My leaves are not as pretty as this.

The bad leaf advice—it’s baaack!

It’s that time of year again—gardeners are getting silly advice from the Wildlife Federation and other nature-centric organizations about why they should try to leave their leaves in place to provide wildlife habitat and “natural mulch.” Many gardening columnists and Facebookers are picking up the NWF’s 2014 “Leave the Leaves for Wildlife” post and running […]

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Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on November 15, 2016 at 9:50 am   This post has 13 responses.

Aunt Rose’s Garden

The sun rose along the Potomac River on Monday morning and swept across a canopy of bright fall colors. Quickly reaching the huge silver maple, along the fenced property line, then swung straight down the middle of Aunt Rose’s long, narrow Georgetown garden. Nothing momentous had happened overnight. The...

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Posted by on November 9, 2016 at 12:20 pm   This post has 3 responses.

Stone Moving

“Old School” That is how a man from the local quarry described my methods of lifting and moving stones. I use no machinery more complicated than a pair of wooden timbers – “shears” – lashed together with hemp rope, and a block and tackle or, at most, a “come-along,”...

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Posted by on November 7, 2016 at 9:45 am   This post has 5 responses.

The HORROR (II)

Halloween could not be better timed in terms of horticultural nightmares for the Western New York gardener. It’s a wet, gray time; leaves are falling, perennial foliage is shriveling, and outdoor tasks are undertaken in an atmosphere of chilly reluctance. Welcome to my world of fright and despair. Ugh...

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 at 10:21 am   This post has 6 responses.

Turning a City Corner into a Garden

I got really tired of looking at this weedy corner, just a block from my home. A city-owned spot, it was filled with poison ivy, English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, and volunteer shrubs impeding driver visibility. So in August I began The Great Clean-up, which yielded a ginormous pile of...

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Posted by on October 28, 2016 at 8:56 am   This post has 11 responses.

This is the other thing I like about David Austin roses

On Saturday, my stylist was showing me her long hedge of Knock Outs (various colors, don’t know the type) in front of her house and I have to admit I was a bit jealous. She then remarked that she needed to “cut them all back,” and I tried to...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on October 25, 2016 at 9:41 am   This post has 4 responses.

We have a winner!

Congratulations, Chris Bosacki! I will be contacting you via email. Thanks for playing, everybody! Some great tips, too, like: -planting grape hyacinths, which throw out a few green leaves in fall, as a reminder not to dig up existing bulbs -plant a wall of daffodils around a tulip bed...

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Posted by on October 20, 2016 at 8:02 am   This post has Comments Off on We have a winner!.

Gifts of Autumn

In temperate climates, autumn showers us with a cornucopia of visual stimulation before we enter the season of dormancy. Here are some of my favorite examples of this season’s gifts of beauty.             What do you appreciate most about your garden in autumn?

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on October 18, 2016 at 11:26 pm   This post has 5 responses.

Here come the bulbs—and a GIVEAWAY

I did it again. Slightly over 1,000 bulbs have either arrived or are on their way to my smallish urban property. By far the majority of them are tulips that will mostly be planted in big pots, but there are also 50 tazetta, 200 hyacinths, and various narcissus, erythronium,...

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Posted by on October 18, 2016 at 9:21 am   This post has 36 responses.

Remedial Gardening

My wife Suzanne and I used to have our best fights in the garden. I don’t remember her actually throwing a trowel at me, but on several occasions I’m sure she came close. I’m also sure it was my fault. I had an idea that we would garden together....

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Posted by on October 17, 2016 at 9:32 am   This post has 14 responses.

Are You Afraid of Gardens and Nature?

Most of us know that gardens and nature are good for us. And good for our children, too. Dirt is healthy for kids, but forcing them outdoors does not work the way it once did. Baby boomers, as youngsters, got kicked out of the house after breakfast. We weren’t...

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Read related articles in: Ministry of Controversy, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 12, 2016 at 7:50 am   This post has 11 responses.

How I stopped worrying and learned to accept hydrangeas the way they are now

If I was bitter, I’d say that the industry has done its best to destroy hydrangeas, at least the macrophyllas I used to buy, with their deep, true colors. I can’t find the two brilliant pink macrophyllas I bought many years ago—‘Alpenglow’ and ‘Princess Beatrix’—at any nursery anywhere these...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on October 6, 2016 at 8:39 am   This post has 4 responses.

Fall Planting

Many of us are already putting away our spades, but if you do, you’ll miss the best planting season of the year. Spring – the classic planting season – may be superior for most vegetables and annuals, but for woody plants – trees and shrubs – and container-grown perennials,...

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Posted by on October 3, 2016 at 10:53 am   This post has 7 responses.

Lawn-Less Solutions in my Townhouse Garden

You’ve seen Part 1 of the Garden Clips videos of my garden and now Part 2 is up! In this tour of my back garden I opined a bit about lawn reduction, and of course the plants I use instead. Scroll down for a bit more about the plants mentioned....

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, Watch Someone Else Do It
Posted by on September 30, 2016 at 8:30 am   This post has one response.

Bulb mistakes I have known and now avoid

In a world gone crazy, I am relieved to turn part of my focus to my favorite fall activity: bulb planting and forcing. I’m no horticultural expert (though I do play one on the radio sometimes), but bulbs are my thing, and here’s what I got: Don’t plant too...

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Posted by on September 27, 2016 at 8:19 am   This post has 2 responses.

Leaf Morphology is Surprisingly Marvelous

I recently attended this tour at the U.S. Botanic Garden, despite my doubts that the topic of leaf structures – leaf morphology – would be marvelous, as promised, but darned if it wasn’t! I maintain my skepticism that a talk by another expert could put me to sleep but...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Public Gardens
Posted by on September 23, 2016 at 12:16 pm   This post has one response.

Gardening via Groupon

Drinks are not included. For the past few years, I’ve been seeing Groupon offers for Paint Nites, where (usually) a bunch of people get together and make a painting with an instructor. At first, they seemed to be singles events, often held in bars, but more recently I have...

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Posted by on September 20, 2016 at 7:37 am   This post has 4 responses.

My Townhouse Garden on Video!

Readers may remember my post about a guy who grew up blocks from my home and is now a videographer in New Haven, CT.  For fun, this son of a landscape architect and gardener himself makes videos about plants and gardens, usually featuring the director of the botanic garden...

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Posted by on September 16, 2016 at 6:28 am   This post has 3 responses.

The Season’s Last Hurrah and a Surprising New Beginning

  There are a few weeks left in my long, fitful gardening season. I will be busy trying to nail those lingering mischievous weeds. (How can I miss weeds, that I pass every day, with seed heads the size of Big Ben?) At the end of September I’ll put...

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Posted by on September 14, 2016 at 9:41 am   This post has 30 responses.

Cool Corpse Flower Time-Lapse

From the U.S. Botanic Garden.

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on September 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm   This post has one response.
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