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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 many people like, including a whole […]

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 1, 2015 at 9:03 am   This post has 20 responses.

Perennials that won’t tolerate leaf mulches

In a recent post, Evelyn Hadden shared some very useful tips on how fall’s leaves can be used in the garden.   As a perennial enthusiast, I’d like to add a couple of caveats – a mulch of autumn leaves can be fatal to certain kinds of perennials. A mulch...

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Posted by on November 28, 2015 at 11:54 am   This post has 12 responses.

Watering tools I love, and why I hate the others

In honor of a day that doesn’t deserve it (the horrid Black Friday), here are some gift suggestions for the gardener on your list or your own list of wants. All my favorite gardening tools seem to be watering-related, and here are three that I recommend to anyone who’ll...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on November 27, 2015 at 8:24 am   This post has 27 responses.

Gratitude, like gardening, is good for you

As I just heard on an NPR report yesterday, being thankful is not just the thing to do at this time of year, gratitude actually has real health benefits, including reducing the possibility of heart disease. Well, I’m all for that! So here goes: I’m thankful that I live...

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Posted by on November 24, 2015 at 9:46 am   This post has 9 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.

Fall and Rebirth

Autumn is a sad yet beautiful season in my garden.  It brackets the anniversaries of my son’s life:  his birth in late fall and his death at age 18 at fall’s beginning.   I think of him often at this time of year but especially in the garden, which is...

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Posted by on November 19, 2015 at 10:51 am   This post has 9 responses.

Six Ways to Use Fallen Leaves in Your Garden

Got leaves? Use them to boost your garden’s soil and plant health, facilitate the design and creation of new planting beds, turn problem areas into productive ones, and save yourself labor and money, all while doing the green thing. Here are six rewarding, practical alternatives to raking leaves into...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on November 18, 2015 at 4:58 am   This post has 14 responses.

Gardening in the dark times

For years, I’ve been using gardening to ease the transition from the long, light days of spring, summer, and early fall to weeks when I leave the house before dawn and drive home at sunset. The idea is to stay in touch with growing things no matter what. I...

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Posted by on November 17, 2015 at 8:31 am   This post has 4 responses.

NWF’s terrible, no-good gardening advice goes viral

Somehow, the National Wildlife Federation’s 2014 blog post “Leave the Leaves for Wildlife” has gone viral this year, and not just on the Internet. Its popular chore-relieving advice is being repeated widely on television, too. Unfortunately, this part of the NWF’s advice hasn’t gone viral – the qualifier: A leaf...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on November 13, 2015 at 9:23 am   This post has 38 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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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on November 11, 2015 at 7:28 am   This post has 9 responses.

The question of permeable pavers and paving

Last week, I posted about a beautiful parking lot that is conserving trees and water. It’s the project of my friend Dave Majewski, who’s been pursuing green infrastructure and remediative landscapes for decades. (This year, Dave received the EPA’s Environmental Quality Award for his urban habitat project on Buffalo’s...

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Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on November 10, 2015 at 9:46 am   This post has 7 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.

A kinder, gentler parking lot

“Where are you going?” “I’m driving to Hamburg to look at a parking lot.” “Is it OK if I don’t go with you?” This marital exchange took place on a beautiful Saturday morning a couple weeks ago, before I set off for a suburban village about twenty miles south...

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Posted by on November 5, 2015 at 8:48 am   This post has 17 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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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
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.

While This Agave Gently Weeps

The agave is weeping because not only are we in a multi-year drought in California, now we are headed for a catastrophe of biblical proportions. EL NIÑO!!!!! (shrieks are heard in the distance) The warm waters in the Pacific will herald in unprecedented winter storms, and all sorts of...

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Posted by on October 28, 2015 at 3:31 am   This post has 26 responses.

A houseplant whisperer

Once again, writer Tovah Martin, author of The New Terrarium (reviewed here in 2009), goes where many gardeners fear to tread—within the confines of the average centrally heated American home. This is the threshold that—for many gardeners—forms an impenetrable barrier. “Plant cultivation stops here” may as well be on...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 26, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 6 responses.

A Satisfying Stack of Stones

Fresh from a class on dry (mortarless) stacked stone wall building, I am appreciating anew the many contributions of stone to a garden. Of course, I’ve already incorporated two stone patios and a couple of stepping stone paths into my new garden, courtesy of my good friend Jason at...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on October 21, 2015 at 10:11 am   This post has 12 responses.

How I learned to stop worrying and love gardening indoors

At some point, I have to admit that summer is over and last weekend was that point. As I was potting tulips and moving them into the garage, a few strange white flecks (I wouldn’t call them flakes) came drifting down as the sun shone brightly. This weird mixture...

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Posted by on October 20, 2015 at 9:45 am   This post has 5 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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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on October 14, 2015 at 7:04 am   This post has 2 responses.
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