Real Gardens

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 estates of Sewickley Valley, Pittsburgh’s oldest […]

Posted by  on August 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm.   This post has 19 responses.

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

Judging

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

Pinterest tells us what you like

Hey, bloggers among you, have you ever checked to see which of the photos you’ve published are pinned to readers’ Pinterest boards?  It’s kinda fun, and here’s how.  For this blog I went to: www.pinterest.com/source/gardenrant.com.   You get the idea. Pinterest only displays the most recent but I’ve been checking...

Read more in: What's Happening, Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on August 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm

The Patience of a Gardener

Recently we’ve hosted lively discussions here at Garden Rant about spending gobs of money on our gardens, choosing native over non-native plants, and to what extent gardens are art. To me, there is a more personal and pertinent issue at stake with regard to America’s current horticultural practices: how...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm

On natives—we’re all alright

There’s no more surefire way to get everybody all riled up on this site than to talk about native plants—whether or not to use them, how much to use them, who is too obsessed with them, who isn’t obsessed enough, where they work best, and where they work worst....

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on August 5, 2014 at 7:30 am

Garden Affluence in Another Era

While here at GardenRant the hot topic was rich people’s gardens,  love ‘em or hate ‘em, I was strolling the garden of one of the super-rich – Marjorie  Merriweather Post (as in Post Cereals). Here’s the very grand mansion, named Hillwood, filled with Russian imperial art (including Fabergé Eggs) and...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 1, 2014 at 7:20 am

Gardening Under The Affluence

  I’m getting a little uncomfortable with something, and I’d like the Ranting World to let me know if I’m on point or totally off the mark. As I look through magazines and design blogs, I see fancy gardens everywhere. Industries are colluding to make us desire an outdoor...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens, Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Uncategorized
Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Observations of the toured

As many Rant readers must know by this time, in Buffalo we have a yearly free garden tour called Garden Walk. Started in 1995 by two urban gardeners who wanted to show how verdant city living could be, the walk has grown to include close to 400 gardens, and...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Garden Walk Buffalo
Posted by on July 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

How to Grow Bluebirds

Last Friday I rode shotgun through the Beltsville Ag Research Center in Marcia van Horn’s Ranger as she checked on some of her 175 nesting boxes for bluebirds and tree swallows, with the occasional chickadee, titmouse, wrens or nuthatches taking advantage of the accommodations. Nest boxes were first installed on the 6,700-acre property...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Science Says
Posted by on July 25, 2014 at 6:49 am

More Foreign Invaders: Possums on the Half Shell

  Robyn Brown, a Nashville buddy and talented gardener, told me last week that her garden is under siege by armadillos. I was all ears. The nine-banded armadillos are rooting around her garden like little armored feral pigs. These foreign invaders arrived in Western Kentucky over twenty years ago....

Read more in: Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 am

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Compost?

Guest Rant by Amy Campion  If we gardeners agree on anything, it’s that compost is wonderful stuff.  We can never have enough of it.  We make it ourselves in heaps and bins and barrels, and we ask for more of it on our birthdays.  Compost makes clay soil loosen...

Read more in: Eat This, Guest Rants
Posted by Amy Campion on July 22, 2014 at 8:05 am

One size fits all?

What do St. Cloud, Minnesota and Westerly, Rhode Island have in common? Westerly is a seaside community in southern Rhode Island; St Cloud lies in central Minnesota and is bisected by the Mississippi river. Summers and winters are more moderate in Westerly; winter temperatures fall to greater depths in...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on July 21, 2014 at 9:07 am

Garden Coaching by Rainer

Landscape architect/blogger Thomas Rainer is one of my favorite designers, something I may have mentioned before on this blog.   Gardenblogger Margaret Roach is a Rainer fan, too.  She sought him out for an interview on her podcast, and it’s terrific.  (Transcript here.) My favorite bits are toward the end, when Thomas...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 18, 2014 at 8:09 am

A Growing Trend in the U.S.: Food Forests

Upstart food forests — designed landscapes incorporating perennial and woody plants that produce food — are popping up around the US, inspired no doubt by Seattle’s new Beacon Hill Food Forest as well as successful older sites including Mercy Emily Edible Park on 18 vacant lots in Philadelphia and...

Read more in: Eat This, Green the Grounds, What's Happening
Posted by on July 16, 2014 at 2:01 am

Monday, monday

Know these? These hostas came with the house. They have unusually tall, deep purple (photo does not show this) scapes and very glossy leaves. They’re very common throughout my part of Buffalo, but I’ve no idea which cultivar they are. July fool! According to this article, people in Chautauqua...

Read more in: Grab Bag
Posted by on July 14, 2014 at 8:15 am

Are you a “New Conservationist”?

In a recent issue of the New Yorker I learned that the current head of the Nature Conservancy is a “new conservationist” who’s butting heads with “traditional conservationists.” Also termed “eco-pragmatism,” this growing attitude among environmentalists challenges the traditional goal of preserving nature in some pristine condition or returning it...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on July 11, 2014 at 7:41 am

Read all about Allen Bush in the New York Times!

We knew we were fans of Allen Bush’s writing when we invited him to join us here at the Rant.  Now thanks to this wonderful profile of him in today’s New York Times we understand how he came to know so much and be so beloved in the gardening world. Congrats,...

Read more in: Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on July 10, 2014 at 7:02 am

Free Spirit Nursery: Landscapes, Laughs and Love

  Lambèrt Vrijmoed, a British Columbia nurseryman, once drove a Pontiac hearse as his get-around car. There was not a hint of Goth subculture about him, though there was a touch of the madman. But this is not such a bad thing. The best gardeners, designers and nursery folks...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 9, 2014 at 6:53 am

Advice from others

Here’s more news from the gardening tips for newbies front. Huffington Post published a piece from Hometalk yesterday that offers the “9 best gardening tips for beginners.” I liked it OK—particularly the emphasis on good soil and organics—but couldn’t go along with some of the directives, which seemed chosen...

Read more in: CRRRITIC, Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 8, 2014 at 7:57 am
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