Ministry of Controversy

Cultivating Wildness

I became a gardener in order to experience nature daily, in order to live in a wilder way. Being wild is the opposite of being isolated. It is an experience of oneness with a vast, complex, diverse, accepting community of living plants and animals. Isolation is sitting motionless in a climate-controlled, artificially lit house, staring […]

Posted by  on May 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm.   This post has 4 responses.

Who uses landscape fabric and why?

Last fall I had the idea of doing something nice for the rather boring and minimalist plantings outside my office. The building itself is great—an 85k-square-foot former railway signal factory (circa 1904–6) that has been repurposed into a mixed use complex including our offices, residential units above, banquet spaces,...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on May 3, 2016 at 11:54 am

Gardening to Beat Climate Change

Earth Day has come and gone, but I haven’t stopped worrying about the greatest challenge our ecosystem has faced since the beginning of human history: global climate change. This year is already setting records: February of 2016 was the hottest February on record globally, and March was the hottest...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Science Says
Posted by on May 2, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Benefits of gardening, or just being IN a garden

National Park Rx, a growing movement among doctors to prescribe parks and nature to their patients, launched recently and I was asked to talk to the public about the benefits of gardening.  Here’s the list I came up with: Great exercise (with too many benefits to list, or to...

Read more in: Public Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on April 29, 2016 at 7:55 am

#TBT: Garden Guy, will work for Heteros Only

Landscapers refusing to work for LGBTs? Back in November 2006. when this was published, you bet, and the legality of doing that hasn’t changed. Indeed—note  recent legislation passed in North Carolina and other states—this kind of discrimination is still in play and often legal. It was Elizabeth, blogging then at Gardening...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10
Posted by on April 28, 2016 at 7:18 am

Slices of Spring and Steak

I’ve been on the clock of Jelitto Perennial Seeds for nearly 21 years. I peddle perennial seeds (over 3,500 different items), but from time to time, with my colleagues there, I enjoy the pleasure of wildflowers, gardens, nurseries and even a good steak. It is a great gig. Georg...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on April 27, 2016 at 12:06 pm

The tulip graveyard

It’s nice, as graveyards go. Colorful bulbs—species tulips, grape hyacinth, narcissus, erythronium—flourish in it throughout the later spring, followed by lush plantings of shade perennials—Solomon’s seal, ghost fern, bugbane (actea), brunnera, hellebores, and, of course, plenty of hosta. It’s unlikely that the casual passer-by could begin to imagine the...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 26, 2016 at 7:59 am

New! 305 Curated Videos, and More Sought

Garden writers and educators, tired of complaining to each other about the bad gardening advice people find on the Internet, have joined forces to do something about it. With the goal of inspiring people to garden, and helping them succeed at it, the result is a home for accurate, reliable...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on April 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

Firing Linda Chalker-Scott? Wrong is Wrong

Guest Rant by Jeff Gillman (This is the second rant here about the attempted firing of Chalker-Scott. Here’s the first.) And there it is….Our own Linda Chalker-Scott has been accused of being incompetent and is being investigated by Washington State University. If found incompetent, she will be removed from...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by Jeff Gillman on April 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Setting the Pace

What a great Spring it has been here in Boise — alternating periods of rain and sun, almost as if Mother Nature knew what the newly emerging and recently planted plants needed for optimal growth. The trees and shrubs are mostly leafed out, and the bumble bees just appeared...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on April 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

See you in the Twin Cities?

By now, many of you must have heard about the yearly garden blogger get-togethers that have been running since 2008. Pam Penick of Digging got it started; the first one took place in Austin, which is home to great gardens and—at that time, anyway—quite a cohort of garden bloggers....

Read more in: Garden Bloggers Fling
Posted by on April 19, 2016 at 8:00 am

Plant Shopping Dos and Don’ts

Plant-shopping is a hobby for most addicted gardeners, but it’s also a craft. Years ago, when I wanted to sharpen my skills, I consulted with the buyer for a busy Long Island landscape installation company; this company depended for its reputation on installing only first class plants. The buyer...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on April 18, 2016 at 9:41 am

Your Azalea-Eaglet Update

I posted recently about the birth of two bald eaglets at the National Arboretum and the totally addictive Eagle Cam recording the action. I mentioned having unanswered questions about restrictions on the public’s access to their famous azalea collection, blooming nearby and now, with the email glitch between the...

Read more in: Public Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on April 15, 2016 at 9:22 am

#TBT: Plant Lust

Here’s a May, 2007 post from Garden Rant co-founder Amy Stewart, in which she speaks of a situation that has only grown in significance since when this was posted. Gardeners Like Us are naturally suspicious of “branded” plants, particularly when that brand has a hokey name like Proven Winners. ...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on April 14, 2016 at 6:46 am

Rosemary Up the Ass and the Stinking Hellebore

  Mary Vaananen, a Jelitto Perennial Seeds colleague, emailed sad news on my first day in Florence, Italy. Judith Tyler had died. Jude was a longtime friend. She and her husband, Dick, grew hellebores at their Pine Knot Farms in Clarksville, Virginia. For the next two days, I staggered around...

Read more in: Eat This, Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on April 13, 2016 at 7:04 am

Wildflowers—learning to settle

A Facebook post from Rant partner Allen Bush got me thinking about wildflowers—not that we’ve been seeing too many flowers outside of any type here in Western New York. Now is the spring of our discontent: after a semi-glorious winter that had temps frequently breaking into the sixties and...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on April 12, 2016 at 7:54 am

All the Presidents’ Gardens, and a Free Trip to DC

The Contest Timber Press, publisher of All the Presidents’ Gardens by Marta McDowell, is launching the book by sending a lucky winner to DC – enter to win before April 15. The winner (and guest) can use the prize any time, and assuming they enjoy visiting gardens, I suggest checking the DC...

Read more in: Books, What's Happening
Posted by on April 7, 2016 at 8:22 pm

#TBT: Yardening is not a word

This April 2007 post from me got some interesting comments, including a very nice response from Jeff Ball, who (we think)  invented the phrase. By the way, I entered “yardening” into a Shutterstock (the stock photo servive we use) search and got a bunch of images from yarden, Israel...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10, Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 7, 2016 at 7:34 am

Showing Off My Grandplants

One marker of true success for me as a gardener, a situation in which I feel I’ve received a “gold star” from Nature, is when a plant I’ve placed in the garden produces an offspring. Ecologically, this doesn’t necessarily mean I picked the perfect spot for that plant. A...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on April 6, 2016 at 2:55 am

An irresistible DIY book

I am the last person who should be writing about DIY projects. As far as the house is concerned, we have to have contractors for everything, including minor fixture installations and any painting. We build nothing. We fix nothing. What cleaning is needed gets done every two weeks by...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on April 5, 2016 at 8:33 am
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