Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling

If I had a nickel for every garden cliché I’ve ever heard…

Guest Rant by Amy Campion Like thistles invading a garden, hackneyed phrases have seeded themselves into garden writing and need to be rooted out. They choke out good prose and distract from the message.  What’s more, they really irk me.  If you write about gardening, I beg you to weed these expressions from your vocabulary: […]

Posted by Amy Campion  on April 17, 2014 at 6:15 am.   This post has 37 responses.

Behind the Scenes: Making a Video Trailer for a Gardening Book

Though it’s no longer a new idea, it seems odd to me that a gardening book would have a video trailer. How can a video—a very different medium—give a taste of what readers might experience? On the other hand, videos lend drama to their subjects, and though I’d hope...

Read more in: Books, What's Happening
Posted by on April 16, 2014 at 3:53 am

Wild within bounds

Believe it or not: After initially pouring some compost into the globular bottle, Latimer used a wire to carefully lower in a spiderwort seeding, and then added a pint of water to the mix. The bottle was sealed and placed in a sunny corner. Apparently, the bottle planting, started...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on April 14, 2014 at 8:23 am

DCGardens.com and a Call for Photos and Videos

Thanks, Rant commenters, for your great suggestions for improving videos of gardens, like the videos I showed you last week of the National Arboretum in April.  I heard you that the photos were whizzing by too fast, and that most of you prefer the techno music over Vivaldi.  Pixelation...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on April 11, 2014 at 8:13 am

Stop Tilling Your Vegetable Garden!

Guest Rant by Megan Cain I get why you till. There’s something in all of us gardeners that leaps with joy when we see a freshly tilled bed. That rich, dark, blank canvas beckons us to come on over and work our vegetable magic. We imagine ourselves gently planting...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Megan Cain on April 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

Through the Hand Lens: Pat Haragan’s Steady View

I have dozens of floras sitting on cluttered bookshelves: from China to the Caucasus and from Kansas to Kentucky. Yet even more mileage is guaranteed from a new botanic investigation that covers territory closer to home—my neighborhood. I predict the pages of Pat Haragan’s “The Olmsted Parks of Louisville:...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on April 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Can a Video Attract Garden Visitors?

I’ve long had the notion that somehow short, viral-going videos showing the fabulousness of a garden that’s open to the public might increase visitorship – and thereby support for the garden.  And here in the D.C. area the poster child for a fabulous garden that could use some support...

Read more in: Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on April 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

From our Landscape Architect Friends…

First, congrats to the team at Landscape Architecture Magazine on the magazine’s nomination for an impressive national award.  From their website: We are very honored to be finalists in 2014 American Magazine Awards for General Excellence in the Special Interest category, especially considering the excellent other magazines in the...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on April 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

Spring Fever

As the garden wakes up, I find I spend more time in that stock-still, mesmerized state that, let’s face it, is the point of all this garden work. Though planting, caring for the plants, and editing them all have their satisfactions, being absorbed in the garden is my favorite...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 2, 2014 at 4:01 am

Full sun to part shade. Really?

Plant labels tend to be prosaic. They are not—to my knowledge—as carefully scrutinized by federal agencies as food labels are, but nonetheless, the big growers seem to reliably police themselves, offering botanical names, reasonably truthful dimensions, and helpful planting and care information.  Except, sadly, when it comes to light...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 31, 2014 at 8:17 am

Who’s Eating Our Orchard?

Delayed almost a month by an unusually cold and prolonged winter, our friend Gini–an avid arborist– arrived the other day to give us our first lesson in orchard pruning. We were anxious to begin work on the more than 100 young fruit trees we acquired when we bought our...

Read more in: Eat This
Posted by on March 28, 2014 at 8:05 am

Learning my Place from Nature’s Graveyard

by Dr. Amanda Morris Splintered fence. Shattered shrubs. Shredded trunks. And pine needles. Everywhere, pine needles. Destruction with the scent of Christmas. As I made my way into the barely accessible remains of yard, gingerly pulling back heavy pine branches to expose anything left visible, I touched a ripped...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Amanda Morris on March 27, 2014 at 7:36 am

GARDEN GEEKS ( Yes I’m Talking to YOU)

  I think it is so funny that people who garden passionately automatically think we will have things in common just because I also garden passionately. Yes, I am a plant maniac and proud – but I am so far from the plant obsessed and jargon-spouting, horticulturally saturated lady...

Read more in: Get a Job, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on March 26, 2014 at 1:40 am

Seen at the garden show

Tis the season. Indeed, many of you have already attended or ignored your local home & garden/garden-only exhibitions, which are timed to capture the attention of property owners as winter fades. Our show happened this past weekend. I used to look forward to this when I was first starting...

Read more in: CRRRITIC, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on March 24, 2014 at 8:00 am

Digging into the Archive of American Gardens

I’m not sure I totally grasp the content of the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Gardens but here’s what I gather so far, from a talk I heard on the subject and digging into their website. A big honking collection of garden photos was donated to the Smithsonian by the...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on March 21, 2014 at 9:01 am

Poppies for Memories

Since I moved to Idaho, my sister and mom and their friends and my friends have been generously donating plants to fill my new garden beds. (Gardeners are the nicest people.) This week, I’m transplanting poppies from my sister. I’m planting them in areas that I smothered with leaves...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on March 19, 2014 at 4:15 am

Bunny Mellon, a DC Garden Designer with Connections

Philanthropist and garden designer Bunny Mellon died recently, and I didn’t appreciate her significance until reading Adrian Higgins’ terrific profile of her in today’s  WaPo.  “Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon, arts patron and confidante of Jackie Kennedy, dies at 103.” I didn’t even know that she designed two major gardens at...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on March 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

A green gardener

Like many others in this country, I can trace my ancestry—within a couple generations—to the auld sod. My Irish forebears, the Kenneys and the Brackens, settled down to farm in Western New York when they first came here in the mid-nineteenth century. Times changed, and so did their occupations,...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on March 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

Garden Tourism Getting its Due

Richard Benfield is gradually infiltrating this blog, one Ranter at a time. He’s the Central State Connecticut U. geography professor named the world’s leading authority on garden tourism – and that was before his Garden Tourism book was even published.  So naturally he’s been to Buffalo, the city leading...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on March 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

Domestic Cut Flowers Come to Congress

Last week a cut-flower event happened in the halls of Congress – a press conference announcing the creation of the brand-new Congressional Cut Flower Caucus, headed up by California Reps. Lois Capps and Duncan Hunter.  And look who’s behind the dais at the event, with Rep. Capps and other...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on March 13, 2014 at 11:14 am
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