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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 “miniature” displays (sans the f word). […]

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Posted by on August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am   This post has 11 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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Posted by on August 5, 2014 at 7:30 am   This post has 29 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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Posted by on July 18, 2014 at 8:09 am   This post has 21 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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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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Posted by on July 8, 2014 at 7:57 am   This post has 12 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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Posted by on June 30, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 24 responses.

What’s a weed? And is Spiderwort one?

How does a plant that arrives in your garden like a weed earn the right to not be weeded out?  I ruminated on this the other day when a neighbor asked me to identify a new plant in her garden that had arrived without her help. I told her...

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Posted by on June 27, 2014 at 9:51 am   This post has 34 responses.

It’s June and the subject is roses

Roses have to earn their keep in my urban garden, just like every other plant I have. Space is at a premium, so I need there to be at least two months of floral and foliar interest from any given plant and prefer more if possible. But my requirements...

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Posted by on June 23, 2014 at 9:02 am   This post has 23 responses.

WANTED: Information on Occurrence of Basil Downy Mildew.

A scientist studying vegetable pathology at Cornell contacted GardenRant for help in gathering data about a new disease.  Please help out by spreading the word about the need for more info and how to report it. by Meg McGrath I recently have received several reports of Basil Downy Mildew on plants bought...

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Posted by on June 16, 2014 at 7:57 am   This post has 5 responses.

A culture of unruliness

Here’s another doublefile viburnum post. No doubt, many (including Susan) would say this one ought to be pruned. It won’t be though, unless there’s some sort of extreme practical reason. Planted in an impossible situation—between two houses and a tree on a property line, in more than partial shade—the...

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Posted by on June 2, 2014 at 8:17 am   This post has 12 responses.

Worth it

Every year I try to plant a few T. acuminata (these from Brent and Beckys) in the front yard. They’re expensive as tulips go—about 4-5 bucks a bulb—and are considered heirloom. Most of the bulb experts seem to think they are an older hybrid, not a wild tulip, but...

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Posted by on May 27, 2014 at 8:14 am   This post has 7 responses.

Saving Seedlings, Saving the World

Recently I went camping near my new home in Boise. I sat down with a cup of coffee and a notebook in my campsite one morning, enjoying the trilling of a meadowlark and a view of natural scrubland as I pondered (this is one of my favorite activities). As...

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Posted by on May 20, 2014 at 11:52 pm   This post has 21 responses.

Doublefile Viburnum – One More Reason to Garden on a Neighbor’s Land

Continuing our theme of gardening on property not our own, it can be a city-owned patch along the street (as discussed here and here), or it could be a spot in a neighbor’s yard.  Thus, there seems to be no safe empty spot of land in my new neighborhood,...

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Posted by on May 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm   This post has 14 responses.

The Joys of Curbside Gardening, and Groundcover Sedums

Hellstrip gardening is getting its due these days, thanks to Evelyn Hadden’s terrific new book on the subject, and Lauren Springer Ogden’s coining of the term in the first place.  And it starts a discussion about gardens that bring pleasure to not just the gardener, but the whole community. ...

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Posted by on May 16, 2014 at 7:56 am   This post has 7 responses.

Boxwoods? Bah!

ProfessorRoush would like to call down a pox on all garden authorities who have advocated various winter hardy boxwoods to be excellent landscaping plants. A further pox should descend on the big box stores who sell the cheapest boxwoods available and thus limit the selection of available cultivars to us. Boxwoods are everywhere these days....

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 at 8:18 am   This post has 39 responses.

That “New Plant” Experience

It is a joy to grow certain plants for the memories they invoke and the anticipation of their familiar scent, sight, taste, and other beloved qualities, as well as the pleasure of seeing them expand and perhaps self-propagate in our gardens. However, it is an equally delightful experience to...

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Posted by on May 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm   This post has 8 responses.

The Smiling Faces of Spring

SPRING!!! I am traveling to Brooklyn to do some garden business, and to see what spring looks like after a long, long winter. I am amazed at the pep in everyone’s step! Living for so long in Southern California, one takes the endless summer/spring for granted – but NOBODY...

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Posted by on May 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm   This post has one response.

RIP tulipa?

It looks like the deer won. I gave a talk at a suburban garden club last week, and, to a woman, all the gardeners there told me they don’t bother trying to grow tulips anymore. No matter what they do, the bulbs get eaten, as soon as they start...

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Posted by on April 28, 2014 at 9:07 am   This post has 17 responses.

Death Valley Days and the Discovery of Two New Plant Species

I had a fitful first day in Death Valley a few weeks ago. I felt like an apprehensive Spencer Tracy when he got off the train at Black Rock in the 1955 film Bad Day at Black Rock. Whereas Tracy was nominated for an Academy Award for his role,...

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Posted by on April 23, 2014 at 7:12 am   This post has 6 responses.

If I had a nickel for every garden cliché I’ve ever heard…

Guest Rant by Amy Campion Like thistles invading a garden, hackneyed phrases have seeded themselves into garden writing and need to be rooted out. They choke out good prose and distract from the message.  What’s more, they really irk me.  If you write about gardening, I beg you to...

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Posted by Amy Campion on April 17, 2014 at 6:15 am   This post has 37 responses.
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