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    It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

    Shopping for Annuals and Perennials

    A few weeks ago, I posted a list of tips concerning shopping for trees and shrubs. I promised at that time to follow up with a list of shopping tips for annual and perennial transplants, so here goes. Shop at a well-run garden center. I am leery of big...

    Posted by on May 16, 2016 at 6:41 am.   This post has 12 responses.
    Real Gardens

    Mom and Dad’s Ohio Garden

    Matt Adolph, shown here somewhere in Ohio with his mom, made a home video about his parents’ garden – his mom’s native plants and his dad’s vegetables – and I love it. I came upon this video tour of the Adolph family garden when I was looking for home-garden...

    Posted by on May 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm.   This post has 2 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

    Photography Lesson in a Garden

    As an eager but very amateur photographer, I’ve attended all sorts of photography classes and talks, with little improvement to show for it. Then I stumbled upon a teaching method and classroom setting perfect for me – a “photo safari” with an extraordinary teacher and a small class of enthusiasts...

    Posted by on May 13, 2016 at 9:49 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    Eat This, Unusually Clever People

    Bill Best Knows Best about Wonder Beans

    Kentucky has a long distinguished history of seed selection and preservation. Before Bill Best got serious with heirloom green beans seeds, there were Native Americans who put Kentucky on the world map before there were maps: four thousand years ago. We seldom get credit for being a world center...

    Posted by on May 11, 2016 at 7:16 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Do you have a Palafox borealis?

    Of course you don’t. I am pretty sure it’s a made-up plant. I was reading about it in a novel by Angela Thirkell called The Old Bank House. Here’s the description of it: …a clump of rather ugly serrated leaves, fleshy and covered with a kind of whitish bristles...

    Posted by on May 10, 2016 at 10:11 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Shut Up and Dig

    In pruning old azaleas, is radical renovation too scary?

    I sent my first New Videos! e-blast this week, featuring 14 videos added to Good Gardening Videos since its launch last month. Two of those videos teach azalea-pruning, but from different perspectives. Woody-plant specialist Phil Normany demonstrates going all the way down to the ground, being bold and trusting that...

    Posted by on May 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm.   This post has 3 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Report from New Zealand: How Plants Survived Moa Birds, and More

    Scott Aker, head of gardens at the National Arboretum, toured New Zealand over the winter – their summer – with his teenage son, who must have been raised with a high tolerance for hort-speak because from the looks of Scott’s slide show, it was a plant-centric journey. Scott certainly...

    Posted by on May 6, 2016 at 6:32 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Garden Rant turns 10, Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig

    #TBT The great compost tea debate

    In June, 2007, we hosted a debate between horticultural professor Jeff Gillman (author of many books, including The Truth Abut Garden Remedies and The Truth About Organic Gardening) and garden writer Jeff Lowenfels, the co-author of Teaming with Microbes. The topic was compost tea, and this is the first...

    Posted by on May 5, 2016 at 8:00 am.   This post has no responses.
    Ministry of Controversy

    Cultivating Wildness

    I became a gardener in order to experience nature daily, in order to live in a wilder way. Being wild is the opposite of being isolated. It is an experience of oneness with a vast, complex, diverse, accepting community of living plants and animals. Isolation is sitting motionless in...

    Posted by on May 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm.   This post has 4 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig

    Who uses landscape fabric and why?

    Last fall I had the idea of doing something nice for the rather boring and minimalist plantings outside my office. The building itself is great—an 85k-square-foot former railway signal factory (circa 1904–6) that has been repurposed into a mixed use complex including our offices, residential units above, banquet spaces,...

    Posted by on May 3, 2016 at 11:54 am.   This post has 19 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Science Says

    Gardening to Beat Climate Change

    Earth Day has come and gone, but I haven’t stopped worrying about the greatest challenge our ecosystem has faced since the beginning of human history: global climate change. This year is already setting records: February of 2016 was the hottest February on record globally, and March was the hottest...

    Posted by on May 2, 2016 at 12:46 pm.   This post has 6 responses.
    Public Gardens, What's Happening

    Benefits of gardening, or just being IN a garden

    National Park Rx, a growing movement among doctors to prescribe parks and nature to their patients, launched recently and I was asked to talk to the public about the benefits of gardening.  Here’s the list I came up with: Great exercise (with too many benefits to list, or to...

    Posted by on April 29, 2016 at 7:55 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    Garden Rant turns 10

    #TBT: Garden Guy, will work for Heteros Only

    Landscapers refusing to work for LGBTs? Back in November 2006. when this was published, you bet, and the legality of doing that hasn’t changed. Indeed—note  recent legislation passed in North Carolina and other states—this kind of discrimination is still in play and often legal. It was Elizabeth, blogging then at Gardening...

    Posted by on April 28, 2016 at 7:18 am.   This post has 10 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

    Slices of Spring and Steak

    I’ve been on the clock of Jelitto Perennial Seeds for nearly 21 years. I peddle perennial seeds (over 3,500 different items), but from time to time, with my colleagues there, I enjoy the pleasure of wildflowers, gardens, nurseries and even a good steak. It is a great gig. Georg...

    Posted by on April 27, 2016 at 12:06 pm.   This post has 12 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

    The tulip graveyard

    It’s nice, as graveyards go. Colorful bulbs—species tulips, grape hyacinth, narcissus, erythronium—flourish in it throughout the later spring, followed by lush plantings of shade perennials—Solomon’s seal, ghost fern, bugbane (actea), brunnera, hellebores, and, of course, plenty of hosta. It’s unlikely that the casual passer-by could begin to imagine the...

    Posted by on April 26, 2016 at 7:59 am.   This post has 5 responses.