Real Gardens

The Gardens (and More) of Asbury Park, NJ

When I go to the beach it’s in the spring or fall, and even in glorious weather like we’re enjoying this week, I don’t really lie on the beach. As a plantaholic, I gravitate toward nearby gardens and plant-filled natural areas instead. There the blogger in me takes over, so I snap photos and later […]

Posted by  on October 5, 2017 at 7:40 am.   This post has Comments Off on The Gardens (and More) of Asbury Park, NJ.

A Few Timely Points About Growing Trees

I’ve finally gotten around to reading a book called The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart. My wife gave it to me as a birthday present a few years ago, hoping it would better inform my drinking. But in a move reminiscent of Jeff Bridge’s version of Rooster Cogburn, I bellowed...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Guest Rants
Posted by Scott Beuerlein on October 4, 2017 at 8:03 am

More on Hard Cider

In my last post I wrote about hunting for the apples with which I make hard cider.  Having done that – I’ve located two trees full of what appear to be ‘Golden Russet’ apples —  I thought I would add a few notes about turning the fresh, sweet cider...

Read more in: Drink This, Feed Me, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour
Posted by on October 2, 2017 at 11:30 am

I Found my Bird Feeder Bliss

For decades in a former garden, my bird-watching consisted of standing on my deck and pointing the trusty binocs at the bird houses in the wooded valley below. I can’t you what birds actually filled them – I’m that bad at bird recognition – but anyway, my favorites were...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on September 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Solidago solidarity

A recent post from my good friend, gardener and blogger, Gail Eichelberger, poses the question, “What’s wrong with goldenrod?” She then swiftly answers, “Nothing!” I couldn’t agree more. Here is one of my favorite, if not THE favorite, late season plants. I rejoice when it spreads to cover entire...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on September 28, 2017 at 11:18 am

Dennis the Menace

I drove to Cherokee Park’s Big Rock Pavilion, adjacent to Beargrass Creek, on Friday afternoon, anticipating a profusion of white bonesets, blue dayflowers and lingering yellow wingstems. I wasn’t disappointed. But there was more. A hundred yards downstream, I could make out rock sculptures—dozens of them. They looked, from...

Read more in: But is it Art?, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on September 27, 2017 at 7:36 am

The Clarion Call of Brugmansia

October is peeking its nose up over the horizon now, shortening the days, painting the landscape, dredging up reluctant thoughts of the leaf blower and raggedy sweaters. And yet it’s been 90 degrees here in Southern Indiana, even as the rest of the world deals with snow, torrential rains,...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on September 25, 2017 at 10:46 am

Jerry Baker’s Quackery Lives On

Jerry Baker, the self-styled “America’s Master Gardener” and highly successful huckster for home-remedy books and products died in March of this year at the age of 85. I was curious to see how the gardening world would note his passing, especially those who attacked his teachings, some repeatedly. I...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on September 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

Famously secret spaces

What do Jeremy Irons and Ozzy Osbourne have in common? We know they’re Brits, so the answer shouldn’t be that hard: both own and maintain beautiful countryside gardens in England. So do Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rupert Everett, and Sting. And if you want something completely different, visit Terry and...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on September 20, 2017 at 10:55 am

Gardening Podcast Update

I’m thrilled to report that since 2010, when I complained about there being only two gardening podcasts on my little iPod, there are now many more and their quality is amazing! Here’s what I’m listening to now. Cultivating Place by Jennifer Jewell originates on National Public Radio, so its high...

Read more in: GardenRant Airwaves
Posted by on September 15, 2017 at 7:26 am

In Praise of a Plant That Needs Your Love

  Diarrhena americana. The Latin name doesn’t inspire lustful desire does it? What a pity. It’s better than its name. I remember the moment I first came across this native grass. I had no idea what its name was when I was introduced. But Rick Lewandowski knew the name...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on September 13, 2017 at 8:14 am

From green to brown in the Caribbean

If you want to get a dramatic sense of hurricane Irma’s worst devastation, visit this site, which offers before/after satellite images of the Caribbean islands that were in her path. It’s not just the debris, flattened infrastructure, and—most terrible—deaths. These islands seem to have lost the lush green landscapes...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on September 12, 2017 at 9:54 am

HGTV Stars – Where are They Now?

I learned to garden lo these many years ago from two sources – good magazines and good shows on HGTV, back when it had them. (Gardeners love to complain about the missing G from the channel and this year that’s truer than ever, judging from their new shows and episodes where...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on September 7, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Milllennials love houseplants? Yay!

And it’s interesting, because I’m learning this just as I’ve begun to feel kind of blasé about my houseplants. I still have plenty, but I maintain them without as much interest as I used to—I get much more excited about my indoor bulb forcing projects, which fill the house...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on September 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Apple Hunting Season

This is the time of year when I start scouting for apple trees.  Neglected, venerable trees full of fruit that nobody wants.  Not shiny, red, and flawless, ready to be popped into a lunch box.  Nor even the big, sweet fruits bred for baking.  The apples I want can...

Read more in: Drink This
Posted by on September 4, 2017 at 4:55 am

Robert Frost Needed Better Neighbors

So maybe it was Robert Frost. That whole “Mending Wall’ thing: Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. I read that poem 1,000 times as a...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on September 1, 2017 at 4:51 am

The botany behind the fantasy

It’s a good (and rare) morning when my twelve-minute commute yields two news stories in a row that make me smile. That happened today. The first one has no gardening relevance, but the second has special interest for both gardeners and Tolkien fans. Botanist Walter Judd has published a...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on August 31, 2017 at 9:17 am

The Pin Oak vs. Statues of Dead White Men

Since the tragic weekend in Charlottesville, I have wondered why so few people have paid so little attention to trees. Much attention has been given to the argument about whether statues of Confederate soldiers should remain, be removed or re-located. A fallen tree here, another tree removed there. So what?...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on August 30, 2017 at 8:39 am

Monty Don’s 80 Plant Cultures of the World

Monty Don has been getting an unusual amount of attention lately in the U.S., thanks to his provocative article “There’s no point trying to convince millennials to garden. Nobody wants to hear that but I suspect he’s right. So who IS this guy? Here’s a quick bio on BBC...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on August 23, 2017 at 3:41 pm

All Maters Matter

Guest Ranter Ralph Haas, and his Kailua Farm partners, had a goal of winning a ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair last week. They had one problem. They couldn’t pull together five red tomatoes between them. Ralph wrote a letter of explanation that was submitted with their fair entry....

Read more in: Eat This, Guest Rants, What's Happening
Posted by Ralph Haas on August 23, 2017 at 7:10 am
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