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Bedding Your Plants

Guest Rant by Geoff Lewis I would like to speak to the curious sport of bedding plants. Bedding plants – you know, big pansies, dwarf marigolds and their ilk. One’s vision is of an orgiastic colour melee: Vast flocks of the vegetative equivalent of Pekinese and/or Schitzu-Poodle crosses (schit-poos) carpeting hallowed garden plots. Presently, our […]

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Posted by on April 30, 2013 at 10:09 am   This post has 11 responses.

The Run for the Roses is Really About Mint

Thousands of red tulips have been planted in the Churchill Downs paddock and winner’s circle for this year’s Kentucky Derby. They were shipped from Holland months ago.  Nearly 500 red roses will arrive from South America a few days before the race (the first Saturday in May) and be...

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Posted by on April 26, 2013 at 8:02 am   This post has 5 responses.

How to get Unique Photos of Cherry Blossoms

D.C. local Jacques Domenge wanted to photograph the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, which are finally blooming but swarming with the hordes, so he waited until dark.  He then used the very cool “light painting” method, starting by setting up a tripod and choosing a long exposure.  Then...

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Posted by on April 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm   This post has 3 responses.

Pour Me Another Kentucky Coffeetree

When you think of plant hunting—Indiana Jones style—you usually think of faraway places. Throw in tall mountains, deep ravines, landslides and feuding warlords, and you might soon forget the plants. The story becomes more about the adventure. Andy Schmitz and Jeff Carstens haven’t been to China or India, but...

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Posted by on April 9, 2013 at 8:32 am   This post has 5 responses.

Hanging plants without the hangers

Or the planters. Or the dirt. I’ve often seen tillandsia on tables at art fairs and home and garden shows without thinking much about them.  “Air Plants!” proclaim the  signs on the tables. “Freak plants!” I think, and dismiss the idea of owning organic matter that sits around on...

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Posted by on March 4, 2013 at 8:00 am   This post has 15 responses.

Impatiens FAIL—regrets or good riddance?

For the last couple years, I have been reading ominous reports of downy mildew decimating impatiens plants. As most of you know, it’s more than just reports now. It’s real—to the extent that entire plantings of traditional impatiens (impatiens walleriana) have been completely wiped out throughout the United Kingdom,...

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Posted by on February 25, 2013 at 8:00 am   This post has 25 responses.

Win a bouquet from an American Rose Farm – and keep Valentine’s Day local

by Debra Prinzing  Read on to WIN ONE DOZEN AMERICAN ROSES Post a comment here about why American-grown flowers are important to you! You might just win one dozen gorgeous roses from Oregon or California! We have rose donations from Eufloria Flowers and Peterkort Roses. Two winners will be...

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Posted by on February 7, 2013 at 5:34 am   This post has 90 responses.

Bring it

As if they knew, the entire crew of Erlicheer tazettas now installed in glass vases throughout my ground floor has indicated their willingness to bloom. Last year was characterized by a high percentage of bud blast, but then last year, we didn’t really have a winter. Welcome back! This...

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Posted by on January 22, 2013 at 8:56 am   This post has 6 responses.

Holiday Parties with Non-Gardeners.
You Can Make It If You Try.

Too many times over the decades, even knowing that it won’t end well, I have herded party captives into a corner, hoping for a mad gardener conversion. The compliant lambs sip Sauvignon Blanc, and chat about their boxwoods, then turn deaf when I start in on the wonders of...

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 at 8:02 am   This post has 6 responses.

Tazetta time

If all goes as planned, this room (above) will soon be filled with these (below, sorry for the fuzzy pic). Erlicheer is my tazetta of choice—each stem produces a small bouquet of mildly scented white flowers. As I’ve posted before, the commonly sold Ziva has become synonymous with paperwhites...

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Posted by on December 10, 2012 at 8:03 am   This post has 10 responses.

Going potless

How did I miss this? I got in on the terrarium revival, but somehow, kokedama has been raging throughout the U.S. and U.K. unnoticed by me. It’s also known as string gardening or moss ball gardening, and originated in Japan, receiving some innovative tweaking in the Netherlands. Of course,...

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Posted by on December 3, 2012 at 8:00 am   This post has 9 responses.

Marijuana growers and users “fired up,” too!

Marijuana’s Going Legal Hard to believe, but America’s long prohibition against marijuana may be coming to an end, at least in places like Colorado and Washington State, both of which voted this week to legalize pot.  And that’s for recreation, not for any medical purpose, real or phony.  In...

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Posted by on November 9, 2012 at 9:05 am   This post has 27 responses.

The Undaunted and Undented Osage Orange

The Osage orange tree doesn’t have a large following but I have become a big fan. I love its beautiful, glossy green foliage and its yellow stained wood. And there’s something even more irresistibly loveable about the misshapen, softball-sized pale green fruit that looks like an alien’s brain. The...

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 at 7:55 am   This post has 19 responses.

Awesome Annuals in the Smithsonian Gardens

Everyone loves the Smithsonian museums on D.C.’s National Mall, but gardener-tourists also love their gardens.  Here’s a sampling from mid-October, when I particularly admired (and will copy!) their use of annuals. By email, the Smithsonian’s supervisory horticulturist Jonathan Kavelier told me that “These plantings also include Amaranthus and Cuphea,...

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Posted by on October 23, 2012 at 7:36 am   This post has 20 responses.

The anti-pink

  Regardless of whatever Pantone has decided, I declare orange to be the color of 2013.  It needs to be, because I somehow ordered 500 orange/orange-red tulips.  Maybe more—hard to say how some of the multi-colored species types will turn out. Let’s see—we have Prinses Irene, Orange Princess, Christmas...

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 at 7:31 am   This post has 16 responses.

End of an era

Two springs ago, a pruning mishap (not mine) caused our huge wisteria to come crashing down from its garage-roof empire. We cut it back to a six-foot-high stump, cleaned up what looked like a tree’s-worth of debris, and waited, in hopes that we could train it back into viability....

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Posted by on October 15, 2012 at 8:35 am   This post has 8 responses.

Wilson Pickett and the Pink Rose

I owe my love of pink flowers to Wilson Pickett. The rhythm and blues singer was my high school cosmic everything. Teenage boys often feel they are irrelevant. Or at least they once did. In the mid-60s, I played a white soul man to prove the point. When I...

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Posted by on September 20, 2012 at 7:33 am   This post has 8 responses.

Let the bulbs begin

Who the hell knows what kind of winter we’ll be having in this formerly snow-identified corner of New York, but there will certainly be a few months of dormancy. This is what bulb season is for. It’s the closest I can get to real gardening (other than houseplant maintenance)...

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 at 10:05 am   This post has 6 responses.

Horticultural Cowboys

  Guest Post by Allen Bush Willie Nelson warns, in his song of the same name, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…”   Then he offers a way out: “Make ‘em lawyers and doctors and such.” Willie, I have a better idea. Make ‘em gardeners and...

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 at 7:18 am   This post has 13 responses.

I’m Dreaming of a Black Garden

I never thought I’d have the patience or the fortitude to plant a themed garden, but all the sudden I’m thinking about a very dark garden.  Ironically, dark gardens need a lot of light:  my ‘Black Lace’ sambucus goes green in the shade but gets very dark in the...

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm   This post has 26 responses.
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