Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy, Uncategorized

Perils of Plantsmanship

Recently I went to a lecture at the New York Botanical Garden by Italian garden designer Luciano Giubbilei. His passion was infectious and his images were ravishing – spectacular gardens composed of just a handful of elements. This was a message that particularly resonated with me, as I’ve become increasingly dissatisfied as time goes by […]

Posted by  on April 4, 2016 at 10:43 am.   This post has 19 responses.

Garden Flag Reveal!

My most recent post about garden flags included muslin garden flags that I tie-dyed and the promise to show readers what they look like hanging in my garden, where they’re supposed to not just look pretty but screen some bad views. So here’s the view from my back garden toward the...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on April 1, 2016 at 6:45 am

#TBT: Jerry Baker, Still Quacking

Susan first ranted about home remedy-hawker Jerry Baker (“America’s Master Gardener”) on her own blog in March of 2006, and it was that rant that caught the attention of Amy Stewart and Michele Owens, who were then scheming about a team blog. Here’s Susan’s July 30, 2006 follow-up post...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on March 31, 2016 at 8:36 am

Yard gard

And now for something completely different. Here’s a guest post from Catherine Berlin, a Buffalo attorney who now lives in Sweden and writes on style for the magazine I edit, Buffalo Spree.—Elizabeth I should not be offering gardeners any advice on what to wear this summer. I don’t have...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Catherine Berlin on March 29, 2016 at 7:15 am

Bald eagles, not azaleas, are the stars at Arboretum

The hottest outdoor news in Washington, D.C. this month isn’t the flowering of cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. This year it’s the birth of two Bald Eagles at the National Arboretum, thanks to 24/7 coverage of the event by the live, hopelessly addicting Eaglecam installed by the American Eagle...

Read more in: Public Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on March 25, 2016 at 9:24 am

#TBT What’s Invasive? Telling People What They Can’t Plant In Their Yards

The debate over invasive species won’t go away any time soon. We’re sure that many would still have issues with Rant co-founder Michele Owens views on flag iris and other problem plants. This post is from July, 2009. I have very strong ideas about how a civilized society behaves. ...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on March 24, 2016 at 8:00 am

Nine years of ranting about the map

Don’t worry—we’re not starting a new Throwback Tuesday series. But after reading Thomas Christopher’s post detailing his issues with the current USDA plant hardiness map, I felt it would be useful to revisit previous Rant discussions on this highly controversial topic. There have been plenty. The mere fact that...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on March 22, 2016 at 8:00 am

Hardiness Disinformation

Successful gardeners are firmly rooted in what Karl Rove in 2004 famously disparaged as “the reality-based community.” That is, we study what we find around us and base our actions on that. I mention this because we are still, in a significant way, suffering from the Bush administration’s determination...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy, Science Says
Posted by on March 19, 2016 at 6:43 pm

Philly Flower (?) Show Report

I’ll say one thing for this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show – good for the PHS for choosing national parks as the theme, in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. I love that parks got tons of attention! But flower-show material, they’re really not. Case in point: the show’s...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on March 18, 2016 at 8:26 am

#TBT: Natives are hot, but am I hot for natives? Or just confused?

Native plants—a topic that we’ll be discussing for rants to come. In this one from March, 2007, Elizabeth is noting the vast differences between the original environments for these species and her urban garden in Buffalo (among other things). She has a lot more native plants now than she...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on March 17, 2016 at 9:11 am

The Payoff

For wildlife gardeners — including those who want to support pollinators — certain plants promise a bigger payoff. Shrubs are one category of plant that often deliver more rewards for less effort. They are larger than a perennial and can produce many more blooms per plant. Since they are...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 16, 2016 at 2:31 am

Super bloom snapshot

Right now, sprinkled throughout sections of vast Death Valley National Park, are swaths of color standing out from the usual palette of faded greens, and soft grays and browns. A rare super bloom, the result of three unusual October rainstorms, (three inches of rain instead of an annual one...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants
Posted by Nancy J. Parisi on March 14, 2016 at 8:00 am

Good Berry Bad Berry

Guest Post by Helen Yoest  As a curious gardener and a naturalist, I have always been intrigued by flashy berries hanging from the branches of trees and shrubs. There was a field next to our house where I grew up, and behind the field on one side of my...

Read more in: Feed Me, Guest Rants
Posted by Helen Yoest on March 13, 2016 at 10:02 am

First Lady to Drop in on Gardens Across the Country

Big gardening news – our best advocate, with a bigger microphone and better media coverage than Martha Stewart ever had, will be dropping in on gardens, in a very public way, all year.  From People Magazine: To celebrate her last season with the White House Kitchen Garden she installed...

Read more in: What's Happening
Posted by on March 11, 2016 at 8:34 am

#TBT: GardenRant Takes Over the World

Dear readers: We’re fast approaching the 10th anniversary of GardenRant’s arrival on the web – June 13, 2016. So to start the celebrations, we’re posting oldies but goodies – for Throwback Thursday. GardenRant wasn’t announced here, though – no one would have found it on its first day. Co-founder Amy Stewart made...

Read more in: Garden Rant turns 10
Posted by on March 10, 2016 at 8:00 am

When The Aster Hitched a Ride

I received a letter from Raydon (pronounced RAYd’n) Alexander 25 years ago. A passalong plant was on the road to distinction. January 15, 1991 Dear Mr. Bush, I am taking the liberty of sending you an aster that should, I think, be more widely distributed. I can see from...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 9, 2016 at 7:51 am

Wild means wild

The season is almost upon us here in Western New York. Snowdrops came and went in early February, though I see just a few late bloomers emerging—they might be some fancy hybrids I put in last September. I don’t bother with crocuses, but do expect plenty of lesser-used ephemerals—like...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm

How to Have a Flowering Lawn

Last week I spotted the first snow crocuses (Crocus chrysanthus) and snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) opening their flowers in my lawn — they are just one of the benefits of the fine fescue grasses that I grow as turf. These grasses are the basis of the “no-mow” lawns that you...

Read more in: Lawn Reform, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 7, 2016 at 7:44 am

It’s the Year of Garden-Park Connections

Have you heard that 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service? Well, here’s the press release, and here’s Find Your Park, a growing collection of stories about people connecting with the parks. (The connection is easy for Michelle Obama – she lives in one, and has...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening
Posted by on March 4, 2016 at 9:01 am

Trump, a Cabbage Palm or Sassafras

I had no idea it was National Margarita Day. A Sanibel Island waitress mentioned it to us a few weeks ago. I was trying to focus on palm trees, but Donald Trump, his outsize ego and disturbing pretense, wouldn’t go away. I ordered a margarita. My aunt and brother-in-law...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 3, 2016 at 10:29 am
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