Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling

Batman and Poison Ivy’s Leaves

The weeds and botanical inaccuracies have also entered the world of comics. In 1966, Batman had a new nemesis, Poison Ivy, a botanist turned bad. (Brilliant!, says the botanist and author of this blog.) The poison ivy plant is one of the most obnoxious weeds of North America. Issue 181 of DC comics Batman, introducing […]

Posted by Lena Struwe  on January 16, 2014 at 6:16 am.   This post has 8 responses.

Tale of a Strawbale Raised Bed

One year, three friends and I decided to make a vegetable garden together. It would be built on one of our properties in the suburbs west of Minneapolis, and all of us would help maintain it and share in the harvest. We built the garden in a mowed area...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Eat This, Feed Me, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 15, 2014 at 2:54 am

Slow and local in winter: I grow them myself

Yes, I’ve seen all the winter bouquets that people are creating with seedpods, evergreen foliage, berries, rose hips, pinecones, interesting twigs and so on. Indeed, one of our good friends, Debra Prinzing, is the queen of this movement. The winter arrangements that she and others create are beautiful, and...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on January 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

Eastern Gardener ISO Desert Plants

One of the many press releases coming my way recently was from High Country Gardens, and I found myself wanting all of its new introductions, especially the Salvias.  Loved by hummingbirds but NOT by deer or rabbits!  But then I read this quote from David Salman, the company’s chief horticulturist,...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on January 10, 2014 at 11:08 am

Wintering Over in the Garden Center

Business is slow.  This is the reason some garden centers here in Massachusetts close until April, but there is so much to do here before then.  In between selling carts of wood and the occasional orchid or pot of paper whites, while we water what’s left of the rosemary...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by Janet Belding on January 9, 2014 at 6:52 am

The Joy of Giving: To Seek and to Share a Little Crab Apple

Another season of binge shopping and Bourbon balls has come to an end. Credit cards and waistlines have been stretched. Good luck if you made New Year’s resolutions to make amends for holiday excesses. But don’t worry if your good intentions fall by the wayside before April Fools’ Day....

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on January 8, 2014 at 5:42 am

Hey, Pantone! Roy G. Biv called; he wants his rainbow back.

Color trending is silly by definition, but it’s a way to make a living. I have followed Pantone’s (and Color Marketing Group’s) successive “colors of the year” for over a decade now. Every year, a color—with maybe a secondary color—is picked, and then touted among home design and fashion...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on January 6, 2014 at 7:54 am

2013 in my Garden and my Town

Following Elizabeth’s lead, I’m celebrating the year-end with a round-up of the yay’s and boo’s from my garden in its first full year and what’s happening in my adopted town of Greenbelt, Maryland. YAY:  The perennials in my garden are filling in nicely, and where they haven’t, I used...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Celebrating the New Year with a Giant Potato

No need for me and my fellow Idahoans to sit at home and watch the New Yorkers having all the fun… now Boise has a locally grown New Year’s Eve tradition: an evening of magic shows, live music, street food, and general merrymaking, capped off by dropping a giant...

Read more in: Eat This, Feed Me, Tune In, What's Happening
Posted by on January 1, 2014 at 4:42 am

2013: It was a year

Yay: I finally can have my vegetables and eat them too. A box of local, organically grown food is delivered to our door every week. We can also go out to the farm once in a while and load up on chickens, excess corn, even flowers. The food-growing thing...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

What Does YOUR Tree Say About YOU?

We are what we eat, right? What we wear says a lot about us, doesn’t it? Basically, everything we put out into the world says something about who we are, and people are reading those cues all of the time. So during this holiday season, I did a thing...

Read more in: But is it Art?, CRRRITIC
Posted by on December 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Merry Christmas from the White House!

From a recent visitor to the  White House, to be more precise.  Yes, that’s me standing beneath the presidential seal (major photo-op), and on the left is the grand north entrance.  If I’d planned ahead and contacted my congressman I could have taken the White House tour with the...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, What's Happening
Posted by on December 25, 2013 at 8:29 am

Garden in a gun

While some conspiracy theorists believe that shadow organizations such as the Illuminati or the New World Order or the American military-industrial complex are heck-bent on taking over our lives, ProfessorRoush has long suspected that marketing groups are the real shadow organizations that will bring about the downfall of civilization.  After all, they’ve already convinced...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on December 23, 2013 at 7:48 am

Snow Challenged Chickens

We love to think of chickens frolicking in open pastures, living the “sustainable” life by chasing bugs and laying big, beautiful eggs. But have you ever wondered what happens when winter arrives and those free-ranging hens have to deal with snow? When I started our flock in the salad...

Read more in: Feed Me
Posted by on December 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

Overpriced, useless, or just plain bizarre: an anti-garden gift guide

Inspired by the wonderful Haters Guide to The Williams Sonoma Catalog, which you have no doubt enjoyed via its countless Facebook postings, here is a similar look at the world of garden-related mail order. Sadly, a) I am not even one millionth as funny, and b) the gardening world...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on December 19, 2013 at 8:04 am

Garden Sage: One of my Signature Plants

Garden sage (Salvia officinalis) was one of the first useful plants I added to my first garden; my goal was to grow enough that I could use it fresh for Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. Fifteen years later, I’m on my third garden, and though it is brand new this...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on December 18, 2013 at 2:48 am

No tree, no problem

Most years, we have the Christmas tree post here on Rant (here’s a great one); the topic is a source of mild controversy among gardeners, mainly because of the sustainability angle. It breaks down this way: Just buy a cut tree Trees are an agricultural product and buying from...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

Decorating Time, White House Version

Just how it’s done in MY house.  Yours too, I bet. Next, Bo does his final inspection. Possible Gardenblogger Report! I’ve never been inside the White House when it’s all dolled-up for the “holidays,” so I looked into it and discovered that 1, it takes congressional intervention and that...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on December 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

How to Stop Bee-Killing Pesticides? Start with the Box Stores!

The first alarm about bee-killing pesticides that caught my eye warned of plants that had been sprayed with neonicotinoids doing the killing.  Then petitions like this one got my attention and I hoped it meant that only the big boxes stores were at fault here, selling horrible products.  But...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Serenity now

Who knew that this forward-thinking garden center was only 15 minutes or so from my house? Make no mistake, Western New York is relatively wealthy in excellent independent garden centers and seasonally open greenhouses. I never need to  visit the local big boxes. But Serene Gardens had not really...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on December 12, 2013 at 9:01 am
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