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? We at least were not burdened […]

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Posted by on August 30, 2017 at 8:39 am   This post has 12 responses.

Keep the cats inside

This was to be a post touting the glorious weekend I had exploring the DC area with fellow garden bloggers. But, while I was away, I received news that a nest of birds we’d been hosting has possibly fallen prey to one of the many free-roaming/feral cats that plague...

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Posted by on June 27, 2017 at 10:38 am   This post has 31 responses.

The Mysterious Case of the Orange Petunia

  If you’re growing an orange petunia this summer, you may be one of the lucky ones. Or the afflicted ones. Orangish petunias were taken off the market several weeks ago, in Europe, when a Finnish watchdog agency, Evira, announced they had discovered that the summer flowering annual had...

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Posted by on May 24, 2017 at 8:02 am   This post has 16 responses.

I hate being a gardening know-it-all

And the funny thing is that I’m really not. I’m not a master gardener, a CNLP, or any kind of horticultural professional. I’m just a writer/editor who loves to garden, geek out on gardening books, and keep up with new ways of thinking about traditional garden practice. And, yes,...

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Posted by on April 25, 2017 at 9:24 am   This post has 12 responses.

Pollen, Politics and Doomsday Prep

I’ve been a careless victim of too many late nights in my past, but knocking back shots of Bourbon into the wee hours did not redden my eyes this spring. Pollen is the culprit. The warm late winter and early spring brought flowers into bloom earlier than usual. And...

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Posted by on April 19, 2017 at 7:28 am   This post has 7 responses.

Sorry, no seeds—or cereal—for me, GM

Full disclosure: I have a relationship with Cheerios. On any given morning, when I step out into the garden, a pleasant smell, kind of like baking, is often lightly wafting through the air. It’s coming from the General Mills plant down at the waterfront. It started making Cheerios as...

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Posted by on April 11, 2017 at 7:41 am   This post has 6 responses.

Clean water? Fresh air? Unspoiled national parks? Science? Who needs ’em?

After appointing what are essentially bizzaro-world choices to lead the EPA, and other government offices that might affect the natural environment, the current administration has removed key  protections through executive order and plans to get rid of many more through upcoming budget changes. The done deals include allowing coal...

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Posted by on April 4, 2017 at 10:05 am   This post has 4 responses.

Stick to gardening

Life is messy. I think we can all agree. You’d like to keep all the separate activities—professional life, family, hobbies, friends, travel—in their little boxes, but it’s never easy. Things run together, things collide, especially in the age of social media. I look at my Facebook posts from five...

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Posted by on January 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm   This post has Comments Off on Stick to gardening.

Just the facts

Alternative facts, that is. If there is any group of people that has learned to accept unpleasant realities—often brought on by natural forces—that group is gardeners. So I’m happy to know that I can devise, twist, and present my own version of gardening facts. Now is the time, before...

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Posted by on January 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm   This post has Comments Off on Just the facts.

Ark Encounter Stalled in Dry Dock

The re-creation of Noah’s ark, sitting in dry dock, six miles from Dry Ridge, Kentucky, looks like a gargantuan Pez dispenser laid on its side. The ark sits in the distance across a dry lake meant to be symbolic of the Biblical flood, but the lake doesn’t hold water....

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Posted by on October 26, 2016 at 12:06 pm   This post has Comments Off on Ark Encounter Stalled in Dry Dock.

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,...

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Posted by on August 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm   This post has Comments Off on Cornell on Lawn Care: Do Less!.

#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. ...

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Posted by on March 24, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has Comments Off on #TBT What’s Invasive? Telling People What They Can’t Plant In Their Yards.

#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...

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Posted by on March 17, 2016 at 9:11 am   This post has 10 responses.

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...

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Posted by on March 7, 2016 at 7:44 am   This post has 9 responses.

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...

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Posted by on March 3, 2016 at 10:29 am   This post has 19 responses.

Waterwise in New Mexico

Today’s Guest Rant by Hunter Ten Broeck, founder of the design firm WaterWise Landscapes based in Albuquerque, highlights an upcoming conference that has changed landscaping and water use patterns in New Mexico while building community. You’ll also get a peek at some regional waterwise gardens. It may surprise you...

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Posted by Hunter Ten Broeck on January 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm   This post has 8 responses.

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   This post has 11 responses.

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   This post has 14 responses.

Goodbye to the creator of a beautiful outlaw garden

He called it the Garden of Eden, but it was more like a 15,000 acre public artwork that happened to grow vegetables and flowers. In the mid-1970s, environmentalist gadfly Adam Purple started creating a large public garden out of several vacant lots near his tenement apartment on New York’s...

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Posted by on September 22, 2015 at 9:22 am   This post has 4 responses.

Kudzu, we hardly knew you

“Like most Southern children, I accepted, almost as a matter of faith, that kudzu grew a mile a minute and that its spread was unstoppable.” —Bill Finch, “Legend of the Green Monster” How many millions of acres do you suppose have been eaten by kudzu, the notorious plant predator...

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Posted by on September 8, 2015 at 7:50 am   This post has 8 responses.