Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

Where Environmentalism Meets Public Health

Meet environmental activist Robert Zarr, shown here in a park in downtown D.C. He’s dressed for cycling because he rides his bike to work; his family as been car-free for 15 or so years. But what makes him an environmental activist isn’t cycling or his other outdoor pursuits; it’s what he does to get people […]

Posted by  on December 11, 2015 at 8:07 am.   This post has Comments Off on Where Environmentalism Meets Public Health.

The Conquest of Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu

Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu was toppled before first frost. A vital part of our garden has become a dog run.  Gone are the scree beds, replaced by sod. Rufus now rules the roost. Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu, conceived fifteen years ago by my good friend, the talented landscape architect...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 9, 2015 at 7:23 am

An Osage expose

Osage orange fruit. Hedge apples. Monkey brains. Maclura pomifera. Yellow-green, squiggly, hairy spheres the size of grapefruits. If these are underfoot on a fall hike, I guarantee someone will mention the purported insect and/or spider repellant properties of an Osage orange. Rumor has it that a few of these bowling balls...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Joanna Brichetto on December 7, 2015 at 7:56 am

To Help Save Habitat, Drink this Coffee

Sure, you can buy coffee that’s certified organic, but there’s another certification that includes organic and goes even farther – Bird-Friendly Coffee. Our seal of approval ensures tropical “agroforests” are preserved and migratory birds find a healthy haven when they travel from your backyard to those faraway farms producing the...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

A Great New Aid to Plant Identification

Plant identification has always been my nemesis.  I recognize old friends, but confront me with a new-comer, an unknown, and I am at a loss.  There are tools for identifying unfamiliar plants, of course.  These are botanical keys.  I was supposed to master these during my days as a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Science Says
Posted by on December 3, 2015 at 10:14 am

Protein from the Garden

If you’re wanting to cut meat from your diet or reduce your consumption of it, for health reasons or environmental ones, you might have wondered if you can then turn to your garden for some of your daily protein intake. Your garden can supply a surprisingly diverse array of...

Read more in: Feed Me
Posted by on December 2, 2015 at 4:36 am

Making my peace with poinsettias

As you can  imagine, many of my most passionate rants are years in the past, back when we started. You can only inveigh against lawn culture, shake your fist against Big Chem, or rage about cheap resin statuary so many times. Then there the things I’ve ranted against that...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 1, 2015 at 9:03 am

Perennials that won’t tolerate leaf mulches

In a recent post, Evelyn Hadden shared some very useful tips on how fall’s leaves can be used in the garden.   As a perennial enthusiast, I’d like to add a couple of caveats – a mulch of autumn leaves can be fatal to certain kinds of perennials. A mulch...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 28, 2015 at 11:54 am

Watering tools I love, and why I hate the others

In honor of a day that doesn’t deserve it (the horrid Black Friday), here are some gift suggestions for the gardener on your list or your own list of wants. All my favorite gardening tools seem to be watering-related, and here are three that I recommend to anyone who’ll...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on November 27, 2015 at 8:24 am

Gratitude, like gardening, is good for you

As I just heard on an NPR report yesterday, being thankful is not just the thing to do at this time of year, gratitude actually has real health benefits, including reducing the possibility of heart disease. Well, I’m all for that! So here goes: I’m thankful that I live...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 24, 2015 at 9:46 am

In the Time of the Long Shadows

Fall. A time of the year I love and hate. Love most of the weather. Love the clear blue sky and bright orange autumn leaves. Love the way it makes me want to start nesting. Hate the shorter days. Hate the weather on days that are cold and damp....

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by Irvin Etienne on November 23, 2015 at 8:04 am

Anti-Leaf-Blowers get Blowback

Continuing our seasonal leaf theme here on GardenRant, it’s time for some anti-leaf-blower ranting! Actually we’ve done that, so how about some rants against anti-leaf-blowers, coz those ranters know how to have fun. But we start with the anti-leaf-blower, in this case a famous one – James Fallows, journalist...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening
Posted by on November 20, 2015 at 8:50 am

Fall and Rebirth

Autumn is a sad yet beautiful season in my garden.  It brackets the anniversaries of my son’s life:  his birth in late fall and his death at age 18 at fall’s beginning.   I think of him often at this time of year but especially in the garden, which is...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on November 19, 2015 at 10:51 am

Six Ways to Use Fallen Leaves in Your Garden

Got leaves? Use them to boost your garden’s soil and plant health, facilitate the design and creation of new planting beds, turn problem areas into productive ones, and save yourself labor and money, all while doing the green thing. Here are six rewarding, practical alternatives to raking leaves into...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on November 18, 2015 at 4:58 am

Gardening in the dark times

For years, I’ve been using gardening to ease the transition from the long, light days of spring, summer, and early fall to weeks when I leave the house before dawn and drive home at sunset. The idea is to stay in touch with growing things no matter what. I...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 17, 2015 at 8:31 am

Technical fixes coming to GardenRant

You may have noticed GardenRant offline for a while this morning and yesterday, too. Turns out we’d been shut down by our server for having too many spam comments. Yes, we use Akismet to prevent almost all of them from appearing on the site, but we’re told that 300+...

Read more in: Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on November 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm

NWF’s terrible, no-good gardening advice goes viral

Somehow, the National Wildlife Federation’s 2014 blog post “Leave the Leaves for Wildlife” has gone viral this year, and not just on the Internet. Its popular chore-relieving advice is being repeated widely on television, too. Unfortunately, this part of the NWF’s advice hasn’t gone viral – the qualifier: A leaf...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on November 13, 2015 at 9:23 am

Hackberry Nerds Not in Lab Coats

Nowhere else on the planet will you find anything that compares to the geeky and up-to-date Garden Rant coverage of hackberries. Last week’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein nudged the door on the belittled common hackberry. This week we will attempt to blow the door wide open with the...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on November 11, 2015 at 7:28 am

The question of permeable pavers and paving

Last week, I posted about a beautiful parking lot that is conserving trees and water. It’s the project of my friend Dave Majewski, who’s been pursuing green infrastructure and remediative landscapes for decades. (This year, Dave received the EPA’s Environmental Quality Award for his urban habitat project on Buffalo’s...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on November 10, 2015 at 9:46 am

Loss of tree costing me a fortune

When a diseased tree was removed from my next-door neighbor’s back yard recently I couldn’t stop watching. It took four men almost two full days and a lot of skill to do the job. Huge pieces of trunk dangled back and forth in the air and had to be...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on November 6, 2015 at 7:43 am
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