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    Shut Up and Dig

    Can Winter Feed a Gardener’s Soul?

    Not to beat Elizabeth’s dead horse, but I am still pondering winter interest — and not just in dazzling snow-covered landscapes that most of us couldn’t reproduce in our own yards, though I am truly delighted for those of you who live near one or have made one (see...

    Posted by on January 21, 2015 at 3:28 am.   This post has 19 responses.
    Science Says

    “Kiss Your Ash Good Bye”

    That’s what the Massachusetts state forester told me – the emerald ash borer is on the loose in southern Berkshire County where my wife and I have our 130-acre woodlot and within the next couple of years this pest is expected to kill virtually all the native ashes, or...

    Posted by on January 18, 2015 at 11:05 am.   This post has 18 responses.
    What's Happening

    PPA Brings out the Bawlmer Spirit in MANTS-Goers

    The annual orgy of plant worship and fun times – the Perennial Plant Association symposium - is happening in Baltimore this year and the Flock is Gathering - in high Pink Flamingo and Big Hair. That was all on display this week at the big Mid-Atlantic  Nursery Trade Show, where garden diva Janet Draper...

    Posted by on January 16, 2015 at 7:59 am.   This post has 3 responses.
    Real Gardens, What's Happening

    Got to Scrape the Shit Right Off Your Shoes

    It was cold in Louisville last week with morning lows near zero and daytime temperatures struggling to reach the 20s. Rufus had to do his business a half-dozen times each day. That meant I bundled up in four or five layers of clothing to go outside. There’s plenty in...

    Posted by on January 14, 2015 at 6:45 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    Real Gardens

    The winter interest battle …. continues

    If there’s anything, I hate, it’s dragging out Rant posts.  My motto: Drop the post, then move on to another topic.  However, we’re leaving for St. Lucia tomorrow, and I have to lay down a post for Monday, or Susan will be mad at me (I’m secretly afraid of...

    Posted by on January 12, 2015 at 8:00 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    Public Gardens

    Regional Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden at Eight

    As a regular visitor to the U.S. Botanic Garden, I’ve come to love its spacious Regional Garden very gradually since installation was completed in the fall of 2006.     Now in its eight year it’s stunning, and has lots to teach us about the two regional soil zones it...

    Posted by on January 9, 2015 at 7:41 am.   This post has 4 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening

    Who Will See the Canopy for the Trees?

      Louisville, Kentucky is on Fodor’s 2015 travel “Go List.”  Forget about Antarctica and Iceland. You want a hot spot? My hometown is unquestionably the hot spot among the top 25 travel destinations. Louisville ranks among the Top Five cities in the country with hottest urban heat islands. Some...

    Posted by on January 8, 2015 at 5:06 am.   This post has 15 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic

    Forcing Winter Interest

    I have been thinking about Elizabeth’s post on The Myth of Winter Interest. Having spent 25+ years in Minnesota, and recently moved halfway across the country to (among other things) escape the relentless northern winter, I do identify with the urge to focus only on the indoor world during...

    Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 7:46 am.   This post has 19 responses.
    Shut Up and Dig

    The myth of winter interest

    Winter gardening? Yes. Winter garden? Not so much. We hear a lot about “winter interest”—which has to be one of the saddest phrases of the gardening lexicon—in plant descriptions and recommendations. And while it’s true that there are plants that look fabulous in snow and freezing weather—red twig dogwood,...

    Posted by on January 5, 2015 at 8:00 am.   This post has 24 responses.
    Lawn Reform

    Back to the Future with Sustainable Lawns

    What is cutting edge in the field of sustainable lawns? Much of it is forgotten lore from the late 19th/early 20th century, I have been discovering. I came upon this revelation while preparing for the talk I am going to give this month at a conference organized by Larry...

    Posted by on January 2, 2015 at 8:40 am.   This post has 9 responses.
    What's Happening

    “Peace Love 2015″ from Mosquito-Battling New Gardener

    Meet my new neighbor, Lindsey Dodson, who moved into what she calls “My Happy House” after 30 years of apartment living in the city.  When asked about the outfit she’s wearing, she wrote that “Yes I actually did wear that outfit a lot this past summer. I get bitten...

    Posted by on January 1, 2015 at 8:31 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    It's the Plants, Darling

    Trees, In Memorium

    A year has passed, and tonight we will usher in a new one. If there is a tree of life, tonight its trunk gets another ring. I was recently spending some quiet time in an old cemetery- not a funeral park, but an actual old cemetery – unplanned, diverse,...

    Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm.   This post has 24 responses.
    Shut Up and Dig

    2015: the year of the do-nothing garden

    It’s a strange dichotomy. The sole reason I have a garden is so  I can enjoy its aesthetic and recreational benefits. My garden does not grow food, and it is not designed as a wildlife habitat (though they’re not discouraged). When I’m sitting in the garden, I may notice...

    Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 8:47 am.   This post has 29 responses.
    Grab Bag, Real Gardens

    Favorite places in town, including my new garden

    On a local blog I write I thanked Greenbelt Maryland for 3 fabulous years there this month.  Then I went on to post photos of my favorite places – none farther than a slow 10-minute walk from my house – with some commentary. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary by posting photos...

    Posted by on December 29, 2014 at 11:07 am.   This post has 15 responses.
    Public Gardens

    How Public Gardens get Gorgeous for the Holidays

    Most people assume that gardens can’t look good in the winter – at least where there IS winter.  But Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Northern Virginia is here to disprove that notion, with photos by their volunteer “resident photographer,” Tom Stovall.  First, some shots of their Winter Walk of Lights,...

    Posted by on December 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm.   This post has 8 responses.