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It’s the Year of Garden-Park Connections

Have you heard that 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service? Well, here’s the press release, and here’s Find Your Park, a growing collection of stories about people connecting with the parks. (The connection is easy for Michelle Obama – she lives in one, and has family connections to another one – […]

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Posted by on March 4, 2016 at 9:01 am   This post has 6 responses.

And then—finally—there was one

When we bought our house twenty-three years ago, what I knew about gardening would not have filled a seed packet. I did know early spring flowers were an antidote for winter blahs, so I planted a big sack of snowdrops under the sugar maple. The blooms would be visible...

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Posted by Joanna Brichetto on March 1, 2016 at 11:49 am   This post has 12 responses.

My Granddaughter and I Take On Johnny Appleseed

As a young boy, I would have chosen a gumdrop tree over an apple tree any day. Baked apples, applesauce and candied apples were my answer to An Apple a Day. Any apple coated with sugar was worth sampling. My mother would throw a fresh apple into my lunch...

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Posted by on February 10, 2016 at 8:06 am   This post has 19 responses.

Resolving to become a better naturalist

They knew where to go for the first of everything: the first snowdrops, the first catkin, primroses, violets, forget-me-nots, wild roses, honeysuckle. These flowers appeared in turn on the nursery sills almost as soon as they appeared in the woods and fields. —The Priory, Dorothy Whipple  “I should fall...

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Posted by on December 29, 2015 at 7:57 am   This post has 19 responses.

An Osage expose

Osage orange fruit. Hedge apples. Monkey brains. Maclura pomifera. Yellow-green, squiggly, hairy spheres the size of grapefruits. If these are underfoot on a fall hike, I guarantee someone will mention the purported insect and/or spider repellant properties of an Osage orange. Rumor has it that a few of these bowling balls...

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Posted by Joanna Brichetto on December 7, 2015 at 7:56 am   This post has 16 responses.

Making my peace with poinsettias

As you can  imagine, many of my most passionate rants are years in the past, back when we started. You can only inveigh against lawn culture, shake your fist against Big Chem, or rage about cheap resin statuary so many times. Then there the things I’ve ranted against that...

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Posted by on December 1, 2015 at 9:03 am   This post has 20 responses.

In the Time of the Long Shadows

Fall. A time of the year I love and hate. Love most of the weather. Love the clear blue sky and bright orange autumn leaves. Love the way it makes me want to start nesting. Hate the shorter days. Hate the weather on days that are cold and damp....

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Posted by Irvin Etienne on November 23, 2015 at 8:04 am   This post has 5 responses.

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...

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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.
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