From the top of Old Smoky

Disaster in the Smokies

A national park since 1926, the Great Smokies at times seem overshadowed by the spectacular parks of the west: Zion, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone. In fact, a list I saw of the best national parks only includes one park in the eastern US: Acadia. I visited this park a few years back, and I can […]

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Posted by on December 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm   This post has 5 responses.

Fresh from the farm? Not always a guarantee.

I love Thanksgiving. I love cooking the meal so much, that, though we’re always invited to friends, I buy a turkey and all the fixings anyway and cook it the next day. The ritual of mixing stuffing, wrangling the slippery bird, adding too much butter to the mashed potatoes,...

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Posted by on November 24, 2016 at 11:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

My Tiny Oak Forest

  The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. –Ralph Waldo Emerson I’m not giving into global warming or to Donald Trump. I’m planting acorns. I won’t live to see my oaks grow into a thick forest canopy, but time’s a wasting. Regardless of the president-elect’s head-in-the-sand...

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Posted by on November 16, 2016 at 7:20 am   This post has 9 responses.

Kentucky’s 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...

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Posted by on October 26, 2016 at 7:05 am   This post has 17 responses.

Are You Afraid of Gardens and Nature?

Most of us know that gardens and nature are good for us. And good for our children, too. Dirt is healthy for kids, but forcing them outdoors does not work the way it once did. Baby boomers, as youngsters, got kicked out of the house after breakfast. We weren’t...

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Posted by on October 12, 2016 at 7:50 am   This post has 11 responses.

How I Became a Landscape Reformer

Today’s Guest Rant comes from Leslie Nelson Inman, an Adjunct English Instructor at Mercer University and Georgia Tech who is currently taking some time off to write a book. Leslie educated herself about environmental issues and has become passionate about spreading information and solutions widely via social media. Here’s...

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Posted by Leslie Nelson Inman on September 21, 2016 at 6:41 am   This post has 24 responses.

Oh, how sweet—they’re getting married!

  In case you hadn’t heard, two of the biggest Big Ag and Big Chem firms—St. Louis-based Monsanto and Germany’s Bayer (pronounced buyer)—are merging, with Bayer making the acquisition. It’s gigantic news for farmers, but these companies are big players at garden centers as well. Here’s the PR for...

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Posted by on September 15, 2016 at 8:28 am   This post has 5 responses.

Benefits of Drought

It’s official: the “U.S. Drought Monitor”, a site co-sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lists southwestern Massachusetts, where I do most of my gardening, as locked in a severe drought. The withered crops in my vegetable garden...

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Posted by on August 15, 2016 at 10:43 am   This post has 17 responses.

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 12, 2016 at 7:11 am   This post has 9 responses.

What Part of GMO Don’t You Understand?

  A few of you may still have doubts about global warming, even though the overwhelming scientific evidence says it’s a no-brainer. Regardless, some dissenters will say the argument for global warming is based on crap science Comedian Andy Borowitz wrote a satirical piece for the New Yorker, called...

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Posted by on August 10, 2016 at 6:57 am   This post has 22 responses.

Calling long range forecasting on its BS

He had me at “silly on weather.” A retired, Buffalo-based, 30-year broadcaster and longtime meteorologist,  Don Paul still contributes occasionally to the local paper with smart articles like this one. Reading them is so much more interesting than looking at some guy (or gal) standing in front of an...

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Posted by on June 29, 2016 at 7:26 am   This post has 6 responses.

The Greatest of All Time and the Meadow

  Muhammad Ali was laid to rest in my hometown on June 10th. Tens of thousands lined the city streets for a 19-mile motorcade processional that led from his childhood home on Grand Avenue to Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. 20,000 filled the Yum Center for a memorial service that...

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Posted by on June 22, 2016 at 6:31 am   This post has 7 responses.

Solitude and Nature

Do we need to use all of our senses to truly connect with a natural place? I recently hiked several miles of strenuous, steep trail into one of Utah’s glorious national parks, then stopped just shy of the payoff (a natural stone bridge) because a score of other people...

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Posted by on June 1, 2016 at 1:22 am   This post has 11 responses.

God, Guns and Gardens

I’ve run myself ragged the last few weeks. Kentucky has had the most beautiful spring I can remember. May has been rainy and cool. Blooms went on forever. The weeds got ahead of me, yet chiggers and heat didn’t crash my spring party. But it became harder to avoid...

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Posted by on May 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm   This post has 15 responses.

Milkweed Spreading Through My Landscape Makes Me Happy

Two years ago, I wrote about the milkweed seedlings I rescued from a nearby lawn. They survived the move and have formed a decent-sized stand under a maple tree in my backyard. In this tough site (very dry part shade) they need no care whatsoever, and have been given...

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 at 11:59 am   This post has 10 responses.

#TBT The great compost tea debate

In June, 2007, we hosted a debate between horticultural professor Jeff Gillman (author of many books, including The Truth Abut Garden Remedies and The Truth About Organic Gardening) and garden writer Jeff Lowenfels, the co-author of Teaming with Microbes. The topic was compost tea, and this is the first...

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Posted by on May 5, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has Comments Off on #TBT The great compost tea debate.

Cultivating Wildness

I became a gardener in order to experience nature daily, in order to live in a wilder way. Being wild is the opposite of being isolated. It is an experience of oneness with a vast, complex, diverse, accepting community of living plants and animals. Isolation is sitting motionless in...

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Posted by on May 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Who uses landscape fabric and why?

Last fall I had the idea of doing something nice for the rather boring and minimalist plantings outside my office. The building itself is great—an 85k-square-foot former railway signal factory (circa 1904–6) that has been repurposed into a mixed use complex including our offices, residential units above, banquet spaces,...

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Posted by on May 3, 2016 at 11:54 am   This post has 19 responses.

Firing Linda Chalker-Scott? Wrong is Wrong

Guest Rant by Jeff Gillman (This is the second rant here about the attempted firing of Chalker-Scott. Here’s the first.) And there it is….Our own Linda Chalker-Scott has been accused of being incompetent and is being investigated by Washington State University. If found incompetent, she will be removed from...

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Posted by Jeff Gillman on April 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm   This post has 4 responses.

#TBT: Yardening is not a word

This April 2007 post from me got some interesting comments, including a very nice response from Jeff Ball, who (we think)  invented the phrase. By the way, I entered “yardening” into a Shutterstock (the stock photo servive we use) search and got a bunch of images from yarden, Israel...

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Posted by on April 7, 2016 at 7:34 am   This post has 5 responses.
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