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    Unusually Clever People

    From FFA Superstar to Botanic Garden Spokesman

    I recently met the new public affairs officer for the U.S. Botanic Gardens and when I found out his degree is in agricultural communications, I had to find out more. Devin Dotson grew up in a small rural town in northwest Alabama, where his family grew their own vegetables...

    Posted by on April 24, 2015 at 8:04 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    Unusually Clever People

    The Theosophic Turtle

    Adam Turtle may have been restless at times, but I doubt he has ever struggled much with boredom. The résumé of the Tennessee nurseryman and farmer is not a record of a dull life. Turtle has been “a boy scout, cowboy, fisherman, truck driver, chef, homeless bum, woodworker, sculptor,...

    Posted by on April 22, 2015 at 7:15 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    Eat This

    Grow your own?

    What do gardening and Japanese anime culture have in common? There are probably a number of strange intersections, but this is the only one I know about. And it’s weird. The Ripe Boyfriend Cultivation Set home gardening kits ask us to imagine vegetables and herbs as sexy young men....

    Posted by on April 20, 2015 at 8:00 am.   This post has one response.
    Public Gardens

    Dumbarton Oaks in April

    Yesterday was the perfect day to visit Dumbarton Oaks, the Beatrix Farrand-designed garden and research facility in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood. Cherry trees and magnolias were still blooming, under blue skies.  I was reminded why the National Geographic named it the 6th best garden in the world. Above, the garden’s most iconic...

    Posted by on April 17, 2015 at 7:19 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    A Grower of Regionally Appropriate Plants is Hard to Find

    “Nothing will grow here if you don’t water it.” That sentence, which I hear everywhere and not just here in the desert, points out a person who has not yet met the right grower(s). Growers are a bottleneck in this business of changing the way Americans landscape. If a...

    Posted by on April 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm.   This post has 30 responses.
    What's Happening

    In Japan, “The flowers only bloom for a week, so let’s party!”

    Stories about cherry blossoms in Washington can be pretty boring, but this report about how they’re celebrated in Japan is anything but.

    Posted by on April 14, 2015 at 6:43 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy

    A bell that tolls for all of us—with different tunes

    The drought news from the West and Southwest combined with watching Interstellar over the weekend has me thinking about water and the lack thereof. We don’t have a drought threat here in Western New York, but, just as the article I linked to above says, “Nothing about water is...

    Posted by on April 13, 2015 at 8:03 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

    The Art of Digging and Where we Learn It

    Avid gardeners, I bet you love your tools as much as I do, especially the ones for digging. Gloves I buy by the dozen but digging tools I expect to last forever, which of course they don’t. I recently destroyed my long-handled shovel by treating it like it was...

    Posted by on April 10, 2015 at 8:22 am.   This post has 19 responses.
    Science Says, What's Happening

    Bourbon Disease Could Be Worse Than a Bad Hangover

      The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner—the first Saturday in May. I am gripped with fear. I won’t lose sleep over another losing Derby bet, but I’ve just read in the past few weeks that Bourbon disease could rear its ugly head.  I hope not, but who...

    Posted by on April 9, 2015 at 7:57 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People

    There’s Hope for Urban Design

    ‘Tis the season of garden seminars. Recently I participated in a thought-provoking one-day seminar on the theme of bringing nature into our cities. I spoke about hellstrip gardens, but a couple of the other speakers addressed larger-scale landscapes. After seeing their photos and hearing about so many projects that...

    Posted by on April 8, 2015 at 2:03 am.   This post has 7 responses.
    Books

    Garden Rant Giveaway Grand Drawing

    While visiting in Louisville, Panayoti Kelaidis and Jan Fahs of Denver, Colorado graciously agreed to make the drawing for the Garden Rant Giveaway that you’ve all awaited.   Drum roll, please…The lucky winner of Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden: is Mary Beth Martin of...

    Posted by on April 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm.   This post has 2 responses.
    Science Says, What's Happening

    Pesticide Bans Arriving in U.S.

    The banning of pesticides on ornamentals plants started in Canada but is gradually spreading to the south. Liberal Takoma Park, MD recently became the first place in the U.S. to implement such a ban on public and private property, as reported here. And now the proponents of that ban are taking it...

    Posted by on April 3, 2015 at 8:33 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    Books, CRRRITIC

    Essential Perennials…You Gotta Have It.

        Are you ready for another great Garden Rant Giveaway? Now’s your chance! You could be the lucky winner of Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden. Post a comment below and tell us what your favorite perennial is and why you like...

    Posted by on April 2, 2015 at 7:55 am.   This post has 109 responses.
    Public Gardens

    So Visit a Garden Already!

    Wherever you live, this mini-rant is for you. The DC Gardens crowd-sourcing campaign to promote gardening and public gardens is happening through May 1 at Indiegogo.

    Posted by on March 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm.   This post has Comments Off.
    Gardening on the Planet, Ministry of Controversy

    Clinging to big chem

    Glyphosate and neonics—herbicides and pesticides contested as benign by most of big ag and big gardening— were in the news again. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has stated that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans; its evidence came from human agricultural exposure as well...

    Posted by on March 30, 2015 at 8:30 am.   This post has 8 responses.