A recent visit to the 40-year-old, 3.5-acre Ruth Bancroft Garden, the first private garden added to the Garden Conservancy, reinforced the capacity of a stroll garden to provide mystery and exploration.

We Only Bond with Complex Landscapes

Here’s one of my beefs with lawns: where is the mystery? We live within this awe-inspiring natural world, teeming with diverse creatures and plants. We have a built-in fascination for other living things (1). Why would we construct our daily environments in such a way that we avoid being fascinated by them? Instead, why not […]

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Posted by on December 4, 2013 at 2:04 am   This post has 40 responses.

More than just seed porn

It’s ironic that by far the largest and most beautiful garden catalogs I receive are for the smallest commodities. And some might find it sad that I never buy any of these small items. Seeds are really cheap for all they can deliver, and nobody celebrates the glory of...

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Posted by on November 25, 2013 at 8:56 am   This post has 4 responses.

Help make the Arboretum Lawn Education Program a Good One!

Readers may remember this post announcing a forthcoming lawn education program at the National Arboretum financed entirely by the turf industry. (Scroll down here to see the funders).  Well, it’s now a reality, with the official ground-breaking event last week, and I’m more concerned than ever.  Though I’m a...

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Posted by on November 22, 2013 at 9:47 am   This post has 2 responses.

No poo for you, organic farmers!

If the FDA’s proposed food safety regulations go through, the use of animal manure on farms over a certain size, or which supply food to supermarkets, will be severely limited. According to this NPR story (and I am sure it has appeared in other news outlets), when farmers spread...

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Posted by on November 21, 2013 at 9:38 am   This post has 25 responses.

Annoying step back or welcome relief?

Unlike scrapbooking, genealogy, homebrewing, model trains, or cosplay, gardening brings with it an inseparable relationship to time and season. During the late fall and early spring—whenever those may fall for you—we are most at the mercy of that relationship. And for some gardeners, the interventions of the twice-yearly time...

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Posted by on November 4, 2013 at 8:02 am   This post has 17 responses.

When she’s not gardening

As I was driving into work today, I listened to an account of a small solidarity protest held in front of the company that operates our local water system. Apparently, this company, Veolia, was reneging on agreements they had with their transportation workers in Boston. I was bemused that...

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Posted by on October 25, 2013 at 9:35 am   This post has 4 responses.

How to find sources you can trust on controversial topics – like GMOs

Today the Washington Post introduces a new feature in its Food Section that will tackle controversial food-policy topics, like genetically modified foods.  It’s called Unearthed and in the inaugural column the writer proposes a test for finding information about GMOs that can be trusted.  That’s a question I often...

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 at 10:03 am   This post has 9 responses.

The Shutdown Hits Home

Friends, in his own opinion, ProfessorRoush has done an exceptional job at Garden Musings, avoiding any mention of politics here over the now 3+ years I’ve blogged. Only those who know my tendency to rant over seemingly minute issues can fathom what a struggle that has been, but I’m going to make...

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Posted by on October 4, 2013 at 8:17 am   This post has 61 responses.

Video shows the Gardens of Greenbelt, Maryland in ’39 and ’13

Put something online; you never know where it’ll lead.  In this case, a reader of this very blog discovered the “Less Lawn, More Life” garden tour I organized in Greenbelt, Maryland, where our reader once lived.  So she attended and created this fabulous video of the tour!  It includes...

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 at 10:18 am   This post has Comments Off.

“Less Lawn, More Life” Garden Tour this Sunday

I’ve noted earlier that organizing a local garden tour is a great way to meet your neighbors, and as I’m making final preparations for the tour this Sunday, it does feel like I have a new posse of local gardening pals who have my back in this venture and...

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Posted by on September 10, 2013 at 8:05 am   This post has 10 responses.

Have I Become “Organic Until”????

Sure, I’m organic.  I don’t use any chemical fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides, or -cides of any kind.  For that matter, I don’t even use organic pesticides in my garden. If the bugs want to eat it, let them. I can always order a pizza. But then.  Then!  A colony of...

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Posted by on August 28, 2013 at 5:39 am   This post has 40 responses.

Arrested Development

It’s a term that might best describe gardening in the South. It might best describe all things Southern, come to think of it … but that’s a topic for another blog. By arrested development, I mean that moment in time when forward movement and evolution stop. Just stop. In...

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Posted by David mcMullin on August 26, 2013 at 7:39 am   This post has 13 responses.

Want your kids to play outside? Rip out the lawn!

Guest Rant by Pam Penick Lawns are for kids, right? After all, they need that big, green carpet to enjoy the outdoors. Would it be an exaggeration to say it borders on neglect not to keep a lawn for your children or grandchildren to play on? Some people think...

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Posted by on August 15, 2013 at 7:50 am   This post has 164 responses.

Why I would be kicked out of a community garden

As a fellow online writer—who happens to be called Elizabeth Licata—says, “There’s no drama like community garden drama.” We’ve written a lot about community gardens here, including stories on gardens under threat by utility companies, gardens embroiled in internal politics (fueled by alcohol), and community gardens that have been...

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Posted by on August 5, 2013 at 9:36 am   This post has 14 responses.

Japanese beetle traps—a reconsideration

To trap or not to trap? That is the million roses question, isn’t it?  Conventional wisdom holds that the use of Japanese beetle-specific traps will increase beetle damage on plants adjacent to the trap sites. You can find that “wisdom” repeated everywhere—on extension articles, Internet blogs, over and over, accepted and...

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 at 8:13 am   This post has 30 responses.

Hey, Mayor Bloomberg! Here’s Your New Compost Plan

You may have read that Mayor Bloomberg has a new food scrap composting plan for New York City.  It works just the same way suburban food scrap programs do:  everybody gets a new bin, everybody has to take another step when they separate their trash, everybody has to haul...

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Posted by on June 26, 2013 at 5:27 am   This post has 18 responses.

Crimes and Ethical Dilemmas in the News

Two items in Sunday’s papers caught my interest, and possibly yours.  “Metro edict choking Phantom Planter’s blooms” in the Washington Post really warmed my heart – except for the part about Metro.  Part-time lawyer Henry Doctor has been planting flowering plants in the 176 otherwise abandoned little planters along...

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Posted by on June 25, 2013 at 8:31 am   This post has 12 responses.

I Wish They All Could Be California Flowers

  tulip image via Shutterstock Hey, good news!  Pesticide use on California-grown cut flowers is way down over the last decade, according to this report from UC.  California has required farms to file monthly pesticide use reports since 1990, and since 2001 those reports have been more crop-specific, making...

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Posted by on June 19, 2013 at 6:00 am   This post has 5 responses.

What’s New and Old at Longwood Gardens

On my way to  David Culp’s garden I naturally stopped at Longwood Gardens, which I somehow hadn’t visited in at least a decade.  So, what’s new? Treehouses! Three of them, and they’re grand like this one or smaller and funky.  Love ‘em! Above and below are the much newer...

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Posted by on June 7, 2013 at 11:17 am   This post has 13 responses.

Cats in the Garden – Solutions Only

Cat-loving readers will no doubt remember our recent dust-up over the issue of cats in the garden.  That post was prompted by a cat-in-garden photo illustrating a magazine piece about wildlife-friendly gardens – a strange juxtaposition, at least to my eyes. Well, I was happy to notice Horticulture Magazine...

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 at 9:50 am   This post has 36 responses.
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