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Colors of equality

Those lanterns weren’t nearly gay enough. In celebration of Friday’s SCOTUS marriage equality decision, and in solidarity with all of my friends and colleagues who have already availed themselves of this freedom or who are now able to, here is some rainbow/garden imagery I found on Shutterstock. Like Susan, I am not at all sure […]

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 11 responses.

What’s a “Relentlessly Gay” yard?

To a self-described Christian in the Baltimore area, it’s having colorful candles. Rainbow-colored candles. They’re what moved a “Concerned Home Owner” to complain in this note to the offending neighbor. Homeowner Julie Baker is responding by going even MORE relentless and to raise money to do that, she started...

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Posted by on June 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm   This post has 47 responses.

Strategies for a new age

It’s not just what’s happening “out west.” Water management of every kind is a huge issue for everybody, so I have been listening and reading with great interest to all that’s happening around water. On Thursday, as I was driving up to Toronto to attend a truncated version of...

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 at 7:40 am   This post has 6 responses.

Unwelcome signs of late spring

The first one is a common sight along just about any American street. Over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to these. As a kid, I knew enough to think, “poison, stay away.” As an adult and a longtime gardener, I look at the signs with annoyance and some disgust,...

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Posted by on June 2, 2015 at 8:16 am   This post has 7 responses.

The Compostable Cup Trials

Some years back, I ran across some compostable water bottles at a Starbucks in Seattle and, because of the skepticism deeply embedded in  ProfessorRoush’s academic soul, I thought it would be a neat idea to try to bring them back in my luggage and test their compost-worthiness at home....

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Posted by on May 11, 2015 at 7:26 am   This post has 24 responses.

The Left is Hotly Divided on GMOs

Wow.  Just in the last few days the Daily Show ridiculed an anti-GMO activist. The New York Times opinion page carried “How I Got Converted to GMO Food” including this meaty bit: After writing two books on the science of climate change, I decided I could no longer continue taking...

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Posted by on April 27, 2015 at 10:19 am   This post has 18 responses.

A bell that tolls for all of us—with different tunes

The drought news from the West and Southwest combined with watching Interstellar over the weekend has me thinking about water and the lack thereof. We don’t have a drought threat here in Western New York, but, just as the article I linked to above says, “Nothing about water is...

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Posted by on April 13, 2015 at 8:03 am   This post has 11 responses.

Clinging to big chem

Glyphosate and neonics—herbicides and pesticides contested as benign by most of big ag and big gardening— were in the news again. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has stated that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans; its evidence came from human agricultural exposure as well...

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Posted by on March 30, 2015 at 8:30 am   This post has 8 responses.

The Power of Naming

In my last column, I admitted I prefer my own garden to Garden Shows, though it does depend on how far under the snow my garden is buried at the time the shows are happening. Symposia, on the other hand, are special treats. I invariably find them valuable, especially...

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm   This post has 24 responses.

Me generation, 2.0

Why can’t people do whatever they want with their own property? This is America, after all. Yes. But individual volition, as essential as that is, depends on a delicate relationship between the desires of the one and the comfort of all. It’s an ongoing debate, and I hear snippets...

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 8:52 am   This post has 12 responses.

Mulch Ado About Nothing

Spotted in Easton, MD:  a properly mulched street tree!  This is a sighting as rare as that of a Yeti – in fact, every other tree on that street sported the usual volcano of mulch heaped up against the tree’s trunk.    Why just the one triumph of good horticultural...

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Posted by on February 7, 2015 at 9:17 am   This post has 8 responses.

Who Will See the Canopy for the Trees?

  Louisville, Kentucky is on Fodor’s 2015 travel “Go List.”  Forget about Antarctica and Iceland. You want a hot spot? My hometown is unquestionably the hot spot among the top 25 travel destinations. Louisville ranks among the Top Five cities in the country with hottest urban heat islands. Some...

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Posted by on January 8, 2015 at 5:06 am   This post has 15 responses.

Back to the Future with Sustainable Lawns

What is cutting edge in the field of sustainable lawns? Much of it is forgotten lore from the late 19th/early 20th century, I have been discovering. I came upon this revelation while preparing for the talk I am going to give this month at a conference organized by Larry...

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Posted by on January 2, 2015 at 8:40 am   This post has 9 responses.

A meadow’s tale

The first thing I did after I bought the farm was quit mowing the grass. The property is ten acres with a nice rolling aspect, some very good old trees, and a dark deep pond for fishing. The assortment of buildings include a Victorian farmhouse, a big party barn,...

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Posted by David McMullin on December 16, 2014 at 8:15 am   This post has 13 responses.

Meadow Day in Maryland

Meadows are HOT these days, thanks to anti-lawn sentiments, concern for pollinators, and some smart designers and plant researchers.  I encountered all of the above one day last month. University of Maryland at College Park First I attended a talk+tour at the University of Maryland about the meadows on...

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Posted by on December 5, 2014 at 9:44 am   This post has 7 responses.

Lawn Alternative Update from the Scott Arboretum

Years ago I visited the Scott Arboretum to learn about alternatives to lawn and see the ones they were growing there.  (Here’s my 2008 report.)  Last month I returned for another event but made time to revisit their lawn-alt plants, too.  (Wonder if we can get that term to...

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm   This post has 13 responses.

Oh, TM/® symbols? Don’t use ’em; don’t have to

Over the weekend, Susan and I heard from a garden writer who worried that he was about to be attacked by the Conard-Pyle company for not naming the Knock Out rose line the way it prefers (all caps with a ®). Instead, the writer was using the single quotes...

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Posted by on November 3, 2014 at 8:05 am   This post has 20 responses.

The Monsters Among Us

Happy Halloween. I hope to really scare you. Because there ARE monsters. There are things that are truly frightening in our world, and we gardeners are on the front lines, either fighting these forces of evil, or being victimized by them. OR, we stand by and do nothing… and...

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Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm   This post has 76 responses.

Trashing Out with Kudzu and ‘Sherman’s Ghost’

Kudzu is the poster child for invasive plants. The vine that gobbled up more than seven million acres in the south became the unintended consequence of the USDA’s plan to stop erosion. When African-Americans, in 1910, began their migration from the rural south to northern cities, the vine would...

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Posted by on October 22, 2014 at 6:15 am   This post has 18 responses.

Report from the Transition Zone: Sustainable Turfgrasses Tested at U.Md.

It’s kinda frustrating here in the Mid-Atlantic “Transition Zone” for turfgrasses because neither warm- or cold-season grasses are best suited to our climate.  The frustration was pronounced as I looked for examples of the more sustainable, no-mow-type fine fescues that are being touted from colder climes.  (Here’s a shout-out from...

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Posted by on October 10, 2014 at 9:26 am   This post has 7 responses.
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