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    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig

    Borrowing stones and scenery

    Even in New England the snow is melting and soon I will be confronted with what the winter – and the plow truck – have done to my stone walls.  I take a particular pride in these, not because they are such beautiful specimens of the craft, but because...

    Posted by on March 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm.   This post has 11 responses.
    Public Gardens, What's Happening

    Let’s Spread the Word about Public Gardens in D.C. and Elsewhere

    I just donated to help fund a website that showcases DC-area gardens, a project spearheaded by fellow Ranter Susan Harris. Wherever I go, I visit gardens; no doubt many of you fellow gardeners do too. And sometimes it is difficult to quickly figure out which public gardens are near...

    Posted by on March 18, 2015 at 12:15 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    Everybody's a Critic

    What Makes Cities Attractive, and our Intellectual Confusion about Beauty

    Pertinent to our discussions here of garden criticism – right or wrong – enjoy this video by architecture writer Alain de Botton.  At about 11:15 he gets to the “first obstacle to beautiful cities” – the intellectually confused position that no one has the right to say what’s pretty...

    Posted by on March 14, 2015 at 7:58 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    What's Happening

    MY Trip to the Philly Flower Show

    Boy, do we cover the Philadelphia Flower Show here – with a guest post, a guest photographer, and now with my very personal experience of the show – which was not the greatest, and all my fault. First, some meeting and greeting. White House floral designer Laura Dowling demonstrated...

    Posted by on March 13, 2015 at 8:14 am.   This post has 15 responses.
    Public Gardens, Who's Ranting About Us

    Washington Post Gives Nice Boost to DC Gardens

    DCGardens.com and its local supporters are loving the feature about it in the Washington Post this week. Reporter John Kelly chatted me up for an hour and then called a photographer I recruited to join the cause after spying him with his tripod and expensive camera at the National...

    Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm.   This post has one response.
    What's Happening

    Scenes from the Philadelphia Flower Show

    It was a great year for the Philadelphia Flower Show, and local photographer Ashley Youwakim is sharing with Rant readers her shots from the show. Captions by Ashley, too. The show’s theme, “Celebrate the Movies,” scattered large cinematic screens that projected clips from an assortment of films.  As the...

    Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 9:02 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    But is it Art?, What's Happening

    Whitewashed Tree Trunks: The Unvarnished Story

    After a few swipes on Aunt Polly’s plank fence, Tom Sawyer  tired of painting whitewash. So it doesn’t surprise me that there’s no hint, in Mark Twain’s novel, that Tom took a paintbrush to tree trunks. I have been intrigued with this peculiar cultural phenomenon since I was Tom...

    Posted by on March 11, 2015 at 7:43 am.   This post has 13 responses.
    Guest Rants, What's Happening

    The Annual Buying (and subsequent killing) of the Air Plant and Plumeria Stick

    Guest Rant by Wendy Kiang-Spray Having been to the Philadelphia Flower Show for many years in a row now, my annual trip has taken on a really wonderful rhythm and familiarity. My friend Grace is tiny and swift. Her job is to zip in and out through the crowds while...

    Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on March 10, 2015 at 9:07 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    Public Gardens, Real Gardens, What's Happening

    They have gardens in Canada, too!

    Just kidding. I’ve been enjoying my proximity to the cosmopolitan delights of Toronto and the beauties of Ontario’s Niagara region for decades, and now I invite fellow bloggers to do the same. The next Garden Bloggers Fling takes place June 5-8 in Toronto and environs. We’ll see gardens on...

    Posted by on March 9, 2015 at 5:24 am.   This post has 15 responses.
    Lawn Reform, What's Happening

    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...

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

    Donate to DC Gardens – Even if you Live Somewhere Else!

    Crowd-sourcing for the DC Gardens media campaign starts NOW!  Click here to see the video, the “story,” the team (more members being added today), and the “impacts.” If you’re local to the DC area: Browse images and videos of our 12 destinations gardens by month. Use our Deep Local...

    Posted by on March 2, 2015 at 8:07 am.   This post has 2 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Let us now praise evergreens

    The more I garden, the more I want plants that look like something all year – namely evergreens.  Compared to the much flashier flowering plants, they’re pretty underwhelming at the garden centers but boy, do I appreciate them right about now. Take, for example, this scene just outside my...

    Posted by on February 27, 2015 at 8:38 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    CRRRITIC, Everybody's a Critic

    The Road To Hell Is Paved With Chunky Gravel And Indifferently Chosen Plants

    **Trigger Warning*** This is a rant, and the images that follow may be unpleasant to some. They certainly are to ME. A bit of background to set the stage: Los Angeles is in a severe drought. Considering the fact that Los Angeles is a city built in a desert...

    Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 11:00 pm.   This post has 63 responses.
    Lawn Reform, Ministry of Controversy

    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...

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

    How to Barter Gardening Expertise for Home Repairs and Soup

    Timebanks are being created all across the U.S. so that people can help members of their community in whatever way they can, and get help in return, though probably not from the person they helped. Hours spent helping are banked, and all skills are treated the same. Timebanks are...

    Posted by on February 20, 2015 at 9:48 am.   This post has 14 responses.