Everybody's a Critic, Ministry of Controversy

Solitude and Nature

Do we need to use all of our senses to truly connect with a natural place? I recently hiked several miles of strenuous, steep trail into one of Utah’s glorious national parks, then stopped just shy of the payoff (a natural stone bridge) because a score of other people were enjoying themselves loudly while hanging […]

Posted by  on June 1, 2016 at 1:22 am.   This post has 11 responses.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living with this brick bed enclosure for over sixteen years. But when you have an 1870 house, there’s something new to do every year, and certain jobs—new roof, new kitchen, window repairs—have to take priority. Finally, it’s time. This is coming down...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on May 31, 2016 at 9:25 am

New-Video Update

Today Good Gardening Videos announced to its subscribers 36 new videos, plus a new feature – a guide to videos on a timely subject. The first such guide covers Videos about Pruning Spring-Blooming Shrubs, including the best 8 videos we could find and a link to 4 more. Included are 3 new ones:...

Read more in: Books, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on May 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Fear of the Outdoors or Sensible Defenses Against Insects?

Gardeners and other outdoors-types have always had to deal with mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers, and many of us chose to pretty much ignore them. But then came Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus, which got even a diehard like me starting to worry. A friend contracted the dreaded Lyme...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on May 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

Going big with art

On a recent visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens, I was almost as impressed by the thoughtful sculpture installations throughout the grounds as I was by the plantings (which are lovely). The DBG has a distinguished partner in this art project: Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center has placed modern and...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on May 26, 2016 at 10:07 am

God, Guns and Gardens

I’ve run myself ragged the last few weeks. Kentucky has had the most beautiful spring I can remember. May has been rainy and cool. Blooms went on forever. The weeds got ahead of me, yet chiggers and heat didn’t crash my spring party. But it became harder to avoid...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on May 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Felder Rushing’s Mississippi Garden

You may know Felder from his radio show, his books, or one of his highly entertaining talks.  Actually, I’m entertained by everything Felder does so while researching for Good Gardening Videos I was delighted to find this 16-minute tour of his home garden, with plenty of bon mots from...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on May 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

New Guide to the Garden Revolution, by Weaner and Christopher

It’s finally here – the much-awaited Garden Revolution: How our landscapes can be a source of environmental change by Larry Weaner and GardenRant’s own Thomas Christopher. It’s described as the next step along the path started by Sara Stein and Douglas Tallamy, guiding us in the move from traditional horticulture...

Read more in: CRRRITIC, Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on May 20, 2016 at 9:18 am

Tallamania!

Ranters have been talking to scientist Doug Tallamy, professor and chair of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, since 2007. So, since this is Throwback Thursday, I’d thought I’d include some of our earlier discussions with the professor, as well as a recent...

Read more in: Books, Garden Rant turns 10, Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on May 19, 2016 at 7:50 am

Milkweed Spreading Through My Landscape Makes Me Happy

Two years ago, I wrote about the milkweed seedlings I rescued from a nearby lawn. They survived the move and have formed a decent-sized stand under a maple tree in my backyard. In this tough site (very dry part shade) they need no care whatsoever, and have been given...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on May 18, 2016 at 11:59 am

Shopping for Annuals and Perennials

A few weeks ago, I posted a list of tips concerning shopping for trees and shrubs. I promised at that time to follow up with a list of shopping tips for annual and perennial transplants, so here goes. Shop at a well-run garden center. I am leery of big...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on May 16, 2016 at 6:41 am

Mom and Dad’s Ohio Garden

Matt Adolph, shown here somewhere in Ohio with his mom, made a home video about his parents’ garden – his mom’s native plants and his dad’s vegetables – and I love it. I came upon this video tour of the Adolph family garden when I was looking for home-garden...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on May 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Photography Lesson in a Garden

As an eager but very amateur photographer, I’ve attended all sorts of photography classes and talks, with little improvement to show for it. Then I stumbled upon a teaching method and classroom setting perfect for me – a “photo safari” with an extraordinary teacher and a small class of enthusiasts...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on May 13, 2016 at 9:49 am

Bill Best Knows Best about Wonder Beans

Kentucky has a long distinguished history of seed selection and preservation. Before Bill Best got serious with heirloom green beans seeds, there were Native Americans who put Kentucky on the world map before there were maps: four thousand years ago. We seldom get credit for being a world center...

Read more in: Eat This, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on May 11, 2016 at 7:16 am

Do you have a Palafox borealis?

Of course you don’t. I am pretty sure it’s a made-up plant. I was reading about it in a novel by Angela Thirkell called The Old Bank House. Here’s the description of it: …a clump of rather ugly serrated leaves, fleshy and covered with a kind of whitish bristles...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on May 10, 2016 at 10:11 am

In pruning old azaleas, is radical renovation too scary?

I sent my first New Videos! e-blast this week, featuring 14 videos added to Good Gardening Videos since its launch last month. Two of those videos teach azalea-pruning, but from different perspectives. Woody-plant specialist Phil Normany demonstrates going all the way down to the ground, being bold and trusting that...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on May 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Report from New Zealand: How Plants Survived Moa Birds, and More

Scott Aker, head of gardens at the National Arboretum, toured New Zealand over the winter – their summer – with his teenage son, who must have been raised with a high tolerance for hort-speak because from the looks of Scott’s slide show, it was a plant-centric journey. Scott certainly...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on May 6, 2016 at 6:32 am

#TBT The great compost tea debate

In June, 2007, we hosted a debate between horticultural professor Jeff Gillman (author of many books, including The Truth Abut Garden Remedies and The Truth About Organic Gardening) and garden writer Jeff Lowenfels, the co-author of Teaming with Microbes. The topic was compost tea, and this is the first...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10, Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on May 5, 2016 at 8:00 am

Cultivating Wildness

I became a gardener in order to experience nature daily, in order to live in a wilder way. Being wild is the opposite of being isolated. It is an experience of oneness with a vast, complex, diverse, accepting community of living plants and animals. Isolation is sitting motionless in...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on May 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Who uses landscape fabric and why?

Last fall I had the idea of doing something nice for the rather boring and minimalist plantings outside my office. The building itself is great—an 85k-square-foot former railway signal factory (circa 1904–6) that has been repurposed into a mixed use complex including our offices, residential units above, banquet spaces,...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on May 3, 2016 at 11:54 am
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