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    Science Says

    Poor Man’s Fertilizer

    As I contemplate the task of plowing the driveway, I find it hard to see anything appealing in last night’s snowfall.  It seemed to me that we already had plenty of the white stuff, with a blanket some 14 inches deep.  However, I’m trying to console myself with the...

    Posted by on February 19, 2015 at 3:39 pm.   This post has 7 responses.
    Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening

    The Best Garden Show of All

    I don’t enjoy ranting and would much rather rave — about, for example, the glorious iridescent slug traceries on the pavers of my courtyard this morning. However, that will have to wait for some future date, because today’s topic is home and garden shows. My tendency has been to...

    Posted by on February 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm.   This post has 12 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes

    Messy gardens—they’re a trend!

    Trend reports are kind of trivial in the grand scheme of things—we can all agree on that. But they can also be interesting, entertaining, or both. Or maybe they just reinforce things we’d like to see happen, regardless if they really do or not. For example, I like to...

    Posted by on February 16, 2015 at 8:00 am.   This post has 12 responses.
    Public Gardens

    Talking up Gardens at the Visitors Bureau

    Most public gardens in DC are little known to locals and never promoted to visitors (in contrast to the super-hyped cherry trees or to be exact, their short-lived blossoms).  And unlike most cities, our large, popular gardens are FREE.  Sadly, they don’t have the funds to let people know...

    Posted by on February 13, 2015 at 8:22 am.   This post has 19 responses.
    Science Says, What's Happening

    My Epigenetic Epiphany and the Gingko Hermaphrodite

      High up in a white pine last summer, on our farm in Salvisa, Kentucky, I spotted something odd. I called my neighbor Otis Knox and asked him if he’d ever seen a Witches’ Broom. He came down to investigate. I pointed toward the 30” diameter growth. Otis said...

    Posted by on February 11, 2015 at 6:20 am.   This post has 17 responses.
    Unusually Clever People

    The man for woody plants—Michael Dirr

    The true celebrities of the world of horticulture don’t appear on HGTV or gladhand  at home and garden shows. They’re busy discovering new plants, undertaking research projects, and writing the reference books that form the backbone of every serious gardener’s library. I knew that Michael Dirr was considered the...

    Posted by on February 9, 2015 at 7:55 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Ministry of Controversy

    Mulch Ado About Nothing

    Spotted in Easton, MD:  a properly mulched street tree!  This is a sighting as rare as that of a Yeti – in fact, every other tree on that street sported the usual volcano of mulch heaped up against the tree’s trunk.    Why just the one triumph of good horticultural...

    Posted by on February 7, 2015 at 9:17 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Gardening on the Planet

    You can Help Bring “Hometown Habitat” to the Screen

    I’m guessing you all know Doug Tallamy, the entomologist whose Bringing Nature Home turned so many people into native-plant gardeners.  Now there’s a chance that a full-length documentary with Tallamy featuring interviews of inspiring “Habitat Heroes” will become a reality.  Especially if you donate. The movie, called “Hometown Habitat”...

    Posted by on February 6, 2015 at 6:33 am.   This post has 11 responses.
    Grab Bag, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig

    Tracking Tales

    Garden wildlife reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then typically leave without communicating about what they have been up to.   Except in wintertime, when they leave a tale of tracks in the snow. I’m no great tracker, but with the help of my Peterson Field...

    Posted by on February 5, 2015 at 8:59 am.   This post has 8 responses.
    Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening

    Gratitude in the Eye of this Storm

    This week I’m in a flurry — finalizing talks, sending off handouts and invoices, and making the last travel arrangements for presentations at spring events across the country. It’s amazing to think ahead to April when, having logged dozens of hours in transit, I will (if all goes well)...

    Posted by on February 4, 2015 at 4:54 am.   This post has 5 responses.
    Guest Rants

    Hostile or Helpful?

    by Marianne Wilburn Recently, C.L. Fornari challenged garden writers to consider the way in which we portray the act of gardening.  She asked us to discuss whether our tendency to proclaim the virtues (meditation, creativity, exercise) might be greater than our desire to tell the truth about the work...

    Posted by Marianne Willburn on February 2, 2015 at 7:56 am.   This post has 31 responses.
    Books, Taking Your Gardening Dollar

    Scotts Miracle-Gro, you can stop asking.

    Dear readers, I went through my in-box and discovered some delicious hate-reading!  Ready? First, from somehow actually hired by Scotts Miracle-Gro to promote them, pasted below with commentary in brackets. Hi Susan, I’m reaching out on behalf of Scotts Miracle Grow to see if you have 30 minutes...

    Posted by on January 30, 2015 at 8:18 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    Guest Rants

    The Siren Song of Seeds

    by Amanda Morris, Ph.D. Super Sugar Snap. Queen Lime, Dancing Girls, and Color Crackle Zinnias. Chantenay Carrots. Moulin Rouge Beets. Mardi Gras Radishes. Neon Lights Swiss Chard. Just listen to the party; a lively, colorful, tasty Spring party destined for my garden beds and pots (and dinner plates). I...

    Posted by Dr. Amanda Morris on January 29, 2015 at 8:31 am.   This post has 6 responses.
    But is it Art?, Everybody's a Critic

    Inside Outside

      Holy Sissinghurst, Batman!!! There is a way of making gardens that I feel has run its course. It has reached its zenith, its apex, its apotheosis. It can go no further. It has gone far enough. Too far. I speak of the Outdoor Room. Let me be clear....

    Posted by on January 28, 2015 at 10:33 am.   This post has 29 responses.
    Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig

    Winter Interest Battle, Round III: Revenge of the Bulbs

    Over the last few posts, this discussion has partially devolved (in comments at least) into climate comparisons and other weather-related talk. Such is the nature of online conversations, but just to reiterate, I’m merely saying that for me, where I live, designing my outside garden for winter interest, as...

    Posted by on January 25, 2015 at 11:17 am.   This post has 16 responses.