Baneberry image courtesy of Shutterstock

#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 had then, including the white version […]

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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 10 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 20 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 9 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.

Weeding Meadows and Neil Diboll on CBS

“CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent Steve Hartman confesses his addiction to weeding after Neil Diboll helped him create a meadow. Here’s the video and here’s more on the story.

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Posted by on August 17, 2015 at 9:23 am   This post has 2 responses.

Garden Professors’ Epic Takedown of Consumer Reports

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, co-founder of the game-changing Garden Professors Blog and award-winning author, happened upon a lawn-care article in Consumer Reports and didn’t like what she saw – a mash-up of garden myths and misinformation.  No citations to actual research in sight.  So she posted her review of the article here...

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Posted by on August 14, 2015 at 7:53 am   This post has 6 responses.

The No-Water California Garden

Hi friends! Sorry I’ve been so very, very absent–if you’re wondering why, it’s because I wrote a novel called Girl Waits with Gun and that shit is time-consuming. It’s coming out September 1 and I’m going on a book tour that I very much hope puts me in a city...

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Posted by on July 20, 2015 at 3:22 am   This post has 21 responses.

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,...

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 12 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.
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