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    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants, Real Gardens

    Stop Tilling Your Vegetable Garden!

    Guest Rant by Megan Cain I get why you till. There’s something in all of us gardeners that leaps with joy when we see a freshly tilled bed. That rich, dark, blank canvas beckons us to come on over and work our vegetable magic. We imagine ourselves gently planting...

    Posted by Megan Cain on April 10, 2014 at 7:30 am.   This post has 12 responses.
    Unusually Clever People

    Through the Hand Lens: Pat Haragan’s Steady View

    I have dozens of floras sitting on cluttered bookshelves: from China to the Caucasus and from Kansas to Kentucky. Yet even more mileage is guaranteed from a new botanic investigation that covers territory closer to home—my neighborhood. I predict the pages of Pat Haragan’s “The Olmsted Parks of Louisville:...

    Posted by on April 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm.   This post has 3 responses.
    Real Gardens, What's Happening

    Can a Video Attract Garden Visitors?

    I’ve long had the notion that somehow short, viral-going videos showing the fabulousness of a garden that’s open to the public might increase visitorship – and thereby support for the garden.  And here in the D.C. area the poster child for a fabulous garden that could use some support...

    Posted by on April 4, 2014 at 9:06 am.   This post has 24 responses.
    What's Happening

    From our Landscape Architect Friends…

    First, congrats to the team at Landscape Architecture Magazine on the magazine’s nomination for an impressive national award.  From their website: We are very honored to be finalists in 2014 American Magazine Awards for General Excellence in the Special Interest category, especially considering the excellent other magazines in the...

    Posted by on April 3, 2014 at 9:22 am.   This post has 2 responses.
    Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig

    Spring Fever

    As the garden wakes up, I find I spend more time in that stock-still, mesmerized state that, let’s face it, is the point of all this garden work. Though planting, caring for the plants, and editing them all have their satisfactions, being absorbed in the garden is my favorite...

    Posted by on April 2, 2014 at 4:01 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

    Full sun to part shade. Really?

    Plant labels tend to be prosaic. They are not—to my knowledge—as carefully scrutinized by federal agencies as food labels are, but nonetheless, the big growers seem to reliably police themselves, offering botanical names, reasonably truthful dimensions, and helpful planting and care information.  Except, sadly, when it comes to light...

    Posted by on March 31, 2014 at 8:17 am.   This post has 18 responses.
    Eat This

    Who’s Eating Our Orchard?

    Delayed almost a month by an unusually cold and prolonged winter, our friend Gini–an avid arborist– arrived the other day to give us our first lesson in orchard pruning. We were anxious to begin work on the more than 100 young fruit trees we acquired when we bought our...

    Posted by on March 28, 2014 at 8:05 am.   This post has 18 responses.
    Guest Rants, Real Gardens

    Learning my Place from Nature’s Graveyard

    by Dr. Amanda Morris Splintered fence. Shattered shrubs. Shredded trunks. And pine needles. Everywhere, pine needles. Destruction with the scent of Christmas. As I made my way into the barely accessible remains of yard, gingerly pulling back heavy pine branches to expose anything left visible, I touched a ripped...

    Posted by Amanda Morris on March 27, 2014 at 7:36 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    Get a Job, Unusually Clever People

    GARDEN GEEKS ( Yes I’m Talking to YOU)

      I think it is so funny that people who garden passionately automatically think we will have things in common just because I also garden passionately. Yes, I am a plant maniac and proud – but I am so far from the plant obsessed and jargon-spouting, horticulturally saturated lady...

    Posted by on March 26, 2014 at 1:40 am.   This post has 39 responses.
    CRRRITIC, Everybody's a Critic

    Seen at the garden show

    Tis the season. Indeed, many of you have already attended or ignored your local home & garden/garden-only exhibitions, which are timed to capture the attention of property owners as winter fades. Our show happened this past weekend. I used to look forward to this when I was first starting...

    Posted by on March 24, 2014 at 8:00 am.   This post has 18 responses.
    Real Gardens

    Digging into the Archive of American Gardens

    I’m not sure I totally grasp the content of the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Gardens but here’s what I gather so far, from a talk I heard on the subject and digging into their website. A big honking collection of garden photos was donated to the Smithsonian by the...

    Posted by on March 21, 2014 at 9:01 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens

    Poppies for Memories

    Since I moved to Idaho, my sister and mom and their friends and my friends have been generously donating plants to fill my new garden beds. (Gardeners are the nicest people.) This week, I’m transplanting poppies from my sister. I’m planting them in areas that I smothered with leaves...

    Posted by on March 19, 2014 at 4:15 am.   This post has 17 responses.
    Unusually Clever People

    Bunny Mellon, a DC Garden Designer with Connections

    Philanthropist and garden designer Bunny Mellon died recently, and I didn’t appreciate her significance until reading Adrian Higgins’ terrific profile of her in today’s  WaPo.  “Rachel ‘Bunny’ Mellon, arts patron and confidante of Jackie Kennedy, dies at 103.” I didn’t even know that she designed two major gardens at...

    Posted by on March 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm.   This post has 2 responses.
    Real Gardens

    A green gardener

    Like many others in this country, I can trace my ancestry—within a couple generations—to the auld sod. My Irish forebears, the Kenneys and the Brackens, settled down to farm in Western New York when they first came here in the mid-nineteenth century. Times changed, and so did their occupations,...

    Posted by on March 17, 2014 at 9:16 am.   This post has 2 responses.
    What's Happening

    Garden Tourism Getting its Due

    Richard Benfield is gradually infiltrating this blog, one Ranter at a time. He’s the Central State Connecticut U. geography professor named the world’s leading authority on garden tourism – and that was before his Garden Tourism book was even published.  So naturally he’s been to Buffalo, the city leading...

    Posted by on March 14, 2014 at 9:12 am.   This post has 7 responses.