But is it Art?, Unusually Clever People

A master of botanical accuracy

Just in time for local wildflower season (finally), the Burchfield Penney Art Museum is mounting a show of Charles Burchfield’s early botanical drawings. Along with them, they have the models made by another artist, Paul Marchand, who specialized in dioramas and other 3D displays for the local science museum’s Hall of Plant Life and internationally. […]

Posted by  on May 6, 2014 at 7:07 am.   This post has 2 responses.

HOW many Millennials have taken up Gardening?

This article in the Washington Post about the White House having gone all “junk food to veggies” is a fun read.  Group fitness challenge!  Electronic tracking of progress toward fitness!  Apples in bowls!  I mean it – I love this stuff. But of interest to us gardeners in particular:...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on May 2, 2014 at 7:43 am

The Smiling Faces of Spring

SPRING!!! I am traveling to Brooklyn to do some garden business, and to see what spring looks like after a long, long winter. I am amazed at the pep in everyone’s step! Living for so long in Southern California, one takes the endless summer/spring for granted – but NOBODY...

Read more in: CRRRITIC, It's the Plants, Darling, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on May 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm

U.S. Botanic Garden ISO Executive Director

After 14 years at its helm, Holly Shimizu is leaving the U.S. Botanic Garden this week, retiring to a life of…to be determined.  (Wild guess – some gardening, and somehow pursuing her passion for conservation.)  She tells me there will be a national search for her replacement, so spread...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on April 29, 2014 at 8:19 am

RIP tulipa?

It looks like the deer won. I gave a talk at a suburban garden club last week, and, to a woman, all the gardeners there told me they don’t bother trying to grow tulips anymore. No matter what they do, the bulbs get eaten, as soon as they start...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 28, 2014 at 9:07 am

Hellstrip Gardening Highlights and Give-away

How could I NOT love Hellstrip Gardening?  The subject is fun and inspiring, and I’m a long-time fan of the author, too – the Rant’s own Evelyn Hadden  (whose earlier book about Beautiful No-Mow Lawns I reviewed here.) But this isn’t a “review.”  (They’re usually so boring!)  Instead, I...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Lawn Reform, Uncategorized
Posted by on April 25, 2014 at 9:09 am

Contrasting Front Yards: Turf Only v. Wildlife-Filled

I love this video by Beltsville, MD wildlife gardener Marcia Van Horn.  (Viewable on desk and laptops, but not on mobile devices.)  I know Marcia because she created a video of Greenbelt’s Less Lawn Garden Tour.  Next, she volunteered to help me improve the videos I’m making of DC’s...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on April 24, 2014 at 7:47 am

Death Valley Days and the Discovery of Two New Plant Species

I had a fitful first day in Death Valley a few weeks ago. I felt like an apprehensive Spencer Tracy when he got off the train at Black Rock in the 1955 film Bad Day at Black Rock. Whereas Tracy was nominated for an Academy Award for his role,...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on April 23, 2014 at 7:12 am

The L word

Two days before Earth Day, my regular segment on our local NPR station was aired. I don’t come on as a gardening expert; I am part of a rotation of local editors and media types who chat about issues their publications are covering. We talked about gardening because my...

Read more in: GardenRant Airwaves, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

Immediacy and the Novice Gardener

by Guest Author Wendy Kiang-Spray I had a great neighbor who has since moved away. The first day we met him, he invited us over for empanadas. He and his wife were perfect neighbors for first-time homeowners to have. Old enough to know the neighborhood stories, young enough to...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 18, 2014 at 8:11 am

If I had a nickel for every garden cliché I’ve ever heard…

Guest Rant by Amy Campion Like thistles invading a garden, hackneyed phrases have seeded themselves into garden writing and need to be rooted out. They choke out good prose and distract from the message.  What’s more, they really irk me.  If you write about gardening, I beg you to...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Amy Campion on April 17, 2014 at 6:15 am

Behind the Scenes: Making a Video Trailer for a Gardening Book

Though it’s no longer a new idea, it seems odd to me that a gardening book would have a video trailer. How can a video—a very different medium—give a taste of what readers might experience? On the other hand, videos lend drama to their subjects, and though I’d hope...

Read more in: Books, What's Happening
Posted by on April 16, 2014 at 3:53 am

Wild within bounds

Believe it or not: After initially pouring some compost into the globular bottle, Latimer used a wire to carefully lower in a spiderwort seeding, and then added a pint of water to the mix. The bottle was sealed and placed in a sunny corner. Apparently, the bottle planting, started...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on April 14, 2014 at 8:23 am

DCGardens.com and a Call for Photos and Videos

Thanks, Rant commenters, for your great suggestions for improving videos of gardens, like the videos I showed you last week of the National Arboretum in April.  I heard you that the photos were whizzing by too fast, and that most of you prefer the techno music over Vivaldi.  Pixelation...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on April 11, 2014 at 8:13 am

Stop Tilling Your Vegetable Garden!

Guest Rant by Megan Cain I get why you till. There’s something in all of us gardeners that leaps with joy when we see a freshly tilled bed. That rich, dark, blank canvas beckons us to come on over and work our vegetable magic. We imagine ourselves gently planting...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Megan Cain on April 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

Through the Hand Lens: Pat Haragan’s Steady View

I have dozens of floras sitting on cluttered bookshelves: from China to the Caucasus and from Kansas to Kentucky. Yet even more mileage is guaranteed from a new botanic investigation that covers territory closer to home—my neighborhood. I predict the pages of Pat Haragan’s “The Olmsted Parks of Louisville:...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on April 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Can a Video Attract Garden Visitors?

I’ve long had the notion that somehow short, viral-going videos showing the fabulousness of a garden that’s open to the public might increase visitorship – and thereby support for the garden.  And here in the D.C. area the poster child for a fabulous garden that could use some support...

Read more in: Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on April 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

From our Landscape Architect Friends…

First, congrats to the team at Landscape Architecture Magazine on the magazine’s nomination for an impressive national award.  From their website: We are very honored to be finalists in 2014 American Magazine Awards for General Excellence in the Special Interest category, especially considering the excellent other magazines in the...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on April 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

Spring Fever

As the garden wakes up, I find I spend more time in that stock-still, mesmerized state that, let’s face it, is the point of all this garden work. Though planting, caring for the plants, and editing them all have their satisfactions, being absorbed in the garden is my favorite...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 2, 2014 at 4:01 am

Full sun to part shade. Really?

Plant labels tend to be prosaic. They are not—to my knowledge—as carefully scrutinized by federal agencies as food labels are, but nonetheless, the big growers seem to reliably police themselves, offering botanical names, reasonably truthful dimensions, and helpful planting and care information.  Except, sadly, when it comes to light...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 31, 2014 at 8:17 am
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