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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.  Hellstrip gardeners are generous in that […]

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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.

Full sun to part shade. Really?

Plant labels tend to be prosaic. They are not—to my knowledge—as carefully scrutinized by federal agencies as food labels are, but nonetheless, the big growers seem to reliably police themselves, offering botanical names, reasonably truthful dimensions, and helpful planting and care information.  Except, sadly, when it comes to light...

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Posted by on March 31, 2014 at 8:17 am   This post has 19 responses.

Poppies for Memories

Since I moved to Idaho, my sister and mom and their friends and my friends have been generously donating plants to fill my new garden beds. (Gardeners are the nicest people.) This week, I’m transplanting poppies from my sister. I’m planting them in areas that I smothered with leaves...

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Posted by on March 19, 2014 at 4:15 am   This post has 17 responses.

Keeping me sane

As the winter winds to its possible close, here are some images of my indoor gardening efforts. These Madame Sophie hyacinths have a looser flowering habit than others, but they’re quite charming. Splendid Cornelia in forcing glasses   Vuurbank hyacinths Strangely, non-tazetta narcissus take just as long to force...

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Posted by on March 11, 2014 at 9:04 am   This post has 5 responses.

Down with Leylands!

Below, author Ruth Kassinger summarizes a chapter from her new book, A Garden of Marvels, published this week. Tomorrow we’ll have a book review and giveaway. Lately, with heavy snow here in suburban Maryland, I’ve had to keep an eye on my neighbor’s Leyland cypresses that stand in a...

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Posted by Ruth Kassinger on February 27, 2014 at 8:22 am   This post has 12 responses.

This (see photo) will never be me: 10 years of orchid FAIL

It’s not that I’m actually killing them. I can keep the plants alive, no problem. Indeed, I am very proud of my houseplant success in general; I have a huge 13-year-old gardenia that bursts into bloom every summer and a jasmine almost that old that provides lovely fragrance from...

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Posted by on February 24, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 17 responses.

Beware of the Wronged Coconuts!

Coconut palms are the quintessential symbol of tropical paradise. Spindly, tall trees with large feathery leaves wisp in tropical breezes on tropical beaches of white sand, under blue sky and by turquoise water. Beach in Hawaii with coconut palm tree. (cc) anda (: on Flickr. Up in the crown...

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Posted by Lena Struwe on February 20, 2014 at 7:05 am   This post has 5 responses.

It’s Valentine’s Day. Do You Know Where Your Roses Came From?

Guest Rant by Debra Prinzing Earlier this week, Libby Francis-Baxter, owner of The Modest Florist in Baltimore, made headlines in the local media by announcing her plans for a rose-free Valentine’s Day. “I don’t support outsourcing flower production to South and Central America at the expense of our own...

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Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 7:15 am   This post has 16 responses.

Succulents are OUT? Oh, No They’re NOT

Guest rant by Debra Lee Baldwin, a rebuttal to Ivette Soler’s rant in which she expressed ennui about succulents and proposed that the plants’ popularity is diminishing. If anyone ought to be sick of succulents, it should be me, having spent a decade studying and photographing them, and twice...

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Posted by Debra Lee Baldwin on February 11, 2014 at 7:39 am   This post has 25 responses.

When good garden writers give bad pruning advice

Yes, ProfessorRoush has not blogged for quite some time.  January has frankly been dismal here in the Flint Hills, and I’ve been leery of planning the return of green and glorious landscapes lest I awaken the wrath of the Winter Gods and precipitate another late April snowstorm. I was rudely roused, however, from...

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Posted by on February 3, 2014 at 6:39 am   This post has 38 responses.

Celery – Stems, Stalks or Sticks?

Celery is a vegetable and plant that is prominent in American cooking, and infuses both cooked and raw dishes with its very special flavor.  When I arrived in America I couldn’t believe how much celery was added to tuna salads, soups, stews, and on plates with peanut butter.  Back...

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Posted by :Lena Struwe on January 31, 2014 at 8:57 am   This post has 7 responses.

FASHION – “Im Sorry, You’re OUT!!!”

NEWSFLASH! Succulents are OUT!!! Gardeners may think they are earthy, practical people – immune to the vagaries of fashion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fashion pervades gardening – plants go in and out of fashion just like red bottom Louboutins. BUT HOLD THE PHONE – surely the...

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Posted by on January 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm   This post has 52 responses.

The Trouble with the Word “Invasive”

This is a long-simmering rant about the many ways the term “invasive” causes confusion, and more.  DO weigh in with alternatives, pushback, and rants of your own. “Invasive” as synonym for “nonnative” Google “native versus invasive” and the 5.6 million hits confirms my observation that this is a common...

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Posted by on January 24, 2014 at 9:12 am   This post has 104 responses.

Stock Photo’s ID Error Leads to Wrong Mutants Singing the Blues

An article published Jan 6, 2014 in The New York Times (‘Mutant Petunias Sing the Blues’) about some exciting new research on the evolution of blue color of some garden petunias was illustrated with this nice photo: This is not a blue petunia, it is a morning glory. Screen...

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Posted by Lena Struwe on January 23, 2014 at 8:46 am   This post has 10 responses.
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