SONY DSC

A Grower of Regionally Appropriate Plants is Hard to Find

“Nothing will grow here if you don’t water it.” That sentence, which I hear everywhere and not just here in the desert, points out a person who has not yet met the right grower(s). Growers are a bottleneck in this business of changing the way Americans landscape. If a person wants to make an ecologically […]

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on April 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm   This post has 24 responses.

The Art of Digging and Where we Learn It

Avid gardeners, I bet you love your tools as much as I do, especially the ones for digging. Gloves I buy by the dozen but digging tools I expect to last forever, which of course they don’t. I recently destroyed my long-handled shovel by treating it like it was...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on April 10, 2015 at 8:22 am   This post has 18 responses.

There’s Hope for Urban Design

‘Tis the season of garden seminars. Recently I participated in a thought-provoking one-day seminar on the theme of bringing nature into our cities. I spoke about hellstrip gardens, but a couple of the other speakers addressed larger-scale landscapes. After seeing their photos and hearing about so many projects that...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on April 8, 2015 at 2:03 am   This post has 6 responses.

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...

Continue Reading

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 14 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 –...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Public Gardens, Real Gardens
Posted by on March 25, 2015 at 12:12 am   This post has 31 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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Grab Bag
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Public Gardens, Real Gardens, What's Happening
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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)...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Books, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens, What's Happening
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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 12, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 11 responses.
  • Follow Garden Rant

    Follow Me on Pinterest RSS