Seeds of the dwarf hackberry.

Hackberry Nerds Not in Lab Coats

Nowhere else on the planet will you find anything that compares to the geeky and up-to-date Garden Rant coverage of hackberries. Last week’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein nudged the door on the belittled common hackberry. This week we will attempt to blow the door wide open with the dwarf hackberry. Does anyone care? Never […]

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Posted by on November 11, 2015 at 7:28 am   This post has 9 responses.

Loss of tree costing me a fortune

When a diseased tree was removed from my next-door neighbor’s back yard recently I couldn’t stop watching. It took four men almost two full days and a lot of skill to do the job. Huge pieces of trunk dangled back and forth in the air and had to be...

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Posted by on November 6, 2015 at 7:43 am   This post has 23 responses.

Herbal Baths: My New Favorite Cold-Weather Treat

As grim, grey weather takes hold, there are still hardy herbs growing in my garden. And when I can’t linger outdoors long, I can bring some of that nature inside to do what nature does so well: delight the senses, inspire the mind, soothe the soul. Herbal baths aren’t...

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Posted by on November 3, 2015 at 10:53 pm   This post has 11 responses.

In Defense of the Undefensible

 Today’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein shines a bright light on a maligned tree. The common hackberry deserves some love. Long ago, in the early days of internet gardening chat groups someone started one of those “Best Ten Trees” discussions. I was approaching the apex of my rare-plant geekdom, and...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on November 2, 2015 at 7:35 am   This post has 14 responses.

Axis Shrugged for Nostalgia and Fun

  Ogden, Snodgrass and Uebelhart is not a pricey, litigious law firm. O.S.& U. was a garden collaboration, solidly rooted on terra firma, stretched across three continents. The O.S.& U. principals, led by axis-averse Australian garden designer Mel Ogden, are artists, visionaries and seedsmen. Ed Snodgrass is a progressive...

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Posted by on October 14, 2015 at 7:04 am   This post has 2 responses.

End-of-season stars

As much as I love spring ephemerals, July’s lilium, and other flash-in-the-pan, prettyboy plants, at this time  I take a good, hard look around and pay homage to those stalwarts that are still going strong in early fall. It’s also when I make decisions about which perennials no longer...

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Posted by on October 6, 2015 at 9:10 am   This post has 2 responses.

A Pill Box Hat and the Jackie O Plant

Today’s Guest Rant by Irvin Etienne takes us down memory lane to a happy rediscovery. I recently got back a plant that I killed several years ago. Not THE same plant. Just to be clear. But the same species and cultivar. I had Googled it, of course. It never...

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Posted by Irvin Etienne on October 5, 2015 at 7:36 am   This post has 7 responses.

We get questions

  This was going to be a post about trees, but I just got an email asking me about another topic that is equally on my mind at this time of year. In fact, both in the spring and fall, I am focused on trees and bulbs more than...

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Posted by on September 29, 2015 at 8:10 am   This post has 5 responses.

Zinnias for Pollinators!

A recent guest post in defense of butterfly bushes prompted the usual debate (natives v. exotics) but also this wise comment by an avid wildlife gardener: My yard is filled with native flowers, shrubs and trees. However, the surrounding area is not, so giving them something extra that blooms...

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Posted by on September 25, 2015 at 8:08 am   This post has 9 responses.

Way Down Yonder in the Blue Ribbon Pawpaw Patch

Tony Joe White’s Poke Salad Annie couldn’t change my mind about pawpaws. Nor about what deserves recognition as the best native plant song of all time. Nothing against pokeweed, but over the years, I’ve grown partial to pawpaws. Once you’ve found yonder, and a pawpaw patch, there is no...

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Posted by on September 9, 2015 at 7:44 am   This post has 15 responses.

Kudzu, we hardly knew you

“Like most Southern children, I accepted, almost as a matter of faith, that kudzu grew a mile a minute and that its spread was unstoppable.” —Bill Finch, “Legend of the Green Monster” How many millions of acres do you suppose have been eaten by kudzu, the notorious plant predator...

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Posted by on September 8, 2015 at 7:50 am   This post has 8 responses.

On Top of the Daylily World

David Kirchhoff and Mort Morss helped smooth my horrible mood swings with daylilies. I had loved a few daylilies and left them. I once grew an acre of the things in commercial production, in addition to growing a wide selection of perennials and wildflowers. There was nothing extravagant about...

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Posted by on August 12, 2015 at 6:59 am   This post has 19 responses.

Best-Looking Plants in my July Garden

I’m in the mood to post photos of the plants that are doing the best in my garden right now, starting with these sun-tolerant Coleuses (with one ‘Rubrum’ Pennisetum  in the mix). They were stars in these pots last year, so I’m sticking with them. One more. ‘City Lights’ and...

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Posted by on July 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm   This post has 19 responses.

Another reason to avoid turfgrass?

Conversations over the Garden Walk Buffalo weekend lead me to believe that—knock on wood—my lack of turfgrass may also be a reason for my lack of plant-destroying and other pests. I know that Japanese beetle grubs feed on grass and I rarely see any of the adults—maybe one or...

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Posted by on July 28, 2015 at 7:47 am   This post has 8 responses.

Bring on the Ferns

First, I recommend to you Adrian Higgins’s recent love letter to ferns – Fronds with Benefits:  A Guide to Ferns.  The article includes his favorites, a tour of the ferns at Chanticleer Garden, and some reasons for their growing popularity – they’re easy, untouched by critters and disease, and...

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Posted by on July 17, 2015 at 8:19 am   This post has 6 responses.

Stellaaaaa!

Sometimes even ProfessorRoush tires of his opinions, his interminable rants about disease or weeds or flower color or poor performance that keep him from enjoying the garden.  Is it really necessary to constantly pontificate about whether this rose is better than that one, or how one grass is a thug,...

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Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

Favorite evergreen natives – Ragwort and Bignonia

Today I’m showing off two plants that are not only native to me in Maryland but share two traits I wish were more common among native – they’re evergreen AND vigorous growers in the garden. First up, the unfortunately named Ragwort, a/k/a Golden Groundsel, officially Packera aurea. Here’s what it looked...

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 at 7:36 am   This post has 14 responses.

Groundcovers Make the Rose Garden

I’m happy to see that (some) rose gardens are looking better these days, thanks to their good-looking and super-performing groundcovers. To my eyes, they cover all sorts of rosebush deficiencies throughout the year.  (Love the blooms; the plants not so much.) Here are some of my favorites, all appearing now...

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Posted by on May 22, 2015 at 7:15 am   This post has 14 responses.

Year Three in my Garden: Are the Perennials Leaping Yet?

You know what they say about perennials – that in year one they sleep, in year two they creep and in year three they finally leap. So let’s see how that’s working out in my new(ish) garden. Even with a small townhouse garden like mine, going lawn-less is much...

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Posted by on May 8, 2015 at 6:41 am   This post has 19 responses.

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...

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Posted by on April 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm   This post has 32 responses.
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