4Bougie

Keep Your Garden Out of My Face

Guest Rant by Billy Goodnick  It was a dark and foggy summer night. Biff the Wonder Spaniel and I set out for our last neighborhood stroll, green poopy bag at the ready. It’s a good thing I didn’t have my nose buried in my iPhone, catching up on the four games of Words With Friends […]

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Posted by on August 16, 2012 at 8:33 am   This post has 61 responses.

Small-garden ideas from Thomas Rainer

Boy, when you reveal your garden here on the web, you’d better be prepared for feedback – the honest stuff, not for the thin-skinned.  That’s what I got after I posted photos of my new back yard, via comment and email, and I’m sharing some of the suggestions because...

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 at 7:41 am   This post has 18 responses.

Help me Understand Edible Forest Gardening

Recently I’ve noticed a bumper crop of talks promoting something I’d never heard of before – forest gardening and the “food forests” or “edible forest gardens” that result from it.  Turns out my initial assumption – that a forest garden is a shady woodland garden of ornamental plants –...

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 at 6:04 am   This post has 61 responses.

Beautiful—but also kind of a yawn

This might be at the other end of the spectrum from funky bottle trees and found object enclosures. Acres and acres of lawn. Although Asheville’s Biltmore estate is set inside a magnificent wooded landscape, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the formal gardens surrounding the house (also by FLO) have retained less...

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 at 6:20 am   This post has 19 responses.

Crimes Against Horticulture, Pruning Division

I can’t help but steal my post title from Billy Goodnick – the term is just too apt, in the case of these two juicy examples of bad pruning. On the left, the power company seems like the obvious culprit but once homeowners plant trees too close to the...

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm   This post has 23 responses.

Shovel ready

I don’t mind stealing a phrase many others have used concerning the Asheville garden of Christopher Mello, visited by garden bloggers (our annual get-together) this past weekend. The space is dominated by a central circular space filled with Tonka trucks and surrounded by upright shovels. There are also perennial borders—amazing blue...

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 at 4:49 am   This post has 33 responses.

Sunset’s 40 (not 41) Gorgeous Paths

Over on the Sunset website I found a fabulous display of paths, a garden feature we just don’t see enough of, imho.  The collection is titled “41 Gorgeous Garden Paths” and indeed, 40 of them ARE gorgeous, like the one above.  The only exception is this next one, which looks...

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 at 6:24 am   This post has 20 responses.

Thomas Rainer on Contemporary Garden Design with Natives

Landscape architect Thomas Rainer (whose blog Grounded Design I’ve raved about) recently spoke to a rapt audience at the National Arboretum’s Native Plant Symposium, addressing the big question – how to create a native-plant garden that looks like a garden.  You know, cared for and pretty. So first he clarified that he’s no...

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Posted by on April 10, 2012 at 6:30 am   This post has 19 responses.

Leaf Magazine Dazzles

If you're not one of the 80,000 people already reading Leaf Magazine (after just one issue) then why the hell not?  It's a free e-magazine, available right here.  The new Spring 2012 issue, at 142 pages, is gorgeous and inspiring, full of the kind of garden design photography and...

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Posted by on April 3, 2012 at 6:00 am   This post has 12 responses.

Philadelphia Flower Show goes Hawaiian

The largest and oldest flower show in the U.S., the Philly Flower Show is a always grand, but especially this year (to this visitor) because it brought the lushness of Hawaii to green-deprived Easterners.  Starting with this 30-foot waterfall festooned with orchids and Anthuriums. Below, don’t try this at...

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Posted by on March 13, 2012 at 5:40 am   This post has 7 responses.

Wolfgang Oehme’s Crusade to Change the American Garden

Many in the gardening world are mourning the recent loss of Wolfgang Oehme, one of the world's most famous and influential landscape architects.  He and his design partner James van Sweden populared sweeps of ornamental grasses and easy, mostly native perennials in a naturalistic style named The New American...

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Posted by on December 27, 2011 at 6:36 am   This post has 9 responses.

Getting it right in my next garden

Of all the mistakes I've made in my garden over its 26 years under my direction, there are two that I won't be repeating in my next garden. (Here's my recent post about selling my house and moving on.) 1.  Neglecting to take "before" photos is something I've regretted...

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Posted by on November 15, 2011 at 7:33 am   This post has 29 responses.

Japanese gardens anyone?

Bloedel After viewing two lovely examples in Seattle last week, I found that some among our group of garden-tripping bloggers seemed jaded by the genre. Their reasons varied, but two dominated: boredom, and a feeling that the style was too often misused. I must admit I’ve seen gardens their...

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Posted by on August 1, 2011 at 7:51 am   This post has 14 responses.

Cool stuff to do with weeds

Weeds have been on my mind lately. They always are, really, but after reading the Mabey book, I've been looking at them more closely, even to the point of stopping to examine the countless specimens I see in my daily travels. (Above is a Cirsium vulgare—bull thistle—I spotted at...

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Posted by on July 18, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 14 responses.

How not to use landscape fabric

And to be clear, this is a FRONT YARD and this planting technique continues across the entire property.  (House not shown, to protect the guilty.) But wait, maybe this isn't landscape fabric after all, but sheets of black plastic – how creative!  Addendum:  This is how it's looked for...

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Posted by on July 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm   This post has 28 responses.

Gardening apps—I’m over them. Really.

Don't laugh. You're looking at the future of garden design. Remember when we first got our iPhones?  It was all about the apps. Mine is still loaded up with six screens worth, only 4-5 of which I use on a regular basis—a weather app, whatever will find restaurants and...

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Posted by on June 27, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 14 responses.

Renegade Gardener Parts Company with GardenRant

  We've long been admirers of Don Engebretson, the Renegade Gardener.  We love his funny and spot-on yearly awards so much, we recommend them again and again and again.  He's given this blog and especially the Manifesto a shout-out or two and we've become a mutual admiration society among...

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Posted by on June 21, 2011 at 5:38 am   This post has 47 responses.

Are we there yet?

Gardening in the digital age—is it 2.0, 3.0, or maybe 3.5? It depends. If you count all the websites, blogs, and social media about gardening, then I suppose there has been considerable progress. If we’re talking about digital garden planning and implementation, that’s different. Garden-related computer software and mobile...

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Posted by on April 4, 2011 at 6:47 am   This post has 13 responses.

Bee options for all

Making honey – total involvement Beekeeping is all the rage these days, and my friend Pam (PamJ when she comments here) is one of the many who’s become “Hooked on bees in suburbia.”  That’s my story of her first year of beekeeping, including the highs, the lows, and the...

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Posted by on March 29, 2011 at 5:32 am   This post has 26 responses.

What should a spring flower show be? (continued)

Meet the Flintstones. Sometimes it just needs to exist. This was not my year for any of the big shows, but I did have a chance to see a different local event—in Rochester, where I did a couple talks. And this weekend, I’ll be visiting Buffalo's, mainly to support...

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Posted by on March 22, 2011 at 4:56 am   This post has 10 responses.
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