Seen from the garden – winter cyclists

By Guest Essayist Ed Cullen, from the collection "Letter in a Woodpile."  Here's the link to Ed's very own (very Southern) reading of the piece on All Things Considered. Girls on new bicycles approach in late afternoon winter light. The riders are oblivious to the pale wash of blue sky, cool air and patches of […]

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Posted by on January 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm   This post has 7 responses.


Oh, I once scoffed at the notion of a birdcam – until I followed the link to a new commenter and found this photo.  And cam-owners John and Liza in New Hampshire say it's easy to set up, even if the temp hovers around zero (I say easy for...

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Posted by on January 17, 2009 at 2:49 am   This post has 3 responses.

Wishing I could take Dr. T’s classes

I want to go back to college.  But this time not to some liberal arts enclave in the Midwest but to Texas Tech University’s honors program of interdisciplinary studies in the natural world – so I can to take classes from Dr. T, known to Rant readers as Susan...

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Posted by on January 13, 2009 at 4:30 am   This post has 8 responses.

Where do you keep your gardening gloves?

Fun winter project for gardeners?  Collect all the gardening gloves you can find and survey the sorry scene they create.  Here you see: Stiff leather things I’ll never use again Versatile work gloves, though all too large Waterproof gloves, regular length and extra length – useful for hundreds of...

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Posted by on December 20, 2008 at 4:36 am   This post has 24 responses.

To love an ugly landscape

By Guest Ranter Susan Leigh Tomlinson.  In this excerpt from "Pentimento", published in the literary journal Isotope, Susan describes her complicated relationship with the land around Lubbock, Texas, known locally as the Llano. Normally this is the place where I would have an epiphany of sorts and come to realize...

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Posted by on December 9, 2008 at 2:48 am   This post has 25 responses.

Some people should stick to plastic plants

by Guest Blogger Wendy Tweten, who’s shown herself to be a garden writer willing to jump in her car in search of just one more gorgeous Portland garden – during which adventure I learned there’s an inner ranter behind her friendly face. Garden coach Sue Goetz was riding shotgun...

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Posted by on October 18, 2008 at 5:16 am   This post has 27 responses.

Hummingbird feeders? I can’t handle the commitment

I’ve been reading up on hummingbird feeders and have learned that there’s a RIGHT way to use them: Mix one part sugar with 4 parts water, boil to dissolve.  Or use baker’s sugar, which dissolves in cold water.  (Is that the same as confectioner’s?) Or you can buy "instant...

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Posted by on September 13, 2008 at 4:10 am   This post has 24 responses.

Is this how the Left sees gardeners?

I stumbled upon a leftie website called Irregular Times, which has a section on "Gardening from the Underground," titled Irregular Growth. I suppose that’s a good thing, but read the introduction:  Gardening – when one hears the word one thinks of old people: retired couples with nothing to do,...

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Posted by on August 30, 2008 at 5:21 am   This post has 37 responses.

Getting geeky at the National Ag Library

My plant geek friend John Peter Thompson offered to arrange a tour for me of the National Agricultural Library’s super Special Collection, so how could I say no?  I’ve written about the Library previously, and so has Barbara Damrosch, because their funding is in such grave danger (after years...

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Posted by on August 19, 2008 at 11:15 am   This post has 11 responses.

Lawns and lawn mowers in the news


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Posted by on July 22, 2008 at 10:55 am   This post has 25 responses.

The Footprint in Your Garden, Part 1

__________________________  1.  Taken from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (2007) available at Last accessed 7/7/2008.  The reports in the IPCC have probably undergone the most rigorous review of any natural science research ever done. 2. This increase is from burning fossil fuels: You...

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Posted by on July 15, 2008 at 10:24 am   This post has 26 responses.

Notes on the Google

GOOGLE READERI used to be one of those blog-writing slackers who rarely remembers to visit and comment on other gardening blogs.  Then Elizabeth mentioned that she uses Google Reader… and it changed my life.  I just use the feed symbol in my Firefox browser, clicking on it to subscribe...

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Posted by on July 12, 2008 at 12:53 pm   This post has 6 responses.

Support our Gardening Troops in Iraq

by Susan I’m not kidding.  A Logistics Specialist over there recently left this comment on an old article about HGTV’s Paul James: I am presently stationed in the Kuwait/Iraq region and miss watching "Gardening by the Yard". I was told of a tree called a Bulb Willow. I seen pictures...

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Posted by on April 29, 2008 at 11:56 am   This post has 6 responses.

The “Mouse and Trowels”, and the Power of Awards

by Susan Remember last year when Colleen first announced the Mouse and Trowel Awards to honor online gardening and we all knew instantly it was a great idea?  Then almost 500 of us voted and the happy winners got to put little badges on their sites and blogs and...

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Posted by on March 25, 2008 at 4:56 am   This post has 8 responses.

Beneath the term locavore lies…confusion

One expert is quoted saying "You can feel very good about the organic potatoes you buy from a farm near your home, but half the emissions - about half the footprint – from those potatoes could come from the energy you use to cook them.  If you leave the...

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Posted by on March 11, 2008 at 3:30 am   This post has 14 responses.

The Latest in Sustainable Gardening News

The February issue is out, and here are  some items that are new to GardentRant. ON THE BLOGS Jane Berger’s review of Native Ferns, Moss and Grasses by William Cullina makes me lust for both the book and the plants. Included are some frightening projections of changing cold-hardiness zones....

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Posted by on February 16, 2008 at 2:06 pm   This post has 2 responses.

Gardenblog Round-Up

The folks at Elements in Time have issued a Growing Challenge to encourage people to grow food and help them do it. Hey, I’m there.  Click on this cool graphic for all the dope. Kathy Jentz’s Third Annual Seed Exchange was a big success, with only one tiny...

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Posted by on February 16, 2008 at 5:20 am   This post has 9 responses.

The English are paving over their front yards?

My, this IS depressing – the news that Londoners are paving over their gardens for parking spaces. And if the ENGLISH don’t give a fig for growing plants, who does?  Simon Burch reports in the Financial Times a 30 percent loss of green space in London as a result....

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Posted by on February 7, 2008 at 2:58 pm   This post has 10 responses.

Garden blogs by region, too

Boy, we are really going regional here today.  Marie’s request that the Friends of Rant be listed by region prompted me to finish the reorganizing of my own Blogroll by Region (already in progress!) and get it up here today.  Who’s on it?  Everyone who was on the Friends...

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Posted by on January 29, 2008 at 1:05 pm   This post has 26 responses.

Beavers in the Burbs

by SusanIn Martin Luther King Park, just minutes outside DC’s beltway, beavers are hanging out in this cozy lodge, waiting for darkness to come again so they can get back to work. Wikipedia tells us: "There are typically two dens within the lodge, one for drying off after exiting...

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Posted by on January 15, 2008 at 4:13 pm   This post has 12 responses.
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