Gardening on the Planet

It’s cold, it’s white, it’s going on forever, and it’s not even killing the bugs

Some of us are having trouble remembering the benefits of a cold, snowy winter. Especially when the disadvantages are so omnipresent every day of single digit temps, slick roads with minimal visibility, and—always—shoveling. Buffalo went from around 30 inches of winter snowfall at this time last year to 90-plus and counting for the winter of […]

Posted by  on February 10, 2014 at 8:20 am.   This post has 7 responses.

Cork-Popping and Other News

Hey folks!  I’ve been meaning to drop back in and explain my unexplained absence.  Well, now it’s official, and I can tell you:  I just signed a book deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for a series of novels based on the true story of a woman in the early...

Read more in: Tune In
Posted by on February 8, 2014 at 5:23 am

Coming soon – Roundup-Ready Turfgrass

Photo via Shutterstock News from the garden-product company we love to hate – Scotts-MiracleGro, of course.  As reported here (via a Rant tipster) CEO Jim Hagedorn announced at the company’s annual meeting that it’s testing genetically modified grass seed (Kentucky bluegrass) that will withstand the large-scale spraying of the...

Read more in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on February 7, 2014 at 11:35 am

Believe it or Not: Rutabaga Souffle

Think of Thanksgiving dishes you most dread and mashed rutabaga probably springs first to mind. What was that vaguely bitter orange stuff Aunt Tilly was so fond of anyway? Outside Minnesota, rutabaga have all the appeal of a dead skunk on the highway. Or do you have to be...

Read more in: Eat This, Guest Rants
Posted by on February 6, 2014 at 8:37 am

The Public Food Forest: Clever Solution or Future Flop?

Public food forests are a shiny new trend in the United States. Focused on perennial crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees and shrubs, they embody the values of permaculture (which I’ve touted elsewhere) : generosity, abundance, good health and nutrition, and food security. If they are developed and...

Read more in: Feed Me, Lawn Reform, What's Happening
Posted by on February 5, 2014 at 3:49 am

Plants with (Those) Benefits

by Helen Yoest, author of Plants with Benefits The last two things a woman puts on before meeting her date for dinner is a touch of perfume and a smile. We want to be attractive to our evening companion. Even Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, more than 2000...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Helen Yoest on February 4, 2014 at 7:46 am

When good garden writers give bad pruning advice

Yes, ProfessorRoush has not blogged for quite some time.  January has frankly been dismal here in the Flint Hills, and I’ve been leery of planning the return of green and glorious landscapes lest I awaken the wrath of the Winter Gods and precipitate another late April snowstorm. I was rudely roused, however, from...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on February 3, 2014 at 6:39 am

Celery – Stems, Stalks or Sticks?

Celery is a vegetable and plant that is prominent in American cooking, and infuses both cooked and raw dishes with its very special flavor.  When I arrived in America I couldn’t believe how much celery was added to tuna salads, soups, stews, and on plates with peanut butter.  Back...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by :Lena Struwe on January 31, 2014 at 8:57 am

A Blogger’s Lament

A productive weekend is behind me.  I’ve re-organized the shed, wired in a new light for the barn cats, planted six five-gallon Itea and marked out the corners for the spring vegetable garden.  There’s a new straw bale encampment for the leftover camellias, a water barrel installed on the...

Read more in: Guest Rants
Posted by Marianne Willburn on January 30, 2014 at 6:35 am

FASHION – “Im Sorry, You’re OUT!!!”

NEWSFLASH! Succulents are OUT!!! Gardeners may think they are earthy, practical people – immune to the vagaries of fashion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fashion pervades gardening – plants go in and out of fashion just like red bottom Louboutins. BUT HOLD THE PHONE – surely the...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on January 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm

The secret light of plants

Welcome to the groovy world of glow-in-the-dark plants. They’re not much more than a novelty now, but a company called Bioglow has been developing plants that produce their own ambient light since 2007. It’s the result of genetic engineering (with the expected protests); the transplanted genes create auto-luminescent Nicotiana...

Read more in: Science Says
Posted by on January 27, 2014 at 6:28 am

The Trouble with the Word “Invasive”

This is a long-simmering rant about the many ways the term “invasive” causes confusion, and more.  DO weigh in with alternatives, pushback, and rants of your own. “Invasive” as synonym for “nonnative” Google “native versus invasive” and the 5.6 million hits confirms my observation that this is a common...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on January 24, 2014 at 9:12 am

Stock Photo’s ID Error Leads to Wrong Mutants Singing the Blues

An article published Jan 6, 2014 in The New York Times (‘Mutant Petunias Sing the Blues’) about some exciting new research on the evolution of blue color of some garden petunias was illustrated with this nice photo: This is not a blue petunia, it is a morning glory. Screen...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Lena Struwe on January 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

Catching the Runaway Boy Goat

I could begin this story enumerating all the reasons people told us not to buy goats. They’re always trying to escape. They smell. They’ll jump on your car and wreck it. “Goats get up in the morning thinking of new ways to make your life miserable,” said our friend...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by on January 21, 2014 at 7:47 am

Someone, Please, Turn Up the Lights

Every year, I go to my local flower and garden show and contort my body into weird yoga poses that don’t exist. Why? Well, it’s not because I’m stretching (which would probably be good for my back) but because I’m trying to get a good look at the plants...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by Karen Hugg on January 20, 2014 at 8:36 am

Sightings at a Trade Show

Every January I attend the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore and even if nothing were new there of interest to me or my imagined readers, I’d love the dose of plants and plant talk and running into people I know.  The show, now in its 44th year,...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on January 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

Batman and Poison Ivy’s Leaves

The weeds and botanical inaccuracies have also entered the world of comics. In 1966, Batman had a new nemesis, Poison Ivy, a botanist turned bad. (Brilliant!, says the botanist and author of this blog.) The poison ivy plant is one of the most obnoxious weeds of North America. Issue...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Lena Struwe on January 16, 2014 at 6:16 am

Tale of a Strawbale Raised Bed

One year, three friends and I decided to make a vegetable garden together. It would be built on one of our properties in the suburbs west of Minneapolis, and all of us would help maintain it and share in the harvest. We built the garden in a mowed area...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Eat This, Feed Me, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 15, 2014 at 2:54 am

Slow and local in winter: I grow them myself

Yes, I’ve seen all the winter bouquets that people are creating with seedpods, evergreen foliage, berries, rose hips, pinecones, interesting twigs and so on. Indeed, one of our good friends, Debra Prinzing, is the queen of this movement. The winter arrangements that she and others create are beautiful, and...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on January 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

Eastern Gardener ISO Desert Plants

One of the many press releases coming my way recently was from High Country Gardens, and I found myself wanting all of its new introductions, especially the Salvias.  Loved by hummingbirds but NOT by deer or rabbits!  But then I read this quote from David Salman, the company’s chief horticulturist,...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on January 10, 2014 at 11:08 am
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