Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform

The No-Water California Garden

Hi friends! Sorry I’ve been so very, very absent–if you’re wondering why, it’s because I wrote a novel called Girl Waits with Gun and that shit is time-consuming. It’s coming out September 1 and I’m going on a book tour that I very much hope puts me in a city near you. Really, you have no […]

Posted by  on July 20, 2015 at 3:22 am.   This post has 21 responses.

Bring on the Ferns

First, I recommend to you Adrian Higgins’s recent love letter to ferns – Fronds with Benefits:  A Guide to Ferns.  The article includes his favorites, a tour of the ferns at Chanticleer Garden, and some reasons for their growing popularity – they’re easy, untouched by critters and disease, and...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 17, 2015 at 8:19 am

Stacking Rocks in Wild Places

Recently I came across this article about the fairly new practice of stacking rocks in wild places. Historically, cairns (rocks piled or stacked by humans) have served important purposes, particularly in parts of the world lacking dramatic natural features to use as landmarks. A cairn might mark a trail,...

Read more in: But is it Art?, What's Happening
Posted by on July 15, 2015 at 4:00 am

The real benefits of a free, uncurated garden tour

As Garden Walk Buffalo approaches, I have already been participating in the Open Garden program, helping promote the other sixteen area walks and the special tours,  and planning for the out-of-town visitors we will have on the big weekend of the Buffalo walk. GWB has turned into a month-long...

Read more in: Garden Walk Buffalo, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 14, 2015 at 9:25 am

Seeing Roots…and the Need for Perennial Crops

Did you know that this is the International Year of Soils? Me, neither, until I saw an exhibit about the benefits of perennial crops over annual crops, as demonstrated strikingly with plants displayed in all their glory, both above- and below-ground. The plants on display are the work of agricultural...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on July 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Could a weed be the next kale?

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on July 10, 2015 at 7:23 am

Janet Draper: A Perennial Force

Rare is the circus that has the extraordinary talent or the vast experience of someone like Janet Draper. This dynamo of the green world is helping to organize a circus of sorts. The 33rd annual symposium of the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will be held in Baltimore from July 27...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 8, 2015 at 6:45 am

The grueling, reality-style competition to be the next White House floral designer

  In March we reported that White House floral designer Laura Dowling was mysteriously no longer on the job. Well, today’s Washington Post updates us on the search for her replacement. After months, the legions of applicants have been winnowed down to 25 semi-finalists. The process, similar to that used...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm


Sometimes even ProfessorRoush tires of his opinions, his interminable rants about disease or weeds or flower color or poor performance that keep him from enjoying the garden.  Is it really necessary to constantly pontificate about whether this rose is better than that one, or how one grass is a thug,...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 8:00 am

The Local Gardening Show I Covet – “Central Texas Gardener”

While in Toronto for the Blogger Fling I snagged some really interesting bus-mates for our day-long rides to gardens and events, and one was someone I barely knew but quickly became soulmates with – Linda Lehmusvirta, writer/producer of the Austin-based PBS show Central Texas Gardener.  After I got home I...

Read more in: I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV
Posted by on July 3, 2015 at 7:28 am

Lessons from a Portland Hellstrip

Garden touring season has given way to what I’m learning to treat as a second dormant period here in the high desert: the extreme heat of midsummer. And how convenient that is, since now there will be time to mull over the many photos of gardens that I’ve accumulated...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Gardener’s Guide to the National Mall

Here’s a blog post I wrote for two general-interest blogs, in which I review a fabulous new way to see the sights around the National Mall and illustrate with images of the gardens and landscape memorials along the way. It’s a garden tour with tips from a local gardenblogger’s...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on June 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

Colors of equality

Those lanterns weren’t nearly gay enough. In celebration of Friday’s SCOTUS marriage equality decision, and in solidarity with all of my friends and colleagues who have already availed themselves of this freedom or who are now able to, here is some rainbow/garden imagery I found on Shutterstock. Like Susan,...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

Amy Stewart on the Road with her First Novel!

GardenRant’s smart and funny co-founder Amy Stewart is sorely missed here, but she’s gone on to bigger things – novels! Her first, “Girl Waits with Gun,” will be out this September, so Amy’s hitting the road. Come on out!  One fellow Ranter will definitely be there for the DC...

Read more in: What's Happening, Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on June 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Don’t go see “A Little Chaos” for the gardens

A movie about the gardens of Versailles starring Kate Winslet opens today! Imagine my excitement when one of the many publicists who contacted me about it invited me to a free screening. It’s titled A Little Chaos and here’s the synopsis: “A romantic drama following Sabine, a talented landscape designer, who is...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on June 26, 2015 at 7:54 am

Tales From the Droughtside or THE DROUGHTPOCALYPSE!!!

It is pretty bad out here, folks. People seem to be using the drought as an excuse to GIVE UP. Clothed in the the dry, tattered, unwashed rags of self-righteousness (they only run their washing machines once a month), they zealously save water, and they let their yards go...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on June 24, 2015 at 12:36 pm

Natives and invasives—observations from Toronto

On the first day of our Toronto garden exploration, we spent an hour or so in High Park, the city’s largest public park. It features 399 acres of public space, including picnic areas, a playground, formal and informal gardens, an ornamental lake, and a mini-zoo, but we spent our...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens
Posted by on June 23, 2015 at 9:17 am

Gardens and gardening on tiny Toronto Islands

My favorites of all the gardens we saw on the Gardenblogger Fling in Toronto weren’t grand – anything but. They were the small funky ones on the just-offshore islands known collectively as Toronto Islands, which we reached by ferry. We toured gardens on two residential islands – Ward’s and Algonquin, and I might have...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on June 19, 2015 at 8:48 am

What’s a “Relentlessly Gay” yard?

To a self-described Christian in the Baltimore area, it’s having colorful candles. Rainbow-colored candles. They’re what moved a “Concerned Home Owner” to complain in this note to the offending neighbor. Homeowner Julie Baker is responding by going even MORE relentless and to raise money to do that, she started...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on June 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Nature Corridors Boost Failing Wildlife Populations

Doug Tallamy is one of my heroes. He is a visionary thinker with the ability to tie together disparate bits of information — research results, personal observations, known scientific facts — into powerful calls for action that guide us toward living within nature, rather than continuing to segregate ourselves...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, What's Happening
Posted by on June 17, 2015 at 6:19 am
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