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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 are underway or have already been […]

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Posted by on April 8, 2015 at 2:03 am   This post has 9 responses.

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...

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

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”...

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Posted by on February 6, 2015 at 6:33 am   This post has 11 responses.

A welcome ban

Large-scale environmental issues are not always considered appropriate subject matter in the garden blogging world, but I’ve never been able to see the reason.  Going from discussing the use of chemical solutions in a domestic landscape to the use of chemical solutions injected at high pressure in a rural...

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Posted by on December 23, 2014 at 9:14 am   This post has 16 responses.

Novel ecosystems vs. urban wilderness

I’ve been thinking about a symposium (“The Changing Nature of Nature in Cities”) I attended at the New York Botanical Garden in November.   The topic  of the symposium was “novel ecosystems” – fundamentally, this is the idea that some ecosystems, especially urban ones, have been so radically transformed that...

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Posted by on December 19, 2014 at 8:30 am   This post has 16 responses.

Winter Soundscapes

Winter offers less visual stimulation. I find myself noticing smells and sounds more. Maybe it’s just that every little bit of sensory input is more important, there being less overall. For the most part, it is a season of quiet. Snow and fog muffle the sounds of vehicles. People...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 3, 2014 at 2:01 am   This post has 8 responses.

THANKS,

This year is a special year for me. The day after Thanksgiving, I will celebrate half a century on this planet, so I am being extra thankful. I am thankful that one day, 22 years ago, I walked outside of my newly purchased home and started looking at the...

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Posted by on November 26, 2014 at 12:44 am   This post has 14 responses.

The Monsters Among Us

Happy Halloween. I hope to really scare you. Because there ARE monsters. There are things that are truly frightening in our world, and we gardeners are on the front lines, either fighting these forces of evil, or being victimized by them. OR, we stand by and do nothing… and...

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Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm   This post has 76 responses.

When Wildlife Gardens Look Like Gardens

Many of you wildlife gardeners will recognize the name Pat Sutton. She’s the Cape May, NJ-based naturalist who’s developed quite a following among people interested in gardening for wildlife, a group whose numbers she adds to with every class or tour she leads. I attended Pat’s Tour of Private...

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Posted by on September 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm   This post has 8 responses.

Support this Lawn-to-Prairie Make-Over

Friend-of-Rant Benjamin Vogt wrote to tell me about his exciting new project on Indiegogo -ripping out his front lawn and replacing it with a wildlife garden that he’ll use to spread the word about how beautiful wildlife and native-plant gardens can be – even in front yards.  He went...

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Posted by on September 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm   This post has 12 responses.

One size fits all?

What do St. Cloud, Minnesota and Westerly, Rhode Island have in common? Westerly is a seaside community in southern Rhode Island; St Cloud lies in central Minnesota and is bisected by the Mississippi river. Summers and winters are more moderate in Westerly; winter temperatures fall to greater depths in...

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Posted by on July 21, 2014 at 9:07 am   This post has 17 responses.

Are you a “New Conservationist”?

In a recent issue of the New Yorker I learned that the current head of the Nature Conservancy is a “new conservationist” who’s butting heads with “traditional conservationists.” Also termed “eco-pragmatism,” this growing attitude among environmentalists challenges the traditional goal of preserving nature in some pristine condition or returning it...

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Posted by on July 11, 2014 at 7:41 am   This post has 51 responses.

Is Your Local Garden Center Taking Action on Neonicotinoids?

What’s killing the bees?  The pesticide neonicotinoid, for one thing, and it’s routinely used on plants for sale and earlier in the plants’ lives, at the wholesale growers’.  That discovery has led to an anti-neonic campaign targeting the boxes in particular, leading to headlines like “Bee  Activists Swarm Home Depot and...

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Posted by on June 9, 2014 at 7:06 am   This post has 26 responses.

Killer GARDENS

    I have a few thousand new pets. A couple of weeks ago, two lovely girls dressed head to toe in fresh white jumpsuits with large brimmed hats swathed in clouds of netting came over to my garden and bestowed upon me two boxes of feisty, buzzing, glorious...

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Posted by on May 28, 2014 at 9:06 am   This post has 75 responses.

Contrasting Front Yards: Turf Only v. Wildlife-Filled

I love this video by Beltsville, MD wildlife gardener Marcia Van Horn.  (Viewable on desk and laptops, but not on mobile devices.)  I know Marcia because she created a video of Greenbelt’s Less Lawn Garden Tour.  Next, she volunteered to help me improve the videos I’m making of DC’s...

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Posted by on April 24, 2014 at 7:47 am   This post has 5 responses.

It’s cold, it’s white, it’s going on forever, and it’s not even killing the bugs

Some of us are having trouble remembering the benefits of a cold, snowy winter. Especially when the disadvantages are so omnipresent every day of single digit temps, slick roads with minimal visibility, and—always—shoveling. Buffalo went from around 30 inches of winter snowfall at this time last year to 90-plus...

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Posted by on February 10, 2014 at 8:20 am   This post has 7 responses.

No tree, no problem

Most years, we have the Christmas tree post here on Rant (here’s a great one); the topic is a source of mild controversy among gardeners, mainly because of the sustainability angle. It breaks down this way: Just buy a cut tree Trees are an agricultural product and buying from...

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Posted by on December 17, 2013 at 9:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

How to Stop Bee-Killing Pesticides? Start with the Box Stores!

The first alarm about bee-killing pesticides that caught my eye warned of plants that had been sprayed with neonicotinoids doing the killing.  Then petitions like this one got my attention and I hoped it meant that only the big boxes stores were at fault here, selling horrible products.  But...

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Posted by on December 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm   This post has 25 responses.

We Only Bond with Complex Landscapes

Here’s one of my beefs with lawns: where is the mystery? We live within this awe-inspiring natural world, teeming with diverse creatures and plants. We have a built-in fascination for other living things (1). Why would we construct our daily environments in such a way that we avoid being...

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Posted by on December 4, 2013 at 2:04 am   This post has 40 responses.

Lawn Pesticides Outlawed!

My former hometown, the leftie enclave of Takoma Park, Maryland, has made big news, y’all!  Since passing the Safe Grow Zone Act last summer it became the first town in the U.S. to outlaw lawn pesticides on not just public but also private land.  Some jurisdictions – in Connecticut,...

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Posted by on November 8, 2013 at 7:57 am   This post has 16 responses.
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