What's Happening

The Fantabulous Tomato Sandwiches of Ralph Haas and Sarah Owens

  I’ll never forget the moment I tasted my first tomato sandwich. Mrs. Dumesnil grew a half-dozen tomato plants in her back yard. I lived a block and a half away. Her son Craig is my lifelong pal. One day at lunchtime, Mrs. Dumesnil fixed my first tomato sandwich on toasted white bread. Few first […]

Posted by  on August 22, 2016 at 11:43 am.   This post has Comments Off on The Fantabulous Tomato Sandwiches of Ralph Haas and Sarah Owens.

Cornell on Lawn Care: Do Less!

Lawns have been attacked for some years now, with claims that they require obscene amounts of water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gas-guzzling mowing, so of course the only responsible thing to do is to get rid of it all, right? But lawns are so useful they’ll always be with us,...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on August 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm

Wild Designer Makes “Beautiful Places for People to Love”

Rant readers know that we love Thomas Rainer’s work and his book Planting in a Post-Wild World (here’s Evelyn’s describing the aha’s she got from it), but there’s another game-changing landscape architect I hadn’t heard of til recently, one who may be having an even greater impact through her ginormous...

Read more in: Books
Posted by on August 5, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Roses without Chemicals, After Knock Outs

Peter Kukielski speaking at Behnke Nurseries. Meet Peter Kukielski, former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanic Garden, who suddenly had to give up spraying when the city banned pesticide use on public lands. So he researched disease-resistant roses, which led him to Germany and the roses being...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm

Ask a Designer: Favorite Shrubs

Cotinus ‘Royal Robe.’ Photo by Barbara Katz. For my first Ask a Designer post the question targeted groundcovers. This time it’s shrubs and I asked another fabulous designer about her favorites. Barbara Katz of London Landscapes in Bethesda, Maryland responded that she has “great respect” for these shrubs. (Here’s some of...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Videographer Teams up with Horticulturist Neighbor

Connecticut-based videographer Patrick Volk emailed me recently, having discovered my blog posts about videos. It seems that this son of a landscape architect teamed up with neighbor Eric Larson, long-time director of Yale’s Marsh Botanic Garden, to create a slew of outstanding gardening videos. They call their website and...

Read more in: Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on June 24, 2016 at 8:04 pm

I Aspire to Buffalo-Style Gardening

Elizabeth’s recent post about the new term “Buffalo-style gardening” got me thinking. The style is said to be characterized by gardening not landscaping, man-made objects, and less lawn, but to me there’s more to this, my favorite style of gardening ever. I ‘d add to the list: color and lots of...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on June 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Ask a Designer: What’s a Good Ground Cover for Shade?

Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ with Narcissus ‘Thalia’-imp. When a local Yahoo group was asked for ground cover recommendations for shade, these plants were suggested: Ajuga, Hosta, Pachysandra (native and nonnative), Epimedium, and Lily of the Valley, ferns, Hellebore, “some phlox, some carex,” Dicentra (bleeding heart), Sedum ternatum, Tiarella, Acorus,...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on June 3, 2016 at 8:18 pm

#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

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

https://youtu.be/F-MPjbKS8B8 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...

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
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