It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

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 book, the only schoolbook his family […]

Posted by  on April 3, 2017 at 8:53 am.   This post has 8 responses.

Gardens and Gardening on Video

While we’re waiting for the last year of GardenRant’s posts to be restored (long, frustrating story), enjoy the 14 new videos I recently added to the nonprofit educational campaign Good Gardening Videos. HOME GARDENS Tour a STUNNING GARDEN NEAR AUSTIN, with great plants and the best-looking stormwater solutions you’ve ever...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on April 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Is Facebook a great place for gardening questions? Usually not.

It can depend on who’s in your friend list, but I’ve seen enough to determine that asking random gardening questions on Facebook is an exercise in frustration and bad information. The ones I have seen on my feed—usually about plant IDs or houseplant problems—get such a wide range of...

Read more in: Science Says, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Me and my Weepers

Guest Post by Bob Hill I have never fully understood my attraction to weeping plants and I really don’t want to pay some nerdy-looking guy with a psychology degree about $250-an-hour to find out. Truth be told, I’ve spent some time drinking beer and exchanging words like “theorization” and...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 22, 2017 at 7:14 am

Designer Puts Tallamy’s Advice into Practice

New England-area garden designer Matthew Cunningham will be speaking in Silver Spring, Maryland for the local chapter of APLD on Saturday February 11 from 10 to noon. His topic: “Stone, Wood, & Metal in Landscape Design.” (Reserve a spot here.) To bring attention to his talk, we were offered...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on March 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

PlantPOP Wants to Film Your Story

In a recent post I recommended some videos by the very cool “horticultural film studio” PlantPOP (also on Youtube) and promised more about them soon. One phone call later, here ya go. To me it’s a fascinating story of art meets commerce. Art Parkerson grew up in the Tidewater region...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on February 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Stick to gardening

Life is messy. I think we can all agree. You’d like to keep all the separate activities—professional life, family, hobbies, friends, travel—in their little boxes, but it’s never easy. Things run together, things collide, especially in the age of social media. I look at my Facebook posts from five...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm

A Fond Farewell to Evelyn Hadden

After three years as a regular GardenRanter, Evelyn Hadden has retired from blogging to concentrate on her music. Her last post was in October but in hopes that she’d change her mind, none of us announced it, or thanked her for her many wonderful posts, which we know readers...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on January 27, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Just the facts

Alternative facts, that is. If there is any group of people that has learned to accept unpleasant realities—often brought on by natural forces—that group is gardeners. So I’m happy to know that I can devise, twist, and present my own version of gardening facts. Now is the time, before...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Canada, o Canada

This is part 1 of my garden-related thoughts on Inauguration Day. If, like millions, you’ve been pining for Trudeau-led Canada, picture this. It’s my friend Linda’s new home on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver, and a view from her deck. She moved there last summer (prescient!) after a two-year legal...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on January 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm

A trendy wish list for 2017

Not having even looked at any of the predictions or surveys regarding general gardening behavior, here is my wishful thinking for the coming year: More six-packs, fewer pricy branded pots I am lucky enough to be able to order interesting new cultivars from the yearly sale our botanical gardens...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on January 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Planting for the cause

Many of you have heard that 2017’s “Perennial Plant of the Year” is Asclepias tuberosa/butterfly weed. It’s not a surprising choice—attention to attracting and supporting pollinators, especially butterflies, especially monarchs, has been peaking for the past few years and shows no sign of declining. A good thing. Normally, I...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on January 11, 2017 at 3:18 pm

The myth of the plant killer

May 2017 be the year that nobody insists to me that they have a “black thumb.” Except that I know it won’t happen. I was at a small New Year’s Eve party when one of my non-gardening friends asked for advice about an aspidistra (cast iron plant) she’d just...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

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: What's Happening
Posted by on December 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm

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 14, 2016 at 6:48 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 6:57 pm

3 Take-aways from Garden Writer Meet-ups

I love hanging out with other garden writers, and have done quite a bit of that this year – at several local and regional events and especially, the Garden Blogger Fling in Minneapolis and the Garden Writers conference in Atlanta. I caught up with old friends, made new ones, and...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on October 21, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Stormwater Management at its Most Beautiful

Ed Snodgrass is the internationally known green-roof author, consultant and grower whose own Maryland nursery experienced downpours gushing downhill, unstopped by mere turfgrass. Of course he was using vegetated roofs, but that wasn’t enough. As Ed wrote me, “Even though the farm is mostly pervious, in high intensity events water...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on September 14, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Cornell on Lawn Care: Do Less!

Lawns have been attacked for some years now, with claims that they require obscene amounts of water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gas-guzzling mowing, so of course the only responsible thing to do is to get rid of it all, right? But lawns are so useful they’ll always be with us,...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on August 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm

Wild Designer Makes “Beautiful Places for People to Love”

Rant readers know that we love Thomas Rainer’s work and his book Planting in a Post-Wild World (here’s Evelyn’s describing the aha’s she got from it), but there’s another game-changing landscape architect I hadn’t heard of til recently, one who may be having an even greater impact through her ginormous...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on August 5, 2016 at 7:45 pm
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