What's Happening

Plant Fanatics Party in Baltimore

What to call the plant-obsessed people attending the Perennial Plant Association’s shindig last week in Baltimore? Terms like “geek” and “nerd” seem better suited to people who stay out of the sun, so I’ll call us (me, included) fanatics – in a good way.  And I’d never encountered more of them than I did in […]

Posted by  on August 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm.   This post has 7 responses.

Planting for Hummingbirds

One of the big perks of moving to the west has been an increase in opportunities to create habitat for hummingbirds. I planted many of my new garden plants with an eye toward ensuring nectar sources through the seasons for these fascinating creatures, and I’ve been rewarded by seeing...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on August 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm

We still have snow!

It’s been up around 90 over the past few weeks or so, but a comforting(?) reminder that cooler days await exists on Buffalo’s East Side, near the large Art Deco Central Terminal, a grand train station that is no longer in use.  The big black pile of what looks...

Read more in: Science Says
Posted by on August 4, 2015 at 7:49 am

Best-Looking Plants in my July Garden

I’m in the mood to post photos of the plants that are doing the best in my garden right now, starting with these sun-tolerant Coleuses (with one ‘Rubrum’ Pennisetum  in the mix). They were stars in these pots last year, so I’m sticking with them. One more. ‘City Lights’ and...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm

A Dark Place

I’m vacationing in Northern California this week, on the Russian River, enjoying a break from the bleak, scorching brightness of LA. It is very hot here as well, but the heat is mitigated by the deep, nearly mystical shade from the redwood trees. Driving into Guerneville, I couldn’t help...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Uncategorized
Posted by on July 29, 2015 at 1:51 am

Another reason to avoid turfgrass?

Conversations over the Garden Walk Buffalo weekend lead me to believe that—knock on wood—my lack of turfgrass may also be a reason for my lack of plant-destroying and other pests. I know that Japanese beetle grubs feed on grass and I rarely see any of the adults—maybe one or...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 28, 2015 at 7:47 am

Attracting July Visitors with Photos

Tom Stovall, the resident photographer at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Northern Virginia, is donating his images to my campaign promoting DC-area public gardens.  His photos of nature, especially of wildlife, are beyond anything I can or ever will achieve, but garden photography is new to him so he’s taking suggestions...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on July 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm

The Plastic Pot Dilemma

These are just some of the plastic pots I reluctantly acquired in April in my yearly fit of plant-buying.  I gathered them here to wash them before looking for the least bad way to deal with them, feeling heartsick that plants come with plastic. Is there really no better...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on July 24, 2015 at 7:33 am

Rock Star Garden

I had no idea what to expect from the Hartman Rock Garden. Richie Steffen pitched it to me as a garden like no other. I was in Columbus, OH, a few weeks ago for the Cultivate ’15 trade show and had some time to kill.  The Cultivate ‘15 is...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 22, 2015 at 7:38 am

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...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on July 20, 2015 at 3:22 am

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
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