Everybody's a Critic

Garden Photographer of the Year Winners

A local photography friend sent me a link to the International Garden Photographer of the Year, which bills itself as “the world’s premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography,” now in its 10th year. The competition works with Kew Gardens and the winners are displayed there and on tour throughout […]

Posted by  on April 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm.   This post has one response.

The One and Only Poison Ivy Horticulturist

Superman was the most thrilling comic book hero of my boyhood. “Look… Up in the sky…It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman!” I felt better knowing that good would conquer evil—eventually. Now, J.J. Burkman and the “team of horticulturalists-turned-heroes are fighting an evil villain named Heart Root and...

Read more in: Science Says, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on April 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

Sorry, no seeds—or cereal—for me, GM

Full disclosure: I have a relationship with Cheerios. On any given morning, when I step out into the garden, a pleasant smell, kind of like baking, is often lightly wafting through the air. It’s coming from the General Mills plant down at the waterfront. It started making Cheerios as...

Read more in: Feed Me, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on April 11, 2017 at 7:41 am

Eye Candy from a Famous Spanish Designer

In my 40+ years in the DC area, I’ve been invited to very few embassy functions. It was thanks to my garden writing that the Embassy of Spain invited me to a recent event at Dumbarton Oaks – so right there, count me IN, almost no matter the topic. But...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am

Garden Redesign: Evaluate Everything and Have No Mercy

Guest Post by Wendy Kiang-Spray Usually, when I look out my kitchen window this time of year, I look forward to the delicate, pale purple-topped baptisia that will delight me for a few short weeks, or peony stems poking through whose stunning flowers I’ll stop daily to admire upon...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 5, 2017 at 7:55 am

Clean water? Fresh air? Unspoiled national parks? Science? Who needs ’em?

After appointing what are essentially bizzaro-world choices to lead the EPA, and other government offices that might affect the natural environment, the current administration has removed key  protections through executive order and plans to get rid of many more through upcoming budget changes. The done deals include allowing coal...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy, Science Says
Posted by on April 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

In the Green

This time of year, when the snowdrops bloom, I always think of Bill Owens.  Bill was a remarkable man:  born in 1905 in the tiny community of Pin Hook, Texas, he was raised in poverty by his widowed mother.  His teaching at a one-room schoolhouse was all from one...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 3, 2017 at 8:53 am

Gardens and Gardening on Video

While we’re waiting for the last year of GardenRant’s posts to be restored (long, frustrating story), enjoy the 14 new videos I recently added to the nonprofit educational campaign Good Gardening Videos. HOME GARDENS Tour a STUNNING GARDEN NEAR AUSTIN, with great plants and the best-looking stormwater solutions you’ve ever...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on April 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Is Facebook a great place for gardening questions? Usually not.

It can depend on who’s in your friend list, but I’ve seen enough to determine that asking random gardening questions on Facebook is an exercise in frustration and bad information. The ones I have seen on my feed—usually about plant IDs or houseplant problems—get such a wide range of...

Read more in: Science Says, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Me and my Weepers

Guest Post by Bob Hill I have never fully understood my attraction to weeping plants and I really don’t want to pay some nerdy-looking guy with a psychology degree about $250-an-hour to find out. Truth be told, I’ve spent some time drinking beer and exchanging words like “theorization” and...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 22, 2017 at 7:14 am

Designer Puts Tallamy’s Advice into Practice

New England-area garden designer Matthew Cunningham will be speaking in Silver Spring, Maryland for the local chapter of APLD on Saturday February 11 from 10 to noon. His topic: “Stone, Wood, & Metal in Landscape Design.” (Reserve a spot here.) To bring attention to his talk, we were offered...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on March 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

PlantPOP Wants to Film Your Story

In a recent post I recommended some videos by the very cool “horticultural film studio” PlantPOP (also on Youtube) and promised more about them soon. One phone call later, here ya go. To me it’s a fascinating story of art meets commerce. Art Parkerson grew up in the Tidewater region...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on February 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Stick to gardening

Life is messy. I think we can all agree. You’d like to keep all the separate activities—professional life, family, hobbies, friends, travel—in their little boxes, but it’s never easy. Things run together, things collide, especially in the age of social media. I look at my Facebook posts from five...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm

A Fond Farewell to Evelyn Hadden

After three years as a regular GardenRanter, Evelyn Hadden has retired from blogging to concentrate on her music. Her last post was in October but in hopes that she’d change her mind, none of us announced it, or thanked her for her many wonderful posts, which we know readers...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on January 27, 2017 at 6:36 pm

Just the facts

Alternative facts, that is. If there is any group of people that has learned to accept unpleasant realities—often brought on by natural forces—that group is gardeners. So I’m happy to know that I can devise, twist, and present my own version of gardening facts. Now is the time, before...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Canada, o Canada

This is part 1 of my garden-related thoughts on Inauguration Day. If, like millions, you’ve been pining for Trudeau-led Canada, picture this. It’s my friend Linda’s new home on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver, and a view from her deck. She moved there last summer (prescient!) after a two-year legal...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on January 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm

A trendy wish list for 2017

Not having even looked at any of the predictions or surveys regarding general gardening behavior, here is my wishful thinking for the coming year: More six-packs, fewer pricy branded pots I am lucky enough to be able to order interesting new cultivars from the yearly sale our botanical gardens...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on January 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Planting for the cause

Many of you have heard that 2017’s “Perennial Plant of the Year” is Asclepias tuberosa/butterfly weed. It’s not a surprising choice—attention to attracting and supporting pollinators, especially butterflies, especially monarchs, has been peaking for the past few years and shows no sign of declining. A good thing. Normally, I...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on January 11, 2017 at 3:18 pm

The myth of the plant killer

May 2017 be the year that nobody insists to me that they have a “black thumb.” Except that I know it won’t happen. I was at a small New Year’s Eve party when one of my non-gardening friends asked for advice about an aspidistra (cast iron plant) she’d just...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

New Podcast Discovery: “Still Growing”

I’ve complained about the dearth of gardening podcasts and one of my favorites seems to have even gone dormant. But when I came across three podcasts about this year’s Garden Blogger Fling in Minneapolis, which I actually attended, I had to give a listen, and so discovered probably the...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on December 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm
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