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Courtyard Garden: One Year Later

It’s time for an update on my courtyard garden. The thrill of saying that hasn’t dimmed after a year, and I imagine I will still be delighted about it if I am lucky enough to have a courtyard garden decades from now. First, a quick before-and-after pairing to show the changes in the structure of […]

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Read related articles in: Lawn Reform, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on August 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Riverscaping

While on a brief getaway in the northern Catskills, we saw plenty of natural beauty, including late summer wildflowers (rudbeckia, asters, eupatorium, and more) along the trails. We also saw some lovely manmade landscaping that took full advantage of its context. Along route 28, just past Phoenicia, you’ll pass...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 18, 2014 at 9:20 am   This post has 4 responses.

Contrasting Gardens in Pittsburgh

I’m home from visiting Pittsburgh, where I attended the big Garden Writers Symposium, and thankfully I returned with a few photos to post here.  (After posting here for eight years this summer I’m thrilled to find anything new to write about.) First up, a study in contrasts starts with the...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on August 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm   This post has 16 responses.

Where’s the Wow? The Green Industry Takes Stock.

Garden suppliers’ sights are set on next spring. Last month, representatives from nurseries, greenhouses, independent garden centers and even Big Box Stores loaded up their cars, vans and trucks, heading to two vastly different Ohio trade summer shows. Cultivate ’14, in Columbus, is the biggest North American trade show,...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on August 13, 2014 at 6:37 am   This post has 35 responses.

Judging

All I could think about was how defenseless—even pathetic—the flowers looked in their little bud vases. As I walked among them, they presented a bewildering array of colors and shapes—spheres, spikes, sprays, buds, gnarly tangles, full blooms. And then there were mixed containers of herbs and even a few...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am   This post has 11 responses.

The Patience of a Gardener

Recently we’ve hosted lively discussions here at Garden Rant about spending gobs of money on our gardens, choosing native over non-native plants, and to what extent gardens are art. To me, there is a more personal and pertinent issue at stake with regard to America’s current horticultural practices: how...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm   This post has 40 responses.

On natives—we’re all alright

There’s no more surefire way to get everybody all riled up on this site than to talk about native plants—whether or not to use them, how much to use them, who is too obsessed with them, who isn’t obsessed enough, where they work best, and where they work worst....

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on August 5, 2014 at 7:30 am   This post has 29 responses.

Garden Affluence in Another Era

While here at GardenRant the hot topic was rich people’s gardens,  love ‘em or hate ‘em, I was strolling the garden of one of the super-rich – Marjorie  Merriweather Post (as in Post Cereals). Here’s the very grand mansion, named Hillwood, filled with Russian imperial art (including Fabergé Eggs) and...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 1, 2014 at 7:20 am   This post has 22 responses.

Gardening Under The Affluence

  I’m getting a little uncomfortable with something, and I’d like the Ranting World to let me know if I’m on point or totally off the mark. As I look through magazines and design blogs, I see fancy gardens everywhere. Industries are colluding to make us desire an outdoor...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens, Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Uncategorized
Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm   This post has 112 responses.

Observations of the toured

As many Rant readers must know by this time, in Buffalo we have a yearly free garden tour called Garden Walk. Started in 1995 by two urban gardeners who wanted to show how verdant city living could be, the walk has grown to include close to 400 gardens, and...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Garden Walk Buffalo
Posted by on July 28, 2014 at 7:52 am   This post has 10 responses.

How to Grow Bluebirds

Last Friday I rode shotgun through the Beltsville Ag Research Center in Marcia van Horn’s Ranger as she checked on some of her 175 nesting boxes for bluebirds and tree swallows, with the occasional chickadee, titmouse, wrens or nuthatches taking advantage of the accommodations. Nest boxes were first installed on the 6,700-acre property...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Science Says
Posted by on July 25, 2014 at 6:49 am   This post has 7 responses.

More Foreign Invaders: Possums on the Half Shell

  Robyn Brown, a Nashville buddy and talented gardener, told me last week that her garden is under siege by armadillos. I was all ears. The nine-banded armadillos are rooting around her garden like little armored feral pigs. These foreign invaders arrived in Western Kentucky over twenty years ago....

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 am   This post has 10 responses.

Garden Coaching by Rainer

Landscape architect/blogger Thomas Rainer is one of my favorite designers, something I may have mentioned before on this blog.   Gardenblogger Margaret Roach is a Rainer fan, too.  She sought him out for an interview on her podcast, and it’s terrific.  (Transcript here.) My favorite bits are toward the end, when Thomas...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 18, 2014 at 8:09 am   This post has 21 responses.

Monday, monday

Know these? These hostas came with the house. They have unusually tall, deep purple (photo does not show this) scapes and very glossy leaves. They’re very common throughout my part of Buffalo, but I’ve no idea which cultivar they are. July fool! According to this article, people in Chautauqua...

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Read related articles in: Grab Bag
Posted by on July 14, 2014 at 8:15 am   This post has 12 responses.

Free Spirit Nursery: Landscapes, Laughs and Love

  Lambèrt Vrijmoed, a British Columbia nurseryman, once drove a Pontiac hearse as his get-around car. There was not a hint of Goth subculture about him, though there was a touch of the madman. But this is not such a bad thing. The best gardeners, designers and nursery folks...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 9, 2014 at 6:53 am   This post has 9 responses.

Advice from others

Here’s more news from the gardening tips for newbies front. Huffington Post published a piece from Hometalk yesterday that offers the “9 best gardening tips for beginners.” I liked it OK—particularly the emphasis on good soil and organics—but couldn’t go along with some of the directives, which seemed chosen...

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Read related articles in: CRRRITIC, Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 8, 2014 at 7:57 am   This post has 12 responses.

Flags in Other People’s Gardens

Happy Independence Day, Americans!  Have fun, stay safe, et cetera. Now on to our topic – flags in the garden and their impact on others.  Take my neighbor’s Old Glory above, hanging on the privacy screen between our townhouse gardens.  Like it or not – and for holidays I...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on July 4, 2014 at 7:16 am   This post has 29 responses.

Open Garden Day Chez Moi

Last Saturday it suddenly occurred to me that after weeks of moving plants around and the construction of a privacy screen, my garden was finally looking good. And it would stay that way through July 4, when a slew of old friends would be gathering for our yearly reunion. Plus,...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 3, 2014 at 10:50 am   This post has 7 responses.

Garden as Process

Is a particular plant a weed? Is a garden a work of art? And who gets to decide? If you’ve read our recent rantings, you’ve likely noticed these questions do not have simple answers. The answers vary, depending on the gardener. Many gardeners (like me) learn their land slowly....

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Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 2, 2014 at 3:09 am   This post has 21 responses.

Man vs. tree

Why do people hate and fear trees?  It seems incredible, but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support such a bizarre conclusion. During a recent afternoon at my regular salon, the owner told me about an encounter with a neighbor. She has a large elm tree in the back...

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Read related articles in: Feed Me, It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on June 30, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 24 responses.
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