It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

Hands off the hydrangeas

Thanks to plentiful rain and other friendly conditions, this is the summer of the Hydrangea in the Northeast, at least as far as I’ve observed. Huge stands of paniculata, macrophylla, and arborescens varieties are blooming profusely. My neighbor’s pink macrophylla blooms are easily a foot in circumference; it’s amazing they’re not pulling down the whole […]

Posted by  on August 22, 2017 at 8:58 am.   This post has 5 responses.

GWA/Buffalo Take-Aways

Buffalo! Time for a debrief after attending the Garden Writers annual shindig held in Buffalo this year – to the delight of anyone who’s been there in the last decade or so and the apprehension of anyone who hasn’t. Yeah, Buffalo had lots of doubters, but boy did that...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on August 18, 2017 at 7:48 am

Rant from the road: resort horticulture

Vacations are always busmens’ holidays for gardeners. Whether it’s a tropical paradise, a stateside resort, or a European capital, gardeners can’t help but notice what’s planted, where it’s planted, and how well it’s designed. We don’t actually work on the gardens where we stay, but we’re doing it in...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on August 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

John Oliver Discovers the One and Only Ciscoe Morris

I love this! So does the Seattle Times.

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on August 15, 2017 at 10:27 am

Corner Makeover: Before and One Year Later

Readers may have noticed I’m an obsessive-compulsive garden-maker, not happy with making and tending just the townhouse garden I now own.  I showed you one example recently – the town center garden I adopted in May of this year. Boy, did it need some love. Next up, another highly visible bit...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on August 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

An annual philosophy

Certain plants exude a message of “Don’t worry, be happy.” Others continually whine, “Maintain me!” In my garden, the easiest plants I grow are the tropical or semitropicals. They require virtually nothing, much like their brethren in my office. Once in a while, I’ll cut down a dead leaf...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on August 10, 2017 at 9:40 am

Perennially Yours: Steve Still

Garden Rant contributor Bob Hill came to my 60th surprise birthday party some years ago. After a few glasses of wine, he said, “Look around. All of these friends will be at your funeral.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or pray. I have thought about Bob’s prophetic words...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on August 9, 2017 at 7:23 am

A Botanical Translator

Botanists speak a special language, one that is frequently unintelligible to outsiders like me.  This has frustrated me at times, for instance when I’ve tried to use a botanical key or field manual to identify an unfamiliar plant.  Now, though, I’ve got expert help. A week ago I picked...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on August 7, 2017 at 9:55 am

Sunflowers Rivaling Cherry Blossoms as Top Plant Attraction

Here’s why I’m going out on a cherry blossom limb to assert that the humble sunflower is gaining on DC’s most overhyped flowers. Just outside DC, Maryland’s McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area is just now seeing its sunflower fields cleared of photographers from near and far. There’s a special Guide for Photographing...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Public Gardens
Posted by on August 4, 2017 at 10:07 am

That Porn on the Patio

Guest Rant by Alan Burke  I was asked a few years ago to put together a landscape design for a historic school in Seattle. Wrapping the bases of the building’s large Corinthian columns with Bears breech (Acanthus mollis), I pointed out to the client that Acanthus was the plant...

Read more in: But is it Art?, Guest Rants
Posted by Alan Burke on August 2, 2017 at 8:25 am

When it comes to gardening coverage, think locally!

I can’t remember a time when the Houston Chronicle wasn’t a part of my life.  My parents were faithful subscribers, just as my husband and I have been since we married in 1983.  I was fortunate enough to be a contract employee for a while, working with garden editor...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Cindy McMorris Tournier on August 1, 2017 at 9:07 am

17 New Plants, One Aging Gardener

So having just returned from a favorite nursery with 17 new plants I didn’t really need – but couldn’t live without – my mind leans toward the phenomenon of impulse buying, if not Zen and The Art of Horticultural Maintenance. Precisely what is it that triggers the mind to...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 31, 2017 at 2:09 pm

Beach Town’s Transition from Gambling and Gangs to Gorgeous Gardens

This week I visited North Beach, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, about 45 minutes from my home. I hadn’t been there since the 1980s, when I remember it as rundown and generally depressing. A little research into the town’s history explains why. From Wikipedia: The town was a gambling mecca...

Read more in: Public Gardens
Posted by on July 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm

The quick and dirty tricks of the yearly show gardener

Keep in mind that I’m not talking about gardens that are regularly visited by the public, via bus tours, Open Days, and appointments. Those are the real show gardens, and they don’t need to resort to subterfuge because they are maintained by dedicated owners (and sometimes staff) and they...

Read more in: Garden Walk Buffalo, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

Garden Update Five Years On

Since ripping out the turfgrass in my new townhouse garden in 2012, I’m still waiting for the turfless garden to look DONE, like Evelyn Hadden’s new garden seems to have done in barely a season. Here you see the front garden in late May, after the azaleas were done....

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 21, 2017 at 5:27 am

Buffalo’s first green roof, ten years later

Buffalo is not landscape architecture central. Aside from a large Olmsted park system (that’s been adulterated in spots), I find many WNY public landscapes uninspired. Private gardens are the thing here; almost 500 of them will be open to the public next week. However, I do have a favorite...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 20, 2017 at 11:14 am

So Beekeepers, You Want to Save the World?

Guest Rant by Helen Yoest I was only six years old when Rachel Carson changed my world. And by all standards, Ms. Carson influenced a generation with her book, Silent Spring. That was some powerful stuff. Since that time, so many of us are engaged in saving everything from birds...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants
Posted by Helen Yoest on July 18, 2017 at 10:40 am

What is “cute”?

The other day, a visiting friend gasped when he saw a rat run across a corner of the suburban Connecticut yard where I garden during the week.  I shuddered when he told me.  I could guess what had drawn the creature:  we have a henhouse full of geriatric chickens...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 17, 2017 at 10:43 am

The Success of Mississippi State’s “Southern Gardening”

These days I follow dozens of gardening channels on Youtube, especially those of Extension universities, where there are hundreds of good veg-growing videos are to be found. Except for the topic of turfgrass, videos about ornamentals are a lot less common. So naturally I noticed this guy – Gary...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on July 14, 2017 at 10:00 am

The Garden and Nursery Boat

I stared out my elementary school window for years, bored out of my skull, determined to forsake fractions for adventure. The Ohio River, my escape route, was a few miles away. My curiosity for the river life was inspired by Huckleberry Finn and amplified years later by Harlan Hubbard’s...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 12, 2017 at 8:13 am
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