Shut Up and Dig

How I learned to stop worrying and love gardening indoors

At some point, I have to admit that summer is over and last weekend was that point. As I was potting tulips and moving them into the garage, a few strange white flecks (I wouldn’t call them flakes) came drifting down as the sun shone brightly. This weird mixture of snow and hail didn’t last […]

Posted by  on October 20, 2015 at 9:45 am.   This post has 5 responses.

First County-Wide Lawn Pesticide Ban Passes

Readers may remember news that the first town in the U.S. had banned lawn pesticides on public and private property, just two years ago, followed by news of the campaign to make the ban countywide (the town being Takoma Park and the county, Montgomery County, Maryland). Well, this month...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on October 16, 2015 at 9:47 am

Scouting for cider apples

If your neighborhood is anything like mine, there are plenty of neglected apple trees, trees planted by optimistic home landscapers and then more or less abandoned when the owners learned that producing blemish-free fruit requires a strict regimen of sprayings.  Blemish-free fruit isn’t necessary for cider-making, of course, and...

Read more in: Drink This, Feed Me
Posted by on October 15, 2015 at 7:02 am

Axis Shrugged for Nostalgia and Fun

  Ogden, Snodgrass and Uebelhart is not a pricey, litigious law firm. O.S.& U. was a garden collaboration, solidly rooted on terra firma, stretched across three continents. The O.S.& U. principals, led by axis-averse Australian garden designer Mel Ogden, are artists, visionaries and seedsmen. Ed Snodgrass is a progressive...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on October 14, 2015 at 7:04 am

Who needs leaf peeping when you have your own arboretum?

“I’m not an environmentalist.” That’s one of the statements I remember from my morning visit to one of Western New York’s foremost tree experts, Thomas Draves, who’s also a certified nursery and landscape professional and attends to the tree needs of clients throughout the area. He’s not an environmentalist,...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 13, 2015 at 9:59 am

Chanticleer – the Garden, the Book, the Launch Party

The highlight of a great week in garden events for me was the book launch party at Chanticleer Garden, hands down, for the chance to see the garden again (my fifth visit, and not my last), and to meet and greet the authors and photographer. Plus, Chanticleer and Timber...

Read more in: Books, Public Gardens
Posted by on October 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

Please Take Care of My Bird

Female rufous hummingbird on hummingbird mint (Agastache rupestris ‘Acapulco Orange’) in my Boise garden My garden right now is a sensory feast. This morning, I cut the peppermint back from the path and hung bundles of it from the covered arbor in which I’m sitting, and its aroma perfumes the...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on October 7, 2015 at 1:52 am

End-of-season stars

As much as I love spring ephemerals, July’s lilium, and other flash-in-the-pan, prettyboy plants, at this time  I take a good, hard look around and pay homage to those stalwarts that are still going strong in early fall. It’s also when I make decisions about which perennials no longer...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on October 6, 2015 at 9:10 am

A Pill Box Hat and the Jackie O Plant

Today’s Guest Rant by Irvin Etienne takes us down memory lane to a happy rediscovery. I recently got back a plant that I killed several years ago. Not THE same plant. Just to be clear. But the same species and cultivar. I had Googled it, of course. It never...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Irvin Etienne on October 5, 2015 at 7:36 am

“Post-Wild” Book Talk and Giveaway

I had the chance to hear a talk about the much-anticipated book Planting in a Post-Wild World by the authors, Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. I know I promised a book review and giveaway today, but having now read the whole book, I’ve decided that it’s so thought-provoking, I want to comment at...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on October 2, 2015 at 7:24 am

Historic Flavors of Fall

Once upon a time, cider-making, not football was the fall preoccupation throughout much of this country.  Wherever apples grew – and thanks to pioneering nurserymen like John Chapman that included much of the Midwest and upper South as well as the Northeast and Pacific Northwest – the fruit was...

Read more in: Drink This, Eat This, Feed Me
Posted by on October 1, 2015 at 7:03 am

The Butterfly Effect

  For weeks, my garden has been ALIVE with the beating of orange wings! I have Gulf Fritillaries coming at me from every corner of my garden – I think the other day I counted more than 20 – and more are emerging from cocoons every day! I am...

Read more in: CRRRITIC, Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens
Posted by on September 30, 2015 at 1:13 am

We get questions

  This was going to be a post about trees, but I just got an email asking me about another topic that is equally on my mind at this time of year. In fact, both in the spring and fall, I am focused on trees and bulbs more than...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on September 29, 2015 at 8:10 am

Fans of Garden Design Magazine

Here I am with everyone’s favorite landscape architect Thomas Rainer before he and Claudia West spoke about their book Planting in a Post-Wild World  yesterday in Oxford, Maryland. (Book review and giveaway coming this Friday). But today’s post is about the new+improved Garden Design Magazine, about which Thomas used these words:...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on September 28, 2015 at 9:18 am

Zinnias for Pollinators!

A recent guest post in defense of butterfly bushes prompted the usual debate (natives v. exotics) but also this wise comment by an avid wildlife gardener: My yard is filled with native flowers, shrubs and trees. However, the surrounding area is not, so giving them something extra that blooms...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on September 25, 2015 at 8:08 am

On the 25th Anniversary of Bold Romantic Gardens

Today’s Guest Rant by Susan Rademacher is a fond reminiscence of garden makers Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Bold Romantic Gardens. After 25 years, I can still recall the boyish enthusiasm that bonded Jim van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme in...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Susan Rademacher on September 24, 2015 at 7:37 am

Goodbye to the creator of a beautiful outlaw garden

He called it the Garden of Eden, but it was more like a 15,000 acre public artwork that happened to grow vegetables and flowers. In the mid-1970s, environmentalist gadfly Adam Purple started creating a large public garden out of several vacant lots near his tenement apartment on New York’s...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on September 22, 2015 at 9:22 am

Dining in a Field of Slow Flowers

You know those glamorous-looking field-to-table dinners shown in high-end magazines? Well, just take it up a notch, if that’s possible, and you have Field to Vase dinners like the one I got to crash as “press” last week in Gainesville, Virginia. The event was part of a 10-city dinner tour showing...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on September 18, 2015 at 5:53 am

What is a “Good” Garden Photo?

Today’s Guest Rant by famed garden photographer Saxon Holt gives a tantalizing hint of what’s offered in his new e-book Good Garden Photography… and we’re giving away TWO COPIES of the book! See below for details. Good Garden Photography is the first of a series of beautifully produced e-books in...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Saxon Holt on September 16, 2015 at 2:45 am

The politics of decay

I gave up on home composting a few years back after briefly trying a tall tumbler; there was no good place to keep it, and my neglect of it in its obscure location made for poor or minimal results. However, I couldn’t stand the thought of allowing organic waste...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on September 15, 2015 at 8:44 am
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