Real Gardens

My Life With George Bush, Gardener

There is the young boy, barefoot in the garden, gamely holding a long hoe, even if it is much too big for him. Who could have imagined? Did a young George Bush enjoy the garden? He never mentioned a word to me. This is a photo of my grandfather, George Bush, Sr. When the elder […]

Posted by  on December 11, 2013 at 8:14 am.   This post has 3 responses.

Pink for a Girl

It was a shock to the senses, when I looked for a ‘Baby Shower’ gift recently, and found that the world had suddenly become divided into pale pink and powder blue – gender stereotyping clearly begins at birth. Clothes, toys and accessories were all sorted by colour into male...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by Jane Scorer on December 9, 2013 at 10:04 am

I was a Lab Rat for GMO Apples

How does a gardenblogger find something to write about in December?  By jumping at the chance to taste-test produce for the USDA, that’s how, at least if it’s just 5 minutes from home.  Anyway, I was curious about the process, starting with the detailed pre-test instructions – no eating/drinking...

Read more in: Eat This, Science Says
Posted by on December 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm

We Only Bond with Complex Landscapes

Here’s one of my beefs with lawns: where is the mystery? We live within this awe-inspiring natural world, teeming with diverse creatures and plants. We have a built-in fascination for other living things (1). Why would we construct our daily environments in such a way that we avoid being...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on December 4, 2013 at 2:04 am

Made any of these “10 Terrible Mistakes”?

Seen on the Landscape Architect Network.   Click here for the other 9. Also seen at the Landscape Architect Network is this T-shirt.  A little sensitive, are we?

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on December 3, 2013 at 8:39 am

Wildflowers in December

A lot of us gardening addicts think we live in our own little particularized universe, isolated by our allegiance to perennials, seeds, bulbs, vines, compost, mulch, pruners, trowels, and topsoil. Nobody we know cares about gardening as much as we do. I know I feel that way. That’s why,...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on December 2, 2013 at 9:05 am

The Pentagon’s Memorial Landscape

I recently ventured to Virginia to a place I’d never been before – the Pentagon Memorial to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack.  Its design by two young architects had been selected in a heated international competition by a group that included family members of the victims, as...

Read more in: But is it Art?
Posted by on November 29, 2013 at 11:01 am

Evil, Frivolous Gardener!!!

I am ruining the world. Because I like pretty plants. Because I practice the dubious art of ornamental gardening. Yes – I admit it. I have planted non-native exotic species in my garden. I have planted them in gardens of others. I am one of those thoughtless, arrogant gardeners...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on November 27, 2013 at 1:07 am

More than just seed porn

It’s ironic that by far the largest and most beautiful garden catalogs I receive are for the smallest commodities. And some might find it sad that I never buy any of these small items. Seeds are really cheap for all they can deliver, and nobody celebrates the glory of...

Read more in: Eat This, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on November 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

Help make the Arboretum Lawn Education Program a Good One!

Readers may remember this post announcing a forthcoming lawn education program at the National Arboretum financed entirely by the turf industry. (Scroll down here to see the funders).  Well, it’s now a reality, with the official ground-breaking event last week, and I’m more concerned than ever.  Though I’m a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Lawn Reform
Posted by on November 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

No poo for you, organic farmers!

If the FDA’s proposed food safety regulations go through, the use of animal manure on farms over a certain size, or which supply food to supermarkets, will be severely limited. According to this NPR story (and I am sure it has appeared in other news outlets), when farmers spread...

Read more in: Eat This, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on November 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

Look at My Big Rock

Not the kind that goes on your finger. We’re talking boulders here, folks. Specifically, one large boulder in the middle of a lawn. What’s up with that? What statement is it making? Is it being displayed as a natural sculpture? Is it being used to add a little textural...

Read more in: But is it Art?, CRRRITIC
Posted by on November 20, 2013 at 2:31 am

Lawn-Mowing as a Patriotic Act

Google “lawn mower guy” and you’ll find dozens of stories about Chris Cox, shown here mowing around the Lincoln Memorial.  He became a local and national hero when he single-handedly mowed around memorials during the recent government shutdown.  Worried about public safety and vandalism at the monuments, at first...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on November 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

A Flower Show at the End of the World

Enjoy a photo-travelogue by our guest Rob Cardillo! This past October, I was lucky enough to attend Japan’s fourth annual Gardening World Cup set in Huis Ten Bosch  –  a slightly surreal, Dutch-inspired theme park complete with canals, windmills and stroopwafels.   Invited by the sponsors to come see one...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by Rob Cardillo on November 14, 2013 at 7:41 am

For Goodness Sake: The Future in Blue Corduroy

They arrived in cars, vans, and buses from  all over the United States. The National FFA Organization (formerly The Future Farmers of America) came to Louisville in late October for their annual convention. Nearly 50,000 thousand boys and girls swarmed the city, decked out in perma-press white shirts, neckties...

Read more in: Feed Me
Posted by on November 13, 2013 at 7:20 am

One step ahead of the garden police

I never liked Japanese barberry shrubs anyway. They do not have pretty flowers. They smell bad, as in, cat urine bad. They have vicious thorns that really hurt whenever I tried to prune them or to weed in their vicinity. I never could understand why folks planted them. So last year, armed with...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by Barbara Conner on November 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

Margaritas in Denver, And a Request for Your Vote

Hey folks!  I’m headed back to Denver this weekend for the Douglas County Library’s Books, Bites, and Brews event. I’m going to give a little botany lesson on margaritas and you’ll get to drink a very well-made specimen.  Don’t you feel smarter already? And in other news–The Drunken Botanist...

Read more in: Drink This
Posted by on November 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Lawn Pesticides Outlawed!

My former hometown, the leftie enclave of Takoma Park, Maryland, has made big news, y’all!  Since passing the Safe Grow Zone Act last summer it became the first town in the U.S. to outlaw lawn pesticides on not just public but also private land.  Some jurisdictions – in Connecticut,...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, What's Happening
Posted by on November 8, 2013 at 7:57 am

Fall Color Marred by Cleavage

Guest Rant by Wendy Kiang-Spray I am not an arborist.  Nor am I a landscape architect, city planner, neighborhood developer, or anything of the sort. This is why I’m so confused about the planting of large trees under phone and power lines.  Throughout my neighborhood, these trees grow so...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Guest Rants
Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on November 7, 2013 at 8:10 am

‘Scuse Me While I Drive 35 in a 50

Sorry folks. The sourwood hanging out my open trunk can’t take high winds. I know the speed limit is 50 mph, but it’s just a few miles more, I promise. That’s right, sourwood. Oxydendron arboreum. A dandy little understory tree I’ve been coveting since I became a gardener nearly 20...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on November 6, 2013 at 12:41 am
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