new to write about.) First up, a study in contrasts starts with the...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on August 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Where’s the Wow? The Green Industry Takes Stock.

Garden suppliers’ sights are set on next spring. Last month, representatives from nurseries, greenhouses, independent garden centers and even Big Box Stores loaded up their cars, vans and trucks, heading to two vastly different Ohio trade summer shows. Cultivate ’14, in Columbus, is the biggest North American trade show,...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on August 13, 2014 at 6:37 am


All I could think about was how defenseless—even pathetic—the flowers looked in their little bud vases. As I walked among them, they presented a bewildering array of colors and shapes—spheres, spikes, sprays, buds, gnarly tangles, full blooms. And then there were mixed containers of herbs and even a few...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am
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