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First, Get the Lawn Shape Right

This is the design that, some 20 years ago, turned my front yard into a garden I could love, and transformed me into a passionate gardener. Previously, the shape of the lawn had been far too complicated for such a small space. It needed simplifying, but it took a professional to realize that and make […]

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on August 26, 2016 at 6:31 am   This post has 6 responses.

Stormwater Management at its Most Beautiful

Ed Snodgrass is the internationally known green-roof author, consultant and grower whose own Maryland nursery experienced downpours gushing downhill, unstopped by mere turfgrass. Of course he was using vegetated roofs, but that wasn’t enough. As Ed wrote me, “Even though the farm is mostly pervious, in high intensity events water...

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Posted by on August 19, 2016 at 10:26 am   This post has 9 responses.

Promoting biodiversity on the local airwaves

In May I talked to Doug Tallamy when he visited Buffalo to give a talk, and reported on it here. I recorded our conversation and finally finished a radio segment for our local NPR affiliate, WBFO. These segments can only be about 3 and a half minutes, tops, so...

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Posted by on August 18, 2016 at 8:35 am   This post has 4 responses.

More Garden-Inspired Haiku

Thanks to those of you who enjoyed my garden haiku post last month. Today I have a few more poems to share, inspired by this morning’s beautiful light.         Will you join in? Give us a Haiku (5 syllables, then 7, then 5) glimpse of what’s...

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Posted by on August 17, 2016 at 1:00 am   This post has 10 responses.

No bouquets at the Olympics this time

Apparently, it did not jive with the Brazil Olympics’ environmental message to give out thousands of cut flowers that would be discarded by their recipients within days. And that makes sense, for sure. But. As an avid Olympics watcher (the only sports I watch), I’ve recently been paying a...

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Posted by on August 11, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has 5 responses.

Ask a Designer: Make Invasives Great Again

Next in our “Ask a Designer” series is a guest rant by David mcmullin. The debate about invasive plants has become, well, invasive. It crops up anywhere gardens and plants are being mentioned. The general idea is this: gardeners are a band of outlaws set on destroying our Habitat through...

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Posted by David mcmullin on August 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm   This post has 69 responses.

“Nobody smells roses any more.”

I kid you not. One of my visitors during Garden Walk Buffalo last weekend told me that a nursery staffer actually said this to her as she was shopping for roses there, after she asked which of their many offerings had fragrance. Of course I immediately wondered which local...

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Posted by on August 4, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has 18 responses.

Roses without Chemicals, After Knock Outs

Meet Peter Kukielski, former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanic Garden, who suddenly had to give up spraying when the city banned pesticide use on public lands. So he researched disease-resistant roses, which led him to Germany and the roses being bred by the breeder Kordes.  Interestingly, Germany...

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Posted by on July 29, 2016 at 9:40 am   This post has 6 responses.

#TBT Fifteen years on Garden Walk

Note that I don’t say “Fifteen years OF Garden Walk:” the event celebrated its twentieth anniversary last year. But it was in 2001 that I first joined the Walk, which at that point had about 100 gardens total, scattered through Buffalo’s West Side. This year, over 400 gardeners have...

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Posted by on July 28, 2016 at 10:11 am   This post has 5 responses.

Norma’s Collectables and Cactus

Attention shoppers! The world’s largest Yard Sale is approaching. Four days, August 4 – 7, along 690 miles of U.S. Highway 127, from Addison, Michigan to Gadsden, Alabama, you will find more lamp shades, hub caps, ragged sofas, wire cutters, scuffed-up golf balls and used baby shoes than you...

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Posted by on July 27, 2016 at 7:45 am   This post has 8 responses.

I give up on my garden in the dead of summer

I have a confession. I let my garden go to hell in the dead of summer. Even worse? I think I might be okay with that. In the intense sun and dry heat of the Colorado summer, I become a lazy gardener. I have to admit that unlike ranter Allen...

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Posted by Emily Reeves on July 26, 2016 at 7:31 am   This post has 16 responses.

What do we think about stone?

Well, duh. We love stone, right? Stone is the highest and best type of garden hardscaping, right? Better than brick, better than wood, way, way better than plastic. And resin? Really? This summer, I made the decision that stone would be better than wood and brick. We had two...

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Posted by on July 19, 2016 at 8:06 am   This post has 11 responses.

New Plants, New Troubles in my Garden

Time for some mid-summer photos! Here in my front yard I’m loving the potted coleus, especially the pot that’s sitting IN a border, serving as a focal point in an otherwise pointless arrangement. It’s paired with the same coleus in another pot nearby – under the hanging petunias. A...

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Posted by on July 15, 2016 at 7:15 am   This post has 4 responses.

Sit a Spell. It’s Not as Easy as You Think.

I seldom sit in my garden. There are too many distractions. I have spots where I like to sit, but as soon as I plop my weary ass down, I see a stray weed. I’m not the only one distracted. Evelyn Hadden fought back. Rather than be dragged down...

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Posted by on July 13, 2016 at 8:12 am   This post has 8 responses.

Ask a Designer: Favorite Shrubs

For my first Ask a Designer post the question targeted groundcovers. This time it’s shrubs and I asked another fabulous designer about her favorites. Barbara Katz of London Landscapes in Bethesda, Maryland responded that she has “great respect” for these shrubs. (Here’s some of Barbara’s work.) With deciduous shrubs there are...

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Posted by on July 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm   This post has 7 responses.

One Way of Relaxing in an Imperfect Garden

My garden will never be perfect. I know that. And sometimes that makes it hard to relax in. I’ll sit down and try to enjoy being outdoors, but instead I’ll catch myself scanning around for things to add to my mental “want-to-do” list. For my own sanity, there are...

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Posted by on July 5, 2016 at 11:51 pm   This post has 9 responses.

The meadow rue’s lament

Tiny, pendulous, lavender-purple flowers with contrasting yellow stamens appear in late summer in loose, airy clusters atop sturdy, purple flower stems which rise well above the foliage to 4-6′ tall (infrequently to 8′). When massed, the overall effect of the bloom can be spectacular. This is stupid. What am...

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Posted by on July 5, 2016 at 10:08 am   This post has Comments Off on The meadow rue’s lament.

The Discovery of Daylily World

Folks living along Gilberts Creek Road, a few miles south of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, must have wondered what was going on this weekend. Twelve tour buses rambled down the country road to visit Daylily World. I didn’t have far to drive. Daylily World is only 6 miles from our Salvisa,...

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Posted by on July 2, 2016 at 9:47 pm   This post has 2 responses.

Any gardener would love “Lab Girl”

It was Amy Stewart’s  review of Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl  in the Washington Post that got my attention. Here’s the blurb the publisher put on the back cover: “Sparkling, unexpected…Delightfully, wickedly funny.  I love this book for its honesty, its hilarity, and its brilliant sharp edges. Powerful and disarming.” Her review, for a...

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Posted by on July 1, 2016 at 8:55 am   This post has 4 responses.

Calling long range forecasting on its BS

He had me at “silly on weather.” A retired, Buffalo-based, 30-year broadcaster and longtime meteorologist,  Don Paul still contributes occasionally to the local paper with smart articles like this one. Reading them is so much more interesting than looking at some guy (or gal) standing in front of an...

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Posted by on June 29, 2016 at 7:26 am   This post has 6 responses.
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