Celesta McComas at the Salvisa, Kentucky post office

My Favorite Flower Show

  We got tipped-off about Celesta McComas’s flower show last year at Thanksgiving dinner. My wife Rose told Bobbie Ann Mason that we lived, part-time, in Salvisa, KY. Bobbie Ann lives a few miles away in Lawrenceburg. Clearly suffering from separation anxiety, Bobbie Ann confessed that Celesta had moved the flower show to the Salvisa […]

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on May 27, 2015 at 7:20 am   This post has 11 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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on May 22, 2015 at 7:15 am   This post has 14 responses.

Saving Spiders

Last year, I was organizing my new home and found myself in the bathroom doodad aisle of the local “everything” store, holding a blue glass jar with a fitted glass lid. It was just the type of item I usually talk myself out of buying. Years of decluttering have...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on May 20, 2015 at 1:52 am   This post has 22 responses.

It wouldn’t be spring without them

Gardeners give up on tulips for good reasons. They’re prime deer food, coming at a time at the end of winter when I suppose the creatures are extra hungry. The hybrids don’t reliably perennialize, generally faltering and disappearing after two or three years. The foliage is unattractive as it...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on May 19, 2015 at 8:30 am   This post has 6 responses.

Scenes from the Georgetown Garden Tour

I recently attended the Georgetown Garden Tour in DC’s toniest neighborhood to find out how the other half gardens spends money on their yards, and naturally I have some comments about all that. Let’s start with the estate above, which was built as a home for the son of...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on May 15, 2015 at 7:58 am   This post has 15 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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on May 8, 2015 at 6:41 am   This post has 19 responses.

Two-wheeled tractors

The most useful, and versatile, gardening tool I own is my two-wheel BCS tractor.  This Italian-made tractor was designed for small farms in hilly areas areas where riding on a tractor risks a roll-over, so with a BCS you walk behind the tractor, steering it with handle bars.   It...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on May 7, 2015 at 2:16 pm   This post has 6 responses.

How I Spent My Spring

Spring is always a whirlwind. Here are some things I’ve been doing lately in my 2-year-old garden. Feeling grateful and extremely lucky that the previous owner of this land planted trees decades ago, and now I get to live with them. Planting young trees, looking forward to watching them...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on May 6, 2015 at 3:49 am   This post has 6 responses.

Not so smug in a beautiful, hard-won country garden

Of the thirteen-plus acres they own in the exurban wilds of outer Hamburg in Western New York, Mike and Kathy Shadrack garden only about three and a half, but these cultivated areas represent hard-fought victories wrung from continuing struggles with shade, slopes, rocky soil, and hungry animals. The Shadracks’...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on May 4, 2015 at 8:31 am   This post has 7 responses.

New Arboretum Director is Everyone’s Choice

The 446-acre treasure in an unloved part of Washington, D.C. that is the National Arboretum has seemed down on its luck these last few years.  It had a short-term director (not a plant person), then several acting directors, and worst of all, a two-year cutback on public hours to just...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on May 1, 2015 at 6:20 am   This post has 10 responses.

Fiskers winners!

Congratulations Gail Eichelberger, Sally Maguire, Christopher 41, Erin Ellis, and Susankro. (I used the best/most identifiable name I could find in the comment.) All 5 of you have won your choices of pruner, lopper, or shears. I will be emailing you. Thanks for playing everybody! It was interesting to...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on April 28, 2015 at 9:00 am   This post has 4 responses.

Spring prep, gardening on the radio and—a giveaway

When I was asked by our local NPR station to do a series on Buffalo gardens and gardening, of course I was happy to help out (i.e., this is a nonpaying gig, like so many I have). My first segment will be on early garden prep, which is still...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: GardenRant Airwaves, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 28, 2015 at 7:52 am   This post has 66 responses.

From FFA Superstar to Botanic Garden Spokesman

I recently met the new public affairs officer for the U.S. Botanic Gardens and when I found out his degree is in agricultural communications, I had to find out more. Devin Dotson grew up in a small rural town in northwest Alabama, where his family grew their own vegetables...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on April 24, 2015 at 8:04 am   This post has 13 responses.

The Theosophic Turtle

Adam Turtle may have been restless at times, but I doubt he has ever struggled much with boredom. The résumé of the Tennessee nurseryman and farmer is not a record of a dull life. Turtle has been “a boy scout, cowboy, fisherman, truck driver, chef, homeless bum, woodworker, sculptor,...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on April 22, 2015 at 7:15 am   This post has 4 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...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on April 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm   This post has 32 responses.

The Art of Digging and Where we Learn It

Avid gardeners, I bet you love your tools as much as I do, especially the ones for digging. Gloves I buy by the dozen but digging tools I expect to last forever, which of course they don’t. I recently destroyed my long-handled shovel by treating it like it was...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on April 10, 2015 at 8:22 am   This post has 19 responses.

There’s Hope for Urban Design

‘Tis the season of garden seminars. Recently I participated in a thought-provoking one-day seminar on the theme of bringing nature into our cities. I spoke about hellstrip gardens, but a couple of the other speakers addressed larger-scale landscapes. After seeing their photos and hearing about so many projects that...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on April 8, 2015 at 2:03 am   This post has 9 responses.

On Lady Bird Johnson, Beauty, and Tulips v. Daffodils

 Photo by John Taylor.  Title: Lady Bird’s Gift Another great column by John Kelly for the Washington Post – this time about Lady Bird Johnson’s “beautification” program. Lady Bird’s beautification campaign started in the spring of 1965. She was involved with a group called the Society for a More...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on March 27, 2015 at 8:26 am   This post has 14 responses.

The Other Garden

  A person’s relationship with a garden can be one of the most profound relationships we can have. Just as profound as the ones we have with our husbands, our wives, our children. A connection with a garden can be like the one we have with a lover –...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Public Gardens, Real Gardens
Posted by on March 25, 2015 at 12:12 am   This post has 31 responses.

Seasonal survival strategies

By now we northeasterners are aware—though not surprised—that the first few days of “spring” aren’t bringing much relief. Snow cover is still receding, temps are still minimal, and it seems incredible that within weeks we’ll be seeing daffodils and hellebores. Here’s how I get through the last dreary gasps...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 23, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 8 responses.
« Previous        |        Next »
  • Follow Garden Rant

    Follow Me on Pinterest RSS