Gardening on the Planet

If nature bats last, which inning is it?

The assault on wild places continues. As I wrote about here, two national monuments, both in Utah, are much closer to being (drastically) reduced in size: Bears’ Ears by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante by half. What’s next? I would guess plenty; we’ve already heard that drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is part of […]

Posted by  on December 5, 2017 at 12:26 pm.   This post has 6 responses.

Insights from Germany

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a lecture sponsored by the New York Botanical Garden, and it was eye-opening. The speaker was Cassian Schmidt, who since 1998 has been director of Hermannshof, a combination botanical and trial garden situated on six acres of in...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 4, 2017 at 8:13 am

How one Garden Club is Changing with the Times

Who’s old enough to have belonged to a garden club back when they were known as cliques for privileged white women? (The Savannah Garden Club made famous in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil comes to mind – the boozy lunches, the expelling of members for getting...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on December 1, 2017 at 9:25 am

Why isn’t gardening included in exercise tech?

My husband and I were early adopters of Apple watches when they were first introduced in 2015. I now have a series 3, which can act independently of the iPhone, (solving what had always been a drawback). One of the basic ways I use the watch is as an...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 30, 2017 at 10:05 am

Perennial Royalty: It’s Inbred

There are few families in American horticulture with four generations of successful nursery crops. There are even fewer nursery legends with a story so well remembered as that of Jack Schultz, the 88-year-old Schultz family patriarch and founder of Springbrook Gardens, wholesale perennials growers, in Mentor, Ohio. Jack’s dad,...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 7:56 am

Amo, Amas, Amat in the Garden

The further I get into this horticulture life the more I realize how little I know, especially of its outer edges; all that Latin derivation and categorization stuff. That used to bother me. People forever mistake me for an expert. I’m about over it. I’m in my Old Guy...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on November 27, 2017 at 8:10 am

Bulb-Planting Rules I Break

Who doesn’t love spring-blooming bulbs? I love all of them (well, except for hyacinths) and used to plant a large assortment every fall. Above are shots from my former garden, where I planted tulips, yanked them out after the blooms faded and had the fun of trying new ones...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on November 24, 2017 at 9:21 am

Goodbye, and thanks for your service

Trees are suffering. First, there are the pests; among the most current are the emerald ash borer, the mountain pine beetle, and the wooly aldegid. Then there are the ravages of fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters; it was awful to see the defoliation in the Caribbean earlier this...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on November 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Video: Best-Performing Native Plants in my Garden

These days we’re all paying more attention to beneficial wildlife in our gardens, and to that end, looking for good native plants to grow. But which ones? Those official lists of state or regional natives don’t really help the aspiring eco-gardener make their choices. So many of the listed...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on November 17, 2017 at 8:26 am

It’s a Mast Year

Ever heard of a “mast year?” I hadn’t until we moved to our cottage on the Eastern Shore. That was June.  In early September, it started. Artillery fire. Lying in bed in our loft, with no attic to buffer us, it was like the London blitz—except with acorns. The...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Sandra Gaffigan on November 14, 2017 at 9:37 am

Can these Junipers be Saved?

My latest gardening obsession is making over the landscape in front of my housing co-op offices, where the top priority is to do something about the overgrown junipers. Planted too close to the sidewalk and doors, they’d been sheared back, which caused much unsightly needle-browning. The problem wasn’t just...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on November 10, 2017 at 8:20 am

A Glimpse of a Lunatic’s Garden

I don’t know anyone on this planet, or galaxy, with more runaway enthusiasm for gardening than Jamie Dockery. And that’s not all. Besides his rabid determination to grow anything with chlorophyll, Jamie also raises little cows, little goats, chickens, ducks, donkeys, and tends an aviary with finches and canaries—all...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on November 8, 2017 at 7:58 am

Our annual long-range forecast rant

And this time, it’s from a guest ranter, artist/writer Bruce Adams. Though his rant is region-specific, this could apply anywhere. The science of weather forecasting has grown in sophistication over the years. Various forecasters now predict general weather conditions for whole seasons. And the good news is, there’s a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants
Posted by Bruce Adams on November 7, 2017 at 11:17 am

Are Images of Gardeners in the Media Finally Improving?

My recent rant about stereotypes of gardeners in a new play got me thinking about the images of gardeners used in advertising and elsewhere. The garden-club-competing gardeners in the play typify the demographic so often used to portray us – white and elderly.   More of the same can...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on November 3, 2017 at 8:55 am

Still crazy after fourteen years

Pre-blog, my garden practice gets lost in the fog of history. I know I started gardening seriously in 1999, when we bought property, but I am not quite sure exactly what I was doing month by month until 2005, when I started documenting it with a blog. And that’s...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on October 31, 2017 at 10:22 am

A Back Porch Recipe for Peace

Gardening offers me an outside recipe for inner peace, or at least the opportunity to go hide on our screened-in back porch and ponder the meaning of life, mortality and the furrowed bark and brilliant fall colors of our three-flowered maple. I look out, and the pink and white...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on October 30, 2017 at 8:15 am

Dueling Gardeners on Stage

Though not a big theater-goer, I HAD to see the comedy  “Native  Gardens” when it played in DC because it’s about next-door neighbors representing different demographics and attitudes toward gardening. I’ll admit that I laughed, but the stereotypes in the play – of people and of plants – bugged me no...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on October 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

There’s fall color—and fall color

Every day on my way to work, I always look at a certain house, just before I make my final turn. It is the one vibrant spot of color on a block, which, though perfectly nice, is typified by sedate, small front lawns and a few foundation plantings. But...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on October 26, 2017 at 10:02 am

Waiting for Camus

Albert Camus nearly got it right when he wrote: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is in flower.” The French philosopher didn’t clutter a good line with what really blossoms in autumn for many gardeners. In practical terms, with cooler temperatures, the weeds wind down. This year,...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on October 25, 2017 at 7:47 am

Discovering Sally Fox, Legendary Cotton Breeder

At my town’s film festival last weekend I met a filmmaker just out of USC film school whose masters project had been accepted by (and then won an award from) the festival. The short film – True Colors by Bethann Morgan – is the scripted true story of Sally...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 20, 2017 at 9:44 am
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