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 many people like, including a whole […]

Posted by  on December 1, 2015 at 9:03 am.   This post has 20 responses.

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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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+...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Posted by on November 6, 2015 at 7:43 am

A kinder, gentler parking lot

“Where are you going?” “I’m driving to Hamburg to look at a parking lot.” “Is it OK if I don’t go with you?” This marital exchange took place on a beautiful Saturday morning a couple weeks ago, before I set off for a suburban village about twenty miles south...

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Posted by on November 5, 2015 at 8:48 am

Understanding Roots

Call me jaded, but it’s rare now that I find a gardening book that makes me understand gardening in a new way.  But this week, just such a book crossed my path.  It’s Understanding Roots by Robert Kourik.  In it, Kourik shares the fruits of his own deep experience...

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 at 11:22 am

Herbal Baths: My New Favorite Cold-Weather Treat

As grim, grey weather takes hold, there are still hardy herbs growing in my garden. And when I can’t linger outdoors long, I can bring some of that nature inside to do what nature does so well: delight the senses, inspire the mind, soothe the soul. Herbal baths aren’t...

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Posted by on November 3, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Walnut Hill Book Giveaway

Anyone who’s created a garden over decades and come to love every inch of it understands the origins of this book, the story of a garden. It’s also the story of a family and their collaboration with world-renowned plantsman Kurt Bluemel in transforming two acres near Baltimore into a horticultural masterpiece....

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Posted by on November 3, 2015 at 8:13 am

In Defense of the Undefensible

 Today’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein shines a bright light on a maligned tree. The common hackberry deserves some love. Long ago, in the early days of internet gardening chat groups someone started one of those “Best Ten Trees” discussions. I was approaching the apex of my rare-plant geekdom, and...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on November 2, 2015 at 7:35 am

Delaware Botanic Garden and “Rock Star” Piet Oudolf

Big news from Delaware? Yes, and it’s not about Joe Biden at all, though top Delaware pols are involved. The news is that the Delaware Botanic Garden (now under development) WILL include a meadow by none other than Piet Oudolf.  This story in the local press makes it official, and plant...

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Posted by on October 30, 2015 at 10:07 am
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