But is it Art?, Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens

Garden as Process

Is a particular plant a weed? Is a garden a work of art? And who gets to decide? If you’ve read our recent rantings, you’ve likely noticed these questions do not have simple answers. The answers vary, depending on the gardener. Many gardeners (like me) learn their land slowly. At first, they may plant one […]

Posted by  on July 2, 2014 at 3:09 am.   This post has 21 responses.

Man vs. tree

Why do people hate and fear trees?  It seems incredible, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support such a bizarre conclusion. During a recent afternoon at my regular salon, the owner told me about an encounter with a neighbor. She has a large elm tree in the back...

Read more in: Feed Me, It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on June 30, 2014 at 8:00 am

What’s a weed? And is Spiderwort one?

How does a plant that arrives in your garden like a weed earn the right to not be weeded out?  I ruminated on this the other day when a neighbor asked me to identify a new plant in her garden that had arrived without her help. I told her...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on June 27, 2014 at 9:51 am

They asked for it!

A few weeks ago, the Ranters were asked by Time.com’s Money publication to supply a list of good and bad ways to spend money in the garden. I’ll be honest; I usually hate this kind of crap. However, this time, the writer, Brad Tuttle, did a fantastic job. He...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on June 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

The Kindness of Strangers or Tend To Your Own Garden, Interloper!

  Gardening in public can be so interesting. I have grown most of my food in my hellstrip for about 5 – 6 years now, since my backyard is the domain of an Evil Gopher Warrior King and my front yard has grown too shady for most edibles to...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on June 25, 2014 at 10:26 am

It’s June and the subject is roses

Roses have to earn their keep in my urban garden, just like every other plant I have. Space is at a premium, so I need there to be at least two months of floral and foliar interest from any given plant and prefer more if possible. But my requirements...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on June 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

From Organic-Only to Big-Picture Sustainability

I recommend a fascinating article in Wednesday’s Food Section of the Washington Post this week: “Organic standards fight over synthetics  shows there’s room for a third system,” starting with the news that proposed broadening of organic standards brought out the protesters at a recent meeting, and the police had to...

Read more in: Eat This, Science Says
Posted by on June 20, 2014 at 11:03 am

The enigma of Olmsted

Home tomorrow night? You can catch the newest documentary on Frederick Law Olmsted on PBS. Entitled Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, this is a basic overview of the seminal landscape architect’s career, starting with Central Park and ending with his final projects in Massachusetts and North Carolina. We’ve discussed...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, I Don't Have a Garden, but I Watch One on TV, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 19, 2014 at 8:00 am

Praising Our Public Gardens: A Video Tribute to Idaho Botanical Garden

The American Public Gardens Association (APGA) holds its annual conference in Denver next week. The theme is Everyday Magic: The Transformative Nature of Public Gardens. With tracks on education, leadership, art, horticulture, and more, the program schedule underlines just how hard public gardens work to lure visitors and to...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on June 18, 2014 at 9:29 am

Hot Debate Coming Up: Do Gardens Qualify as Art?

The Royal Hort Society is holding a debate I’d love to hear.  The topic is: “Are Gardens Art?” and get a load of the line-up of debaters — a critic, a designer, a plantsperson and a philosopher: Andrew Wilson (Chair of the debate panel) – Award winning Garden Designer,...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on June 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

WANTED: Information on Occurrence of Basil Downy Mildew.

A scientist studying vegetable pathology at Cornell contacted GardenRant for help in gathering data about a new disease.  Please help out by spreading the word about the need for more info and how to report it. by Meg McGrath I recently have received several reports of Basil Downy Mildew on plants bought...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on June 16, 2014 at 7:57 am

Removing Sod, Saving Earthworms, and Obsessing over Make-Overs

With lawn reduction growing in popularity, email groups are lively with discussions of how to remove the stuff.  There are basically four choices – digging, using a sod-cutter, smothering and spraying with herbicide.  I’ve removed a far bit of sod over the years, always using that first one – great...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Lawn Reform
Posted by on June 13, 2014 at 7:20 am

The Joys of Cockroach Composting. No, really.

We’ve all been there in one way or another – you awake at 3 am and groggily make your way to the bathroom.  No need for the light you think, it’ll just wake me up.  And then, halfway through relieving yourself, you feel a giant thing scrabble madly down...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by Patrick Gentry on June 12, 2014 at 6:27 am

Lover of Life: My Tribute to Kurt Bluemel

Kurt Bluemel defied the odds most of his long, illustrious life, so no one was ready for the inoperable, rare liver cancer that was diagnosed a few weeks ago. After all—and perhaps for evermore—this is the legendary Der Gras König, the King of Grasses. Our king’s legacy deserves a...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 11, 2014 at 6:21 am

So, an artist, a curator, and a designer walk into a garden …

When the words “garden” and “art” collide, you get all kinds of results. There might be a garden that contains one or more unique objects made by artists. Another could be  filled with whirligigs, gazing balls, sun catchers, or—possibly—gnomes. Or maybe the two words  mean nothing more than rows...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 10, 2014 at 8:51 am

Is Your Local Garden Center Taking Action on Neonicotinoids?

What’s killing the bees?  The pesticide neonicotinoid, for one thing, and it’s routinely used on plants for sale and earlier in the plants’ lives, at the wholesale growers’.  That discovery has led to an anti-neonic campaign targeting the boxes in particular, leading to headlines like “Bee  Activists Swarm Home Depot and...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on June 9, 2014 at 7:06 am

Garden Dilemma: Under the Bird Feeders

Help!  I’m loving having bird feeders and a bird bath at the edge of my patio, but not loving the seeds sprouting like crazy and causing much weeding to be done. Also, I have to sweep the patio almost daily. To the bird-feeders among you, what do you suggest?...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on June 6, 2014 at 11:23 am

Kurt Bluemel, Rest in Peace

Sorry to deliver sad news. Kurt Bluemel Der Gras König — The King of Grasses — died yesterday evening after a brief illness. The Baldwin MD plantsman and humanitarian was 81. Kurt was extraordinarily artistic, tireless, demanding, resilient, charismatic, enormously successful and generous. No one loved life quite like...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 5, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Soothing the savage beast

Inside, the colors are radiant as flowers flourish. Rows of yellow and orange marigolds mingle. Baskets of purple Angelonias and white lilacs hang above them. It is a serene sight behind bars. Many of us already know that dirt makes us happy, even without the recent scientific evidence indicating...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

Garden Chores: The WANT TO DO List

What strikes me as the most common thread among all the diverse gardeners I have met or read is that so many don’t unwind much in their own gardens. Of course, we all have that (perhaps infinite) list of things we want to do to improve our gardens. What...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on June 4, 2014 at 12:01 am
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