Container rules are meant to follow, bend, or break

In a recent column, Washington Post gardening columnist Adrian Higgins addressed the long-hallowed “thriller/filler/spiller” theory of container gardening. He defended it and debunked it at the same time, which seems right to me. While it’s true that the drama of a tall plant is heightened by contrasting plants that spill over the sides and fill […]

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Posted by on May 22, 2018 at 9:52 am   This post has 10 responses.

Kentucky’s Secret Gardens

Looking for inspiration and information? Catch a glimpse of Kentucky’s Secret Gardens. Author Tavia Cathcart Brown hosts the documentary, sponsored by Kentucky Education Television (KET). I was flattered to be included in a small piece of the first round of Kentucky’s Secret Gardens, and I enjoyed the show more...

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Posted by on May 19, 2018 at 8:03 am   This post has no responses.

Making Gardens Safer from Ticks: No More Wildlife Gardening

I recently wrote about how gardeners freaked out about Lyme Disease are supposed to dress for gardening. It’s NOT a pretty picture and to prove that I’ll be posing for a shot of me in near-hazmat attire, ready to tackle a few gardening chores in my garden. Today we explore the...

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Posted by on May 18, 2018 at 7:01 am   This post has 19 responses.

Gardening For Health!

I remember a day in April of 2003. It was one of those mythic, glorious spring days that sporadically show up between late freezes and tornadoes here in Ohio. And it was one to behold. Perfect. Most importantly, it was the first of such days that year. Truly “the...

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Posted by on May 16, 2018 at 7:32 am   This post has 25 responses.

Obama in the Garden

Just when I thought I couldn’t miss Obama any more than I do, I see this shot of him looking soooo happy to be in the Rose Garden on a beautiful day. Here’s the other favorite shot of White House photographer Pete Souza showing Obama in his garden. Sigh....

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Posted by on May 14, 2018 at 4:16 pm   This post has 8 responses.

Fantasy Forest

  Every neighborhood needs a microforest. The ingredients require a passionate, knowledgeable conductor, committed volunteers and a patch of land. Curious children, nurtured by good teachers and mentors, will come running. Connie May is the Fantasy Forest conductor. Connie was the wildflower propagator at the beloved (former) Shooting Star...

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Posted by on May 9, 2018 at 7:46 am   This post has 8 responses.

Austin: ten years later and even better

More than 90 garden bloggers got together for three days of garden touring in Austin last weekend. It is a return to the first such get-together, which took place in April, 2008. I was one of those Austin, 2008 bloggers, organized a similar weekend in Buffalo in 2010, and...

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Posted by on May 8, 2018 at 11:13 am   This post has 6 responses.

New Look for Gardeners Freaked out about Lyme Disease

News about the rapid spread of tick-borne diseases, especially the life-changing-if not-treated-in-time Lyme Disease, has me so freaked out that I’m now afraid to tend my garden, much less take a walk in the woods. I won’t stop gardening, but at least for my peace of mind I’m determined...

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Posted by on May 4, 2018 at 9:18 am   This post has 22 responses.

They built a better rose map

Those of you who know more about the science of hybridization than I do are already aware that it takes up to a decade to breed a rose that has the desired combination of traits, whatever those may be. A glance at today’s New York Times tells us that...

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Posted by on May 1, 2018 at 9:46 am   This post has 8 responses.

Liberating Design Ideas from Great Dixter

I jumped at the chance to hear Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter – undoubtedly England’s most famous garden – when the Horticultural Society of Maryland brought him to Baltimore to speak. Rush-hour traffic to get there be damned! Here’s Fergus pointing to the same view of Great...

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Posted by on April 27, 2018 at 2:43 pm   This post has 6 responses.

In Search of the Perfect Plant

We are all forever perched on a learning curve in the horticulture business. There’s always way more to learn than any of us will ever master – and always more room to fall than we will ever know. Which brings me, of course, to the endless quest for the...

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Posted by on April 25, 2018 at 7:08 am   This post has 9 responses.

DJ Khaled Loves his Garden!

I only know about hiphop impresario DJ Khaled because of his star turn as a garden-lover in this video by the New York Times. Gazing adoringly at the plants in his garden, he says: I love you.  I love you. This is Jerusalem. I call this Jerusalem. This is so...

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Posted by on April 19, 2018 at 6:46 pm   This post has Comments Off on DJ Khaled Loves his Garden!.

Tweed Jackets: The Answer to Horticulture’s Waning Reputation?

The Problem of Looking Stupid Here’s how to look stupid: start digging a hole. Einstein, himself, would look like an idiot while digging a hole. All through history, people have needed holes, and no one has ever looked smart digging one. And no one has ever stood near a...

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Posted by on April 18, 2018 at 3:43 pm   This post has 21 responses.

Stop the dumb lists

Certain garden-related websites (and I use the term loosely) like to send out annotated lists—top ten this, ten worst that, six ways to do such and such. And the most disturbing mini-trend in this listicle clickbait is the alarmist listing of “Ten Plants You Should Never Grow,” or (from...

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Posted by on April 17, 2018 at 9:26 am   This post has 11 responses.

Grow bulbs for their foliage? Sure!

Many cite the long-lasting and unsightly foliage of spring bulbs as a reason not to grow them. I have two answers for that. One is my ongoing strategy: grow the temperamental tulip hybrids that don’t perennialize as annuals. I find the pleasure they give and the fun of changing...

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Posted by on April 15, 2018 at 11:35 am   This post has 3 responses.

Brent and Becky’s Farm, Store and Knicknacks

I grew up near Richmond, VA, about an hour from Brent and Becky’s, the beloved flower bulb company in Tidewater, VA. I’ve even known Brent since I was a preteen and our families rented nearby beach cottages in Nags Head, NC. But it took a regional event of the...

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Posted by on April 13, 2018 at 8:26 am   This post has 3 responses.

Steel Magnolias

    “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” -Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias   Our saucer magnolia had a tiny bit of stamina left, but I didn’t think it was worth saving. Sapsuckers had just about taken the life out of it three...

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Posted by on April 11, 2018 at 8:24 am   This post has 13 responses.

Of Kids and Kudzu for a Better World

We who worry and wonder about our social-media-obsessed youth and the future of horticulture found some relief at a recent gathering of the Louisville Regional Science & Engineering Fair.  And it all sort of came down to kudzu – the vine that ate the South. The fair was a...

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Posted by on March 26, 2018 at 4:17 am   This post has one response.

When Porches Feel like Garden Rooms

For decades I gardened on the edge of a wooded valley, which I could see best – for views like this one in the spring – standing at the edge of my deck. From inside the house the best view was from my kitchen looking out the door to...

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Posted by on March 23, 2018 at 8:54 am   This post has 16 responses.

Forsythias need to be free

As much as I long for spring, there is one sight I am dreading. It’s the clipped hedges that were once beautiful spring-flowering shrubs, but now have become boxy travesties of their natural selves, dotted here and there with a few flowers that have managed to survive the pruning...

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Posted by on March 20, 2018 at 10:08 am   This post has 15 responses.