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    Real Gardens

    Gardens and gardening on tiny Toronto Islands

    My favorites of all the gardens we saw on the Gardenblogger Fling in Toronto weren’t grand – anything but. They were the small funky ones on the just-offshore islands known collectively as Toronto Islands, which we reached by ferry. We toured gardens on two residential islands – Ward’s and Algonquin, and I might have...

    Posted by on June 19, 2015 at 8:48 am.   This post has 12 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy

    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...

    Posted by on June 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm.   This post has 46 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, What's Happening

    Nature Corridors Boost Failing Wildlife Populations

    Doug Tallamy is one of my heroes. He is a visionary thinker with the ability to tie together disparate bits of information — research results, personal observations, known scientific facts — into powerful calls for action that guide us toward living within nature, rather than continuing to segregate ourselves...

    Posted by on June 17, 2015 at 6:19 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People

    “Nature rewards the bold”

    The quote comes from the last words of a recent essay by Umberto Pasti in the New York Times. Many of you will also recognize his inspiration—Fortune favors the brave, a Latin proverb that’s been used as the motto of regiments, clans, battleships, and many other entities. However you say...

    Posted by on June 16, 2015 at 8:38 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    What's Happening

    Mid-Atlantic Gardeners are invited to Perennial Plant Event

    For years I’ve heard the Perennial Plant Association called one of the best organizations in the plant world, and its yearly symposium the BEST.  This year it’s being held in Baltimore, close to home for me, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. Local organizer Janet Draper wrote to...

    Posted by on June 15, 2015 at 11:23 am.   This post has no responses.
    Guest Rants, What's Happening

    Get Your Local On with Slow Flowers

    by Debra Prinzing I know you adore flowers as much as I do.  But more than loving flowers, I’m passionate about American grown flowers, a topic I’ve occasionally written about here on Garden Rant. I use the term “Slow Flowers” to define the practice of sourcing flowers locally, one...

    Posted by on June 13, 2015 at 6:21 am.   This post has 2 responses.
    What's Happening

    Gardenblogging and Flinging in 2015

    First, the Gardenblogger Fling happened last weekend in Toronto and was a roaring success.  Thanks again to the local organizes, who created 4+ fabulous days of events and then herded us through it all as patient, unfrazzled hosts who managed to have fun themselves.  That’s Helen Battersby of Toronto Gardens, Lorraine...

    Posted by on June 12, 2015 at 8:50 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

    Mad May: No Fury

    My excitement for wild plants is as far afield from Mad Max: Fury Road as you can imagine. My best botanizing adventures, by comparison, would be more like an open-air My Dinner with Andre. An afternoon with my plant-obsessed compatriots would bore the bejesus out of most Americans or,...

    Posted by on June 10, 2015 at 7:12 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Lawn Reform, Real Gardens, Tune In

    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...

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

    We’re Flinging in Toronto!

    Waaaay back in 2008 this group of gardenbloggers got together for the first time in Austin for the first Garden Blogger Fling to party and see gardens. No keynotes or break-out sessions in hotel conference rooms. Just fun, networking like crazy, and actually making new friends. No matter that we’re...

    Posted by on June 4, 2015 at 10:38 pm.   This post has one response.
    Shut Up and Dig

    A Better Garden Tiller

    I like the versatility of my BCS two-wheel tractor with all the different implements it can operate, but if I were shopping for a dedicated garden tiller, I would certainly get the new vertical tine model from Troy-Bilt. Properly known as the “Bronco Axis Vertical Tine Garden Tiller,”  this...

    Posted by on June 4, 2015 at 10:27 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig

    A Tale of Two Mulches

    When I began making this new garden, I was able to get large quantities of bagged leaves and grass clippings free, so I used them to smother the lawn and to mulch around new plants. This year, I found a source of cheap wood chips, so I am employing...

    Posted by on June 3, 2015 at 2:36 am.   This post has 17 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy

    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,...

    Posted by on June 2, 2015 at 8:16 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Favorite evergreen natives – Ragwort and Bignonia

    Today I’m showing off two plants that are not only native to me in Maryland but share two traits I wish were more common among native – they’re evergreen AND vigorous growers in the garden. First up, the unfortunately named Ragwort, a/k/a Golden Groundsel, officially Packera aurea. Here’s what it looked...

    Posted by on May 29, 2015 at 7:36 am.   This post has 14 responses.
    Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

    My Favorite Flower Show

      We got tipped-off about Celesta McComas’s flower show last year at Thanksgiving dinner. My wife Rose told Bobbie Ann Mason that we lived, part-time, in Salvisa, KY. Bobbie Ann lives a few miles away in Lawrenceburg. Clearly suffering from separation anxiety, Bobbie Ann confessed that Celesta had moved...

    Posted by on May 27, 2015 at 7:20 am.   This post has 11 responses.