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On Lady Bird Johnson, Beauty, and Tulips v. Daffodils

 Photo by John Taylor.  Title: Lady Bird’s Gift Another great column by John Kelly for the Washington Post – this time about Lady Bird Johnson’s “beautification” program. Lady Bird’s beautification campaign started in the spring of 1965. She was involved with a group called the Society for a More Beautiful National Capital, which, among other […]

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 27, 2015 at 8:26 am   This post has 12 responses.

The Other Garden

  A person’s relationship with a garden can be one of the most profound relationships we can have. Just as profound as the ones we have with our husbands, our wives, our children. A connection with a garden can be like the one we have with a lover –...

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Posted by on March 25, 2015 at 12:12 am   This post has 28 responses.

Seasonal survival strategies

By now we northeasterners are aware—though not surprised—that the first few days of “spring” aren’t bringing much relief. Snow cover is still receding, temps are still minimal, and it seems incredible that within weeks we’ll be seeing daffodils and hellebores. Here’s how I get through the last dreary gasps...

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Posted by on March 23, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 8 responses.

Late Bloomers on CBS, and They’re Not Talking Asters

CBS Sunday Morning story this week did a story on late bloomers, which had me looking up from my newspaper expecting flowers.  Turns out, it was much more interesting, at least to this late bloomer. First up, reporter Susan Spencer introduced us to Carol Gardner who (in her 50s) started a...

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Posted by on March 20, 2015 at 9:26 am   This post has 3 responses.

Borrowing stones and scenery

Even in New England the snow is melting and soon I will be confronted with what the winter – and the plow truck – have done to my stone walls.  I take a particular pride in these, not because they are such beautiful specimens of the craft, but because...

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Posted by on March 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm   This post has 11 responses.

They have gardens in Canada, too!

Just kidding. I’ve been enjoying my proximity to the cosmopolitan delights of Toronto and the beauties of Ontario’s Niagara region for decades, and now I invite fellow bloggers to do the same. The next Garden Bloggers Fling takes place June 5-8 in Toronto and environs. We’ll see gardens on...

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Posted by on March 9, 2015 at 5:24 am   This post has 15 responses.

Let us now praise evergreens

The more I garden, the more I want plants that look like something all year – namely evergreens.  Compared to the much flashier flowering plants, they’re pretty underwhelming at the garden centers but boy, do I appreciate them right about now. Take, for example, this scene just outside my...

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Posted by on February 27, 2015 at 8:38 am   This post has 10 responses.

The Best Garden Show of All

I don’t enjoy ranting and would much rather rave — about, for example, the glorious iridescent slug traceries on the pavers of my courtyard this morning. However, that will have to wait for some future date, because today’s topic is home and garden shows. My tendency has been to...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening
Posted by on February 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm   This post has 14 responses.

Messy gardens—they’re a trend!

Trend reports are kind of trivial in the grand scheme of things—we can all agree on that. But they can also be interesting, entertaining, or both. Or maybe they just reinforce things we’d like to see happen, regardless if they really do or not. For example, I like to...

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Posted by on February 16, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 15 responses.

The man for woody plants—Michael Dirr

The true celebrities of the world of horticulture don’t appear on HGTV or gladhand  at home and garden shows. They’re busy discovering new plants, undertaking research projects, and writing the reference books that form the backbone of every serious gardener’s library. I knew that Michael Dirr was considered the...

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Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on February 9, 2015 at 7:55 am   This post has 6 responses.

Tracking Tales

Garden wildlife reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then typically leave without communicating about what they have been up to.   Except in wintertime, when they leave a tale of tracks in the snow. I’m no great tracker, but with the help of my Peterson Field...

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Read related articles in: Grab Bag, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on February 5, 2015 at 8:59 am   This post has 8 responses.

Gratitude in the Eye of this Storm

This week I’m in a flurry — finalizing talks, sending off handouts and invoices, and making the last travel arrangements for presentations at spring events across the country. It’s amazing to think ahead to April when, having logged dozens of hours in transit, I will (if all goes well)...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening
Posted by on February 4, 2015 at 4:54 am   This post has 5 responses.

Scotts Miracle-Gro, you can stop asking.

Dear readers, I went through my in-box and discovered some delicious hate-reading!  Ready? First, from somehow actually hired by Scotts Miracle-Gro to promote them, pasted below with commentary in brackets. Hi Susan, I’m reaching out on behalf of Scotts Miracle Grow to see if you have 30 minutes...

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Posted by on January 30, 2015 at 8:18 am   This post has 6 responses.

Winter Interest Battle, Round III: Revenge of the Bulbs

Over the last few posts, this discussion has partially devolved (in comments at least) into climate comparisons and other weather-related talk. Such is the nature of online conversations, but just to reiterate, I’m merely saying that for me, where I live, designing my outside garden for winter interest, as...

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 at 11:17 am   This post has 16 responses.

Can Winter Feed a Gardener’s Soul?

Not to beat Elizabeth’s dead horse, but I am still pondering winter interest — and not just in dazzling snow-covered landscapes that most of us couldn’t reproduce in our own yards, though I am truly delighted for those of you who live near one or have made one (see...

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Posted by on January 21, 2015 at 3:28 am   This post has 20 responses.

Got to Scrape the Shit Right Off Your Shoes

It was cold in Louisville last week with morning lows near zero and daytime temperatures struggling to reach the 20s. Rufus had to do his business a half-dozen times each day. That meant I bundled up in four or five layers of clothing to go outside. There’s plenty in...

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 at 6:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

The winter interest battle …. continues

If there’s anything, I hate, it’s dragging out Rant posts.  My motto: Drop the post, then move on to another topic.  However, we’re leaving for St. Lucia tomorrow, and I have to lay down a post for Monday, or Susan will be mad at me (I’m secretly afraid of...

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Posted by on January 12, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 11 responses.

Forcing Winter Interest

I have been thinking about Elizabeth’s post on The Myth of Winter Interest. Having spent 25+ years in Minnesota, and recently moved halfway across the country to (among other things) escape the relentless northern winter, I do identify with the urge to focus only on the indoor world during...

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Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 7:46 am   This post has 19 responses.

The myth of winter interest

Winter gardening? Yes. Winter garden? Not so much. We hear a lot about “winter interest”—which has to be one of the saddest phrases of the gardening lexicon—in plant descriptions and recommendations. And while it’s true that there are plants that look fabulous in snow and freezing weather—red twig dogwood,...

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Posted by on January 5, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 24 responses.

Trees, In Memorium

A year has passed, and tonight we will usher in a new one. If there is a tree of life, tonight its trunk gets another ring. I was recently spending some quiet time in an old cemetery- not a funeral park, but an actual old cemetery – unplanned, diverse,...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm   This post has 24 responses.
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