Lawn Reform

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, and are the criticisms even warranted? […]

Posted by  on August 12, 2016 at 7:11 am.   This post has 9 responses.

No bouquets at the Olympics this time

Apparently, it did not jive with the Brazil Olympics’ environmental message to give out thousands of cut flowers that would be discarded by their recipients within days. And that makes sense, for sure. But. As an avid Olympics watcher (the only sports I watch), I’ve recently been paying a...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on August 11, 2016 at 8:00 am

What Part of GMO Don’t You Understand?

  A few of you may still have doubts about global warming, even though the overwhelming scientific evidence says it’s a no-brainer. Regardless, some dissenters will say the argument for global warming is based on crap science Comedian Andy Borowitz wrote a satirical piece for the New Yorker, called...

Read more in: Eat This, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on August 10, 2016 at 6:57 am

Ask a Designer: Make Invasives Great Again

Next in our “Ask a Designer” series is a guest rant by David mcmullin. The debate about invasive plants has become, well, invasive. It crops up anywhere gardens and plants are being mentioned. The general idea is this: gardeners are a band of outlaws set on destroying our Habitat through...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by David mcmullin on August 8, 2016 at 1:03 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, What's Happening
Posted by on August 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

“Nobody smells roses any more.”

I kid you not. One of my visitors during Garden Walk Buffalo last weekend told me that a nursery staffer actually said this to her as she was shopping for roses there, after she asked which of their many offerings had fragrance. Of course I immediately wondered which local...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on August 4, 2016 at 8:00 am

Youth Gardens, Watering, Lawn Care and More – the Latest Videos

Here’s the latest of my roughly monthly e-newsletters about Good Gardening Videos, dated today: Youth Gardens Just before the the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium met last month, GGVideos gathered together as many youth-garden videos as we could find to show attendees what’s being done and encourage more people to make videos of...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on August 3, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Bug Hunting

A couple of weeks ago I attended a fascinating lecture by Dr. Daniel Duran of Drexel University. He was making the case for gardeners to take a more positive attitude toward the insects in their gardens.   He emphasized that a very small percentage (less than 3 percent, on average)...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Science Says
Posted by on August 1, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Roses without Chemicals, After Knock Outs

Meet Peter Kukielski, former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanic Garden, who suddenly had to give up spraying when the city banned pesticide use on public lands. So he researched disease-resistant roses, which led him to Germany and the roses being bred by the breeder Kordes.  Interestingly, Germany...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 29, 2016 at 9:40 am

#TBT Fifteen years on Garden Walk

Note that I don’t say “Fifteen years OF Garden Walk:” the event celebrated its twentieth anniversary last year. But it was in 2001 that I first joined the Walk, which at that point had about 100 gardens total, scattered through Buffalo’s West Side. This year, over 400 gardeners have...

Read more in: Garden Walk Buffalo
Posted by on July 28, 2016 at 10:11 am

Norma’s Collectables and Cactus

Attention shoppers! The world’s largest Yard Sale is approaching. Four days, August 4 – 7, along 690 miles of U.S. Highway 127, from Addison, Michigan to Gadsden, Alabama, you will find more lamp shades, hub caps, ragged sofas, wire cutters, scuffed-up golf balls and used baby shoes than you...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on July 27, 2016 at 7:45 am

I give up on my garden in the dead of summer

I have a confession. I let my garden go to hell in the dead of summer. Even worse? I think I might be okay with that. In the intense sun and dry heat of the Colorado summer, I become a lazy gardener. I have to admit that unlike ranter Allen...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by Emily Reeves on July 26, 2016 at 7:31 am

Videos that Gardeners NEED

While combing the internet for videos that are accurate and watchable enough to be featured on at Good Gardening Videos  and its companion Youtube channel, I’ve found a few great ones and lots of good-enough ones, like the ones that almost all Extension universities make about soil tests. So I...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on July 22, 2016 at 7:40 am

Big Ahas from Planting in a Post-Wild World

Their primary audience may be other designers, but Thomas Rainer and Claudia West’s Planting in a Post-Wild World (Timber Press, 2016) offers many take-aways for regular gardeners too. The book outlines how to design and maintain an ecological landscape, and does so in beautifully clear, fluid language that is...

Read more in: Books, CRRRITIC
Posted by on July 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm

What do we think about stone?

Well, duh. We love stone, right? Stone is the highest and best type of garden hardscaping, right? Better than brick, better than wood, way, way better than plastic. And resin? Really? This summer, I made the decision that stone would be better than wood and brick. We had two...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on July 19, 2016 at 8:06 am

New Plants, New Troubles in my Garden

Time for some mid-summer photos! Here in my front yard I’m loving the potted coleus, especially the pot that’s sitting IN a border, serving as a focal point in an otherwise pointless arrangement. It’s paired with the same coleus in another pot nearby – under the hanging petunias. A...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 15, 2016 at 7:15 am

Sit a Spell. It’s Not as Easy as You Think.

I seldom sit in my garden. There are too many distractions. I have spots where I like to sit, but as soon as I plop my weary ass down, I see a stray weed. I’m not the only one distracted. Evelyn Hadden fought back. Rather than be dragged down...

Read more in: Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on July 13, 2016 at 8:12 am

When you’re at the beach, but it’s still your day to post …

… you discuss sand castle landscaping. Here is a fine example that probably looked even better before it got a night’s worth of rain. Note the minimal yet effective use of beach grasses and other plants to lightly adorn the structure. It reminds me that the grasses are themselves...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on July 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Ask a Designer: Favorite Shrubs

For my first Ask a Designer post the question targeted groundcovers. This time it’s shrubs and I asked another fabulous designer about her favorites. Barbara Katz of London Landscapes in Bethesda, Maryland responded that she has “great respect” for these shrubs. (Here’s some of Barbara’s work.) With deciduous shrubs there are...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm

One Way of Relaxing in an Imperfect Garden

My garden will never be perfect. I know that. And sometimes that makes it hard to relax in. I’ll sit down and try to enjoy being outdoors, but instead I’ll catch myself scanning around for things to add to my mental “want-to-do” list. For my own sanity, there are...

Read more in: But is it Art?, Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on July 5, 2016 at 11:51 pm
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