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Gardening on the Planet

When trees come in handy

In our part of the world (and a lot of other places), the weather news has been simple: pouring rain, day in and day out. It just started to let up over the weekend. Rain is supposed to be good news for gardeners, but you’d never know it from...

Posted by on May 9, 2017 at 8:51 am.   This post has no responses.
Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling

A Taraxacum officinale Grower Reveals Her Secrets

Guest Post by Amy Campion We were getting ready to go to the Hortlandia Plant Sale, when Scott and I saw it. Its blossoms glowed like pure sunshine. “Oh, my God,” I said. “Is that…?” Heather nodded. “Taraxacum officinale,” Scott said breathlessly. I realized then that Heather had been...

Posted by Amy Campion on May 7, 2017 at 7:58 am.   This post has 10 responses.
Unusually Clever People, Watch Someone Else Do It

Meet the New On-Camera Gardening Guru

Laura LeBoutillier was working at her parents’ garden center in Eastern Oregon, and husband Aaron was working at the local cable company. Their lives changed when Aaron bought a new camera that happened to also take video and a relative suggested he use it to make instructional ones with...

Posted by on May 5, 2017 at 6:05 am.   This post has 3 responses.
Guest Rants, Science Says, Shut Up and Dig

Quit throwing out the scary stuff: compost it instead!

As I emptied buckets of human waste into a bin filled with red wigglers, the realization hit me: I had reached peak compost. This was it. Eggshells and hair were just gateway drugs. Later I got into the hard stuff: moldy lasagna, spoiled stew, roadkill… And now here I...

Posted by David the Good on May 4, 2017 at 8:00 am.   This post has 9 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, What's Happening

The Run from the Roses

I run from roses until mid-April, when my mood changes, as the Kentucky Derby grows near. The Run for the Roses turns me tenderhearted toward roses. It’s complicated. We have two disease-ravaged and bug-eaten pitiful roses in our garden. I should back up for a second. I’m married to...

Posted by on May 3, 2017 at 7:01 am.   This post has 5 responses.
Gardening on the Planet, Science Says

The Science of Gardening

Despite the cold rain, Saturday April 22nd was a great time to be walking the streets of Washington D.C.  The occasion for my outing was the March for Science, and there were tens of thousands of self-described nerds thronging Constitution Avenue on the approach the Capitol.  Included, besides myself...

Posted by on May 1, 2017 at 8:06 am.   This post has 3 responses.
What's Happening

3 Examples of a Pro-Science Movement in Gardening – Are There More?

The press release below touts a “New Pro-Science Movement in Gardening” based on the popularity of the Garden Professors, the curation project Good Gardening Videos, and the Garden Writers Association’s new science-writing award. Know of any more examples? Or on the contrary, do you know of any blowback from...

Posted by on April 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm.   This post has no responses.
Ministry of Controversy, Shut Up and Dig

I hate being a gardening know-it-all

And the funny thing is that I’m really not. I’m not a master gardener, a CNLP, or any kind of horticultural professional. I’m just a writer/editor who loves to garden, geek out on gardening books, and keep up with new ways of thinking about traditional garden practice. And, yes,...

Posted by on April 25, 2017 at 9:24 am.   This post has 12 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens

Olfactory Overload

I’ve been spending more time of late wandering our eight-acre landscape both because after 42 years here I keep finding old plants I too often overlook, and, more important, the chances are very slim I’ll find an aircraft carrier either on its way to Australia or North Korea. Gardening...

Posted by on April 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm.   This post has 4 responses.
Gardening on the Planet

The Wrong Way to Teach Eco-Friendly Gardening

I recently attended a “Green Yards and Gardens” talk in my town. The intern giving the talk was more knowledgeable than I expected, but the topics covered were no surprise: natives, invasives, pesticides, composting, and rain barrels, the usual bullet points. Afterward I asked some attendees I knew how...

Posted by on April 21, 2017 at 8:05 am.   This post has 45 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy, Science Says

Pollen, Politics and Doomsday Prep

I’ve been a careless victim of too many late nights in my past, but knocking back shots of Bourbon into the wee hours did not redden my eyes this spring. Pollen is the culprit. The warm late winter and early spring brought flowers into bloom earlier than usual. And...

Posted by on April 19, 2017 at 7:28 am.   This post has 7 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig

Garden variety hellebores are still the best

Like many shade gardeners, I am in love with hellebores. They start flowering in March (or earlier) and some stay in bloom right into May. Deer, though not a problem for me, hate them; it’s easy to figure out why—just grab a handful of the plant’s sharp, raspy foliage....

Posted by on April 18, 2017 at 9:12 am.   This post has 12 responses.
It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig, Uncategorized

Starting from Seed

Real gardeners, compulsive gardeners, are up to their elbows in seedlings this time of year.  We (I qualify at least as compulsive) have a number of rationales for starting from seed. To begin with, it’s economical, the only way we can afford all the plants we want.  For the...

Posted by on April 17, 2017 at 8:31 am.   This post has 5 responses.
Everybody's a Critic

Garden Photographer of the Year Winners

A local photography friend sent me a link to the International Garden Photographer of the Year, which bills itself as “the world’s premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography,” now in its 10th year. The competition works with Kew Gardens and the winners are...

Posted by on April 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm.   This post has one response.
Science Says, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening

The One and Only Poison Ivy Horticulturist

Superman was the most thrilling comic book hero of my boyhood. “Look… Up in the sky…It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman!” I felt better knowing that good would conquer evil—eventually. Now, J.J. Burkman and the “team of horticulturalists-turned-heroes are fighting an evil villain named Heart Root and...

Posted by on April 12, 2017 at 8:07 am.   This post has 4 responses.