Wildlife Encounters

I’ve posted before on this blog about the attraction of wildlife tracking in the garden.  Garden wildlife, I noted then, reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then typically leave without communicating about what they have been up to or what their plans are. Reading the tracks is the only way […]

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Posted by on June 19, 2017 at 9:30 am   This post has 3 responses.

A Gardening Education: Alberta and Omer

  While I wait for my first social security check to arrive later this month, I have been thinking about two crucial mentors. Alberta Coleman and Omer Barber fostered my gardening career. They were as different as a peony and a prickly pear. I volunteered to work with Alberta...

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Posted by on June 14, 2017 at 7:22 am   This post has 4 responses.

Ask not for whom the lily beetle tolls

Finally, they’re here. For at least 5 years, now, I have been hearing tales of destruction and dire prophecies from friends and garden visitors who live to the east and northeast of Buffalo. “Do you have the lily beetle yet? They’re everywhere in (Rochester/New England/Ithaca, etc.). I don’t grow...

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Posted by on June 13, 2017 at 10:16 am   This post has 6 responses.

Garden show-offs and lawn proselytizing at a DC museum

Here’s one item not on the agenda for this month’s Garden Blogger’s Fling in Washington, DC, but I don’t plan to miss it: “Cultivating America’s Gardens,” at the National Museum of American History in Washington. It opened last month and is on view through August 2018, so there’s plenty...

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Posted by on June 8, 2017 at 7:51 am   This post has 2 responses.

Natives – A Moving Target?

  There was a certain irony in the timing, given America’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.  Still, last week was the time when a group of Master Gardeners had asked me to give them a lecture about the possible effects on gardening of global climate change – and...

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Posted by on June 5, 2017 at 11:46 am   This post has 8 responses.

Beach Landscape Hits and Misses

Some people go to the beach to enjoy the ocean. I do that (a bit) but mostly find myself looking at plants, at gardens. So in late May I walked down the boardwalk at Rehoboth, Delaware  and stopped to admire the cedar-shake homes and especially the windswept plants that look just...

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Posted by on June 2, 2017 at 8:14 am   This post has 9 responses.

But not for me

Some plants are just untouchable, iconic. Lilacs are among those plants. They’re immortalized in poetry, like “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.” Or glorious in cities, as in Rochester’s lilac festival or New York’s Cloisters. Yet, I removed two large lilacs from my property within two years of...

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Posted by on June 1, 2017 at 10:44 am   This post has 8 responses.

A Whole Different Spin on Pot Planting

There have been very few opportunities for even the most avid of gardeners to plant bright red geraniums in an old, gray washing machine tub, so pay attention to this one. The story begins almost 45 years ago as Bob and Janet Hill, garden neophytes whose possessions included two...

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Posted by on May 29, 2017 at 9:48 am   This post has one response.

Once more in Buffalo—this time for the GWA

Those of you who belong to the Garden Writers Association know that its annual conference happens in Buffalo August 4–7. Here’s a video our local tourism agency and GardensBuffaloNiagara.com (the group that runs Garden Walk) made to help lure the conference. Not that it took much convincing. Many GWAers...

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Posted by on May 25, 2017 at 9:41 am   This post has 2 responses.

Chanticleer, the Modern Gardener’s Garden

Serious gardeners love to hate Butchart Gardens, Canada’s most famous public garden, and I’ll cop to being one of the haters. It’s blindingly colorful and the very opposite of naturalistic, the gardening style popular today. I wonder if people who love the Butchart style could also appreciate a very modern, sophisticated,...

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Posted by on May 19, 2017 at 8:15 am   This post has 11 responses.

Crazy petunias—what do we think?

Sometimes, I look at my Facebook feed to get inspiration for a post, and this morning yielded a pretty good batch. Peat moss! Back in the news. Oh, here’s a lame tulip video I made back in 2009 (won’t be resharing that). And—this just in, breaking news: according to...

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Posted by on May 16, 2017 at 9:07 am   This post has 3 responses.

Backyard Labyrinths Trending?

Labyrinths are on the rise, especially at schools and churches, but ones in home gardens like this will never catch on, I predict. That’s because it needs weekly careful mowing, plus frequent pre-edging, so it’s definitely a high-maintenance item. And there’s the expense, too – this one cost $13,000!...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on May 12, 2017 at 9:16 am   This post has 2 responses.

Always Dreaming

Long lines at the betting window last weekend were not my concern. I piddled around on Derby Day at home—on the couch and in the garden. I dodged rain showers outside, while inside I sidestepped heavy grazing on beef tenderloin, country ham, corn pudding and my niece’s cookies. I...

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Posted by on May 10, 2017 at 8:12 am   This post has 3 responses.

A Taraxacum officinale Grower Reveals Her Secrets

Guest Post by Amy Campion We were getting ready to go to the Hortlandia Plant Sale, when Scott and I saw it. Its blossoms glowed like pure sunshine. “Oh, my God,” I said. “Is that…?” Heather nodded. “Taraxacum officinale,” Scott said breathlessly. I realized then that Heather had been...

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Posted by Amy Campion on May 7, 2017 at 7:58 am   This post has 11 responses.

Meet the New On-Camera Gardening Guru

Laura LeBoutillier was working at her parents’ garden center in Eastern Oregon, and husband Aaron was working at the local cable company. Their lives changed when Aaron bought a new camera that happened to also take video and a relative suggested he use it to make instructional ones with...

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Posted by on May 5, 2017 at 6:05 am   This post has 3 responses.

Quit throwing out the scary stuff: compost it instead!

As I emptied buckets of human waste into a bin filled with red wigglers, the realization hit me: I had reached peak compost. This was it. Eggshells and hair were just gateway drugs. Later I got into the hard stuff: moldy lasagna, spoiled stew, roadkill… And now here I...

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Posted by David the Good on May 4, 2017 at 8:00 am   This post has 9 responses.

The Run from the Roses

I run from roses until mid-April, when my mood changes, as the Kentucky Derby grows near. The Run for the Roses turns me tenderhearted toward roses. It’s complicated. We have two disease-ravaged and bug-eaten pitiful roses in our garden. I should back up for a second. I’m married to...

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Posted by on May 3, 2017 at 7:01 am   This post has 5 responses.

I hate being a gardening know-it-all

And the funny thing is that I’m really not. I’m not a master gardener, a CNLP, or any kind of horticultural professional. I’m just a writer/editor who loves to garden, geek out on gardening books, and keep up with new ways of thinking about traditional garden practice. And, yes,...

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Posted by on April 25, 2017 at 9:24 am   This post has 12 responses.

Olfactory Overload

I’ve been spending more time of late wandering our eight-acre landscape both because after 42 years here I keep finding old plants I too often overlook, and, more important, the chances are very slim I’ll find an aircraft carrier either on its way to Australia or North Korea. Gardening...

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Posted by on April 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Pollen, Politics and Doomsday Prep

I’ve been a careless victim of too many late nights in my past, but knocking back shots of Bourbon into the wee hours did not redden my eyes this spring. Pollen is the culprit. The warm late winter and early spring brought flowers into bloom earlier than usual. And...

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Posted by on April 19, 2017 at 7:28 am   This post has 7 responses.