cemeteryy flicir

Sign me up for a green burial, and make it decades from now

I recently attended a viewing and discussion of Dying Green, a short documentary about conservation or “green” burial, which I’d never heard of before.  Here’s the trailer. I’d always thought burial plots had to look like this: During my lifetime, in the U.S., they did, though much earlier in history they looked more like the […]

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Read related articles in: Grab Bag
Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 8:39 am   This post has 3 responses.

Treasure the Winter Farmer’s Market

My heart goes out to urban dwellers with no access to a winter Farmer’s Market. Just as the twinkle lights on trees and houses offer comforting pinpoints of light in the dark winter nights, farm stands with freshly made products remind us that good local foods (not to mention...

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Read related articles in: Drink This, Eat This, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on December 17, 2014 at 12:50 am   This post has 8 responses.

A meadow’s tale

The first thing I did after I bought the farm was quit mowing the grass. The property is ten acres with a nice rolling aspect, some very good old trees, and a dark deep pond for fishing. The assortment of buildings include a Victorian farmhouse, a big party barn,...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by David McMullin on December 16, 2014 at 8:15 am   This post has 10 responses.

Presidentially appointed but unpaid landscape architects making our spaces better

Here in DC, big projects that affect the look of Washington and our enjoyment thereof must be approved by all sorts of agencies, but my favorite and the one I’ve seen make the most improvements through their review is the oddly named U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.  Its website...

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Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 12, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 4 responses.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Landscaping – Sinners Beware!

Guest Rant by Lori Hawkins Just as Dante identified the seven deadly sins in his Inferno, so we will explore the cardinal sins of the landscaping world.  Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride are all alive and well!  They will all be identified with examples of the...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by Lori Hawkins on December 11, 2014 at 7:21 am   This post has 18 responses.

Deep-Rooted Wisdom for the Holidays

     I skipped Black Friday again this year. I shop at Christmastime only under duress, but as days grow shorter, my noose tightens. Yuletide suffocation draws nigh. There is no way I’m going to the mall, but I hate to be all Bah! Humbug! This year I found a holiday remedy to...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 10, 2014 at 5:01 am   This post has 8 responses.

Meadow Day in Maryland

Meadows are HOT these days, thanks to anti-lawn sentiments, concern for pollinators, and some smart designers and plant researchers.  I encountered all of the above one day last month. University of Maryland at College Park First I attended a talk+tour at the University of Maryland about the meadows on...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Lawn Reform, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 5, 2014 at 9:44 am   This post has 7 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.

In lieu of

Sad fact—as the years go by, there are more wakes and funerals to attend. Increasingly, we have been recognizing the passings of friends and relatives, or supporting our friends and relatives in their losses. Acknowledging death is just another part of living, but it’s not one of my favorite...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 2, 2014 at 7:49 am   This post has 12 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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Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet, It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on November 26, 2014 at 12:44 am   This post has 14 responses.

Lake effect

Weather—we gardeners live and die by it. It may be a universal favorite as a water cooler topic, but when the chat is over, most can pretty much forget about it and move on. Not if you’re a gardener. Even now, when the work of the season is over,...

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Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 24, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 6 responses.

Can a Garden Contest Teach and Inspire?

We bash Homeowners Associations regularly for their crazy, backward-looking rules against growing edibles, eliminating lawn, growing wilder-looking plants (horrors!) and more. But what if a condo or coop association used their collective power and authority to improve the yards under their jurisdiction? Could get radical! The 1,600-townhouse cooperative community...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on November 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm   This post has 10 responses.

Swarthmore: One of the Most Beautiful Campuses in America

I first visited and fell in love with the Scott Arboretum, covering the entire campus of Swarthmore College, back in 2008 when I visited for a talk on lawn alternatives.  I finally made a return visit last month when I attended its annual Perennial Plant Conference, where some of the top...

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Read related articles in: Public Gardens, Real Gardens
Posted by on November 20, 2014 at 6:07 am   This post has 8 responses.

Snow: Lessons in Perspective

Why is it that, after a snowfall, the landscape looks so much better, even if nothing has changed underneath? Snow offers the opportunity to view your garden with new perspective and insights that can make it more enjoyable in every season. When you hear the phrase “winter interest,” you...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on November 19, 2014 at 12:51 am   This post has 6 responses.

Possibilities vs. limitations

As I finish potting up bulbs against the winter, rejoicing in the new space for it I have now that I’m using the attic, it occurred to me that the effort to do more, to go beyond the perceived limits, is my favorite thing about gardening and it’s also...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on November 18, 2014 at 9:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

Travels with Rufus

  John Steinbeck crossed the country with Charley in 1960. I rode to Louisville last month, from Pennsylvania, with Rufus. Steinbeck, who wrote Travels with Charley, made the road trip with his standard poodle in a camper truck. I took Rufus home in a rental car. I met Rufus...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on November 12, 2014 at 7:01 am   This post has 10 responses.

My sort-of conservatory

Having just read a series of books about nineteenth century (and earlier) estate gardens, I don’t find myself in the least bit envious of the expansive acreages that these property owners had to tend. But I do long for a refuge where I can enjoy flowering plants throughout the...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on November 10, 2014 at 8:55 am   This post has 8 responses.

Garden clean-up for dry-climate groundcovers

Lawn replacement is getting some well-deserved buzz and I’m an advocate myself. Unfortunately, ground’s gotta be covered, so what groundcovers do the job with few or no inputs and little to no care? (Something other than English ivy, please.) That’s the big question in the less-lawn movement, and it’s...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on November 6, 2014 at 6:58 pm   This post has 9 responses.

Piling Leaves and Stacking Functions

There’s a permaculture concept called “stacking functions.” It refers to choosing strategies that have several benefits or accomplish multiple goals. Take, for example, a strategy I’m fond of: smothering lawn with fallen leaves to create new planting beds. I have done and will continue to do this in different...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on November 5, 2014 at 5:34 am   This post has 36 responses.

Surprising Garden Design Choices from 1930

As I mentioned in this post about hedges, there’s an unusual amount of them in my New Deal town, and they’re associated with our launch in 1937.  So if we care about preserving our history, are we stuck with hedges? I’m not a fan, so I was thrilled to discover a gardening...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on October 31, 2014 at 7:57 am   This post has 18 responses.
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