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Best-Looking Plants in my July Garden

I’m in the mood to post photos of the plants that are doing the best in my garden right now, starting with these sun-tolerant Coleuses (with one ‘Rubrum’ Pennisetum  in the mix). They were stars in these pots last year, so I’m sticking with them. One more. ‘City Lights’ and ‘Earth Angel’ in their third season, […]

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Posted by on July 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm   This post has 13 responses.

A Dark Place

I’m vacationing in Northern California this week, on the Russian River, enjoying a break from the bleak, scorching brightness of LA. It is very hot here as well, but the heat is mitigated by the deep, nearly mystical shade from the redwood trees. Driving into Guerneville, I couldn’t help...

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Posted by on July 29, 2015 at 1:51 am   This post has 4 responses.

Another reason to avoid turfgrass?

Conversations over the Garden Walk Buffalo weekend lead me to believe that—knock on wood—my lack of turfgrass may also be a reason for my lack of plant-destroying and other pests. I know that Japanese beetle grubs feed on grass and I rarely see any of the adults—maybe one or...

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Posted by on July 28, 2015 at 7:47 am   This post has 8 responses.

Rock Star Garden

I had no idea what to expect from the Hartman Rock Garden. Richie Steffen pitched it to me as a garden like no other. I was in Columbus, OH, a few weeks ago for the Cultivate ’15 trade show and had some time to kill.  The Cultivate ‘15 is...

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Posted by on July 22, 2015 at 7:38 am   This post has 9 responses.

Bring on the Ferns

First, I recommend to you Adrian Higgins’s recent love letter to ferns – Fronds with Benefits:  A Guide to Ferns.  The article includes his favorites, a tour of the ferns at Chanticleer Garden, and some reasons for their growing popularity – they’re easy, untouched by critters and disease, and...

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Posted by on July 17, 2015 at 8:19 am   This post has 6 responses.

The real benefits of a free, uncurated garden tour

As Garden Walk Buffalo approaches, I have already been participating in the Open Garden program, helping promote the other sixteen area walks and the special tours,  and planning for the out-of-town visitors we will have on the big weekend of the Buffalo walk. GWB has turned into a month-long...

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Posted by on July 14, 2015 at 9:25 am   This post has 9 responses.

Seeing Roots…and the Need for Perennial Crops

Did you know that this is the International Year of Soils? Me, neither, until I saw an exhibit about the benefits of perennial crops over annual crops, as demonstrated strikingly with plants displayed in all their glory, both above- and below-ground. The plants on display are the work of agricultural...

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Posted by on July 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Janet Draper: A Perennial Force

Rare is the circus that has the extraordinary talent or the vast experience of someone like Janet Draper. This dynamo of the green world is helping to organize a circus of sorts. The 33rd annual symposium of the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will be held in Baltimore from July 27...

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Posted by on July 8, 2015 at 6:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

Stellaaaaa!

Sometimes even ProfessorRoush tires of his opinions, his interminable rants about disease or weeds or flower color or poor performance that keep him from enjoying the garden.  Is it really necessary to constantly pontificate about whether this rose is better than that one, or how one grass is a thug,...

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Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

Lessons from a Portland Hellstrip

Garden touring season has given way to what I’m learning to treat as a second dormant period here in the high desert: the extreme heat of midsummer. And how convenient that is, since now there will be time to mull over the many photos of gardens that I’ve accumulated...

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Posted by on July 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm   This post has 14 responses.

Colors of equality

Those lanterns weren’t nearly gay enough. In celebration of Friday’s SCOTUS marriage equality decision, and in solidarity with all of my friends and colleagues who have already availed themselves of this freedom or who are now able to, here is some rainbow/garden imagery I found on Shutterstock. Like Susan,...

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 12 responses.

Tales From the Droughtside or THE DROUGHTPOCALYPSE!!!

It is pretty bad out here, folks. People seem to be using the drought as an excuse to GIVE UP. Clothed in the the dry, tattered, unwashed rags of self-righteousness (they only run their washing machines once a month), they zealously save water, and they let their yards go...

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Posted by on June 24, 2015 at 12:36 pm   This post has 27 responses.

Natives and invasives—observations from Toronto

On the first day of our Toronto garden exploration, we spent an hour or so in High Park, the city’s largest public park. It features 399 acres of public space, including picnic areas, a playground, formal and informal gardens, an ornamental lake, and a mini-zoo, but we spent our...

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Posted by on June 23, 2015 at 9:17 am   This post has 3 responses.

Gardens and gardening on tiny Toronto Islands

My favorites of all the gardens we saw on the Gardenblogger Fling in Toronto weren’t grand – anything but. They were the small funky ones on the just-offshore islands known collectively as Toronto Islands, which we reached by ferry. We toured gardens on two residential islands – Ward’s and Algonquin, and I might have...

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Posted by on June 19, 2015 at 8:48 am   This post has 12 responses.

“Nature rewards the bold”

The quote comes from the last words of a recent essay by Umberto Pasti in the New York Times. Many of you will also recognize his inspiration—Fortune favors the brave, a Latin proverb that’s been used as the motto of regiments, clans, battleships, and many other entities. However you say...

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Posted by on June 16, 2015 at 8:38 am   This post has 11 responses.

Mad May: No Fury

My excitement for wild plants is as far afield from Mad Max: Fury Road as you can imagine. My best botanizing adventures, by comparison, would be more like an open-air My Dinner with Andre. An afternoon with my plant-obsessed compatriots would bore the bejesus out of most Americans or,...

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Posted by on June 10, 2015 at 7:12 am   This post has 4 responses.

Strategies for a new age

It’s not just what’s happening “out west.” Water management of every kind is a huge issue for everybody, so I have been listening and reading with great interest to all that’s happening around water. On Thursday, as I was driving up to Toronto to attend a truncated version of...

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 at 7:40 am   This post has 6 responses.

A Better Garden Tiller

I like the versatility of my BCS two-wheel tractor with all the different implements it can operate, but if I were shopping for a dedicated garden tiller, I would certainly get the new vertical tine model from Troy-Bilt. Properly known as the “Bronco Axis Vertical Tine Garden Tiller,”  this...

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Posted by on June 4, 2015 at 10:27 am   This post has 4 responses.

A Tale of Two Mulches

When I began making this new garden, I was able to get large quantities of bagged leaves and grass clippings free, so I used them to smother the lawn and to mulch around new plants. This year, I found a source of cheap wood chips, so I am employing...

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Posted by on June 3, 2015 at 2:36 am   This post has 17 responses.

Favorite evergreen natives – Ragwort and Bignonia

Today I’m showing off two plants that are not only native to me in Maryland but share two traits I wish were more common among native – they’re evergreen AND vigorous growers in the garden. First up, the unfortunately named Ragwort, a/k/a Golden Groundsel, officially Packera aurea. Here’s what it looked...

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 at 7:36 am   This post has 14 responses.
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