Real Gardens, What's Happening

Got to Scrape the Shit Right Off Your Shoes

It was cold in Louisville last week with morning lows near zero and daytime temperatures struggling to reach the 20s. Rufus had to do his business a half-dozen times each day. That meant I bundled up in four or five layers of clothing to go outside. There’s plenty in the garden to interest us both, […]

Posted by  on January 14, 2015 at 6:45 am.   This post has 9 responses.

The winter interest battle …. continues

If there’s anything, I hate, it’s dragging out Rant posts.  My motto: Drop the post, then move on to another topic.  However, we’re leaving for St. Lucia tomorrow, and I have to lay down a post for Monday, or Susan will be mad at me (I’m secretly afraid of...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 12, 2015 at 8:00 am

Regional Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden at Eight

As a regular visitor to the U.S. Botanic Garden, I’ve come to love its spacious Regional Garden very gradually since installation was completed in the fall of 2006.     Now in its eight year it’s stunning, and has lots to teach us about the two regional soil zones it...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on January 9, 2015 at 7:41 am

Who Will See the Canopy for the Trees?

  Louisville, Kentucky is on Fodor’s 2015 travel “Go List.”  Forget about Antarctica and Iceland. You want a hot spot? My hometown is unquestionably the hot spot among the top 25 travel destinations. Louisville ranks among the Top Five cities in the country with hottest urban heat islands. Some...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening
Posted by on January 8, 2015 at 5:06 am

Forcing Winter Interest

I have been thinking about Elizabeth’s post on The Myth of Winter Interest. Having spent 25+ years in Minnesota, and recently moved halfway across the country to (among other things) escape the relentless northern winter, I do identify with the urge to focus only on the indoor world during...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 7:46 am

The myth of winter interest

Winter gardening? Yes. Winter garden? Not so much. We hear a lot about “winter interest”—which has to be one of the saddest phrases of the gardening lexicon—in plant descriptions and recommendations. And while it’s true that there are plants that look fabulous in snow and freezing weather—red twig dogwood,...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 5, 2015 at 8:00 am

Back to the Future with Sustainable Lawns

What is cutting edge in the field of sustainable lawns? Much of it is forgotten lore from the late 19th/early 20th century, I have been discovering. I came upon this revelation while preparing for the talk I am going to give this month at a conference organized by Larry...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on January 2, 2015 at 8:40 am

“Peace Love 2015″ from Mosquito-Battling New Gardener

Meet my new neighbor, Lindsey Dodson, who moved into what she calls “My Happy House” after 30 years of apartment living in the city.  When asked about the outfit she’s wearing, she wrote that “Yes I actually did wear that outfit a lot this past summer. I get bitten...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on January 1, 2015 at 8:31 am

Trees, In Memorium

A year has passed, and tonight we will usher in a new one. If there is a tree of life, tonight its trunk gets another ring. I was recently spending some quiet time in an old cemetery- not a funeral park, but an actual old cemetery – unplanned, diverse,...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm

2015: the year of the do-nothing garden

It’s a strange dichotomy. The sole reason I have a garden is so  I can enjoy its aesthetic and recreational benefits. My garden does not grow food, and it is not designed as a wildlife habitat (though they’re not discouraged). When I’m sitting in the garden, I may notice...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 8:47 am

Favorite places in town, including my new garden

On a local blog I write I thanked Greenbelt Maryland for 3 fabulous years there this month.  Then I went on to post photos of my favorite places – none farther than a slow 10-minute walk from my house – with some commentary. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary by posting photos...

Read more in: Grab Bag, Real Gardens
Posted by on December 29, 2014 at 11:07 am

How Public Gardens get Gorgeous for the Holidays

Most people assume that gardens can’t look good in the winter – at least where there IS winter.  But Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Northern Virginia is here to disprove that notion, with photos by their volunteer “resident photographer,” Tom Stovall.  First, some shots of their Winter Walk of Lights,...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on December 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

A welcome ban

Large-scale environmental issues are not always considered appropriate subject matter in the garden blogging world, but I’ve never been able to see the reason.  Going from discussing the use of chemical solutions in a domestic landscape to the use of chemical solutions injected at high pressure in a rural...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 23, 2014 at 9:14 am

National Arboretum in November

Fans of the Arb know it’s gorgeous all year ’round.  November, for sure.  Here’s a quick Animoto video with the evidence.

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Novel ecosystems vs. urban wilderness

I’ve been thinking about a symposium (“The Changing Nature of Nature in Cities”) I attended at the New York Botanical Garden in November.   The topic  of the symposium was “novel ecosystems” – fundamentally, this is the idea that some ecosystems, especially urban ones, have been so radically transformed that...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 19, 2014 at 8:30 am

Welcome New Ranter Thomas Christopher!

We’re all pleased as punch to announce an exciting new addition to our roster of GardenRant partners – Thomas Christopher, a horticultural journalist with 30 years under his belt, contributor to the New York Times, the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, Martha Stewart Living and many other publications. Thomas...

Read more in: Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Sign me up for a green burial, and make it decades from now

I recently attended a viewing and discussion of Dying Green, a short documentary about conservation or “green” burial, which I’d never heard of before.  Here’s the trailer. I’d always thought burial plots had to look like this: During my lifetime, in the U.S., they did, though much earlier in...

Read more in: Grab Bag
Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 8:39 am

Treasure the Winter Farmer’s Market

My heart goes out to urban dwellers with no access to a winter Farmer’s Market. Just as the twinkle lights on trees and houses offer comforting pinpoints of light in the dark winter nights, farm stands with freshly made products remind us that good local foods (not to mention...

Read more in: Drink This, Eat This, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on December 17, 2014 at 12:50 am

A meadow’s tale

The first thing I did after I bought the farm was quit mowing the grass. The property is ten acres with a nice rolling aspect, some very good old trees, and a dark deep pond for fishing. The assortment of buildings include a Victorian farmhouse, a big party barn,...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by David McMullin on December 16, 2014 at 8:15 am

Don’t be a bad botanical gardens board member like me

At the end of this year, I will have completed my two allotted terms on the board of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. I use the strictly technical meaning of the term “completed.” My name has appeared on the list of board of directors on the BECBG...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on December 15, 2014 at 9:08 am
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