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Gratitude in the Eye of this Storm

This week I’m in a flurry — finalizing talks, sending off handouts and invoices, and making the last travel arrangements for presentations at spring events across the country. It’s amazing to think ahead to April when, having logged dozens of hours in transit, I will (if all goes well) once again be able to lavish […]

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening
Posted by on February 4, 2015 at 4:54 am   This post has 5 responses.

Scotts Miracle-Gro, you can stop asking.

Dear readers, I went through my in-box and discovered some delicious hate-reading!  Ready? First, from somehow actually hired by Scotts Miracle-Gro to promote them, pasted below with commentary in brackets. Hi Susan, I’m reaching out on behalf of Scotts Miracle Grow to see if you have 30 minutes...

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Posted by on January 30, 2015 at 8:18 am   This post has 6 responses.

Winter Interest Battle, Round III: Revenge of the Bulbs

Over the last few posts, this discussion has partially devolved (in comments at least) into climate comparisons and other weather-related talk. Such is the nature of online conversations, but just to reiterate, I’m merely saying that for me, where I live, designing my outside garden for winter interest, as...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 25, 2015 at 11:17 am   This post has 16 responses.

Can Winter Feed a Gardener’s Soul?

Not to beat Elizabeth’s dead horse, but I am still pondering winter interest — and not just in dazzling snow-covered landscapes that most of us couldn’t reproduce in our own yards, though I am truly delighted for those of you who live near one or have made one (see...

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Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 21, 2015 at 3:28 am   This post has 20 responses.

Got to Scrape the Shit Right Off Your Shoes

It was cold in Louisville last week with morning lows near zero and daytime temperatures struggling to reach the 20s. Rufus had to do his business a half-dozen times each day. That meant I bundled up in four or five layers of clothing to go outside. There’s plenty in...

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 at 6:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

The winter interest battle …. continues

If there’s anything, I hate, it’s dragging out Rant posts.  My motto: Drop the post, then move on to another topic.  However, we’re leaving for St. Lucia tomorrow, and I have to lay down a post for Monday, or Susan will be mad at me (I’m secretly afraid of...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 12, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 11 responses.

Forcing Winter Interest

I have been thinking about Elizabeth’s post on The Myth of Winter Interest. Having spent 25+ years in Minnesota, and recently moved halfway across the country to (among other things) escape the relentless northern winter, I do identify with the urge to focus only on the indoor world during...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on January 7, 2015 at 7:46 am   This post has 19 responses.

The myth of winter interest

Winter gardening? Yes. Winter garden? Not so much. We hear a lot about “winter interest”—which has to be one of the saddest phrases of the gardening lexicon—in plant descriptions and recommendations. And while it’s true that there are plants that look fabulous in snow and freezing weather—red twig dogwood,...

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Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on January 5, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 24 responses.

Trees, In Memorium

A year has passed, and tonight we will usher in a new one. If there is a tree of life, tonight its trunk gets another ring. I was recently spending some quiet time in an old cemetery- not a funeral park, but an actual old cemetery – unplanned, diverse,...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm   This post has 24 responses.

2015: the year of the do-nothing garden

It’s a strange dichotomy. The sole reason I have a garden is so  I can enjoy its aesthetic and recreational benefits. My garden does not grow food, and it is not designed as a wildlife habitat (though they’re not discouraged). When I’m sitting in the garden, I may notice...

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Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 8:47 am   This post has 29 responses.

Favorite places in town, including my new garden

On a local blog I write I thanked Greenbelt Maryland for 3 fabulous years there this month.  Then I went on to post photos of my favorite places – none farther than a slow 10-minute walk from my house – with some commentary. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary by posting photos...

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Read related articles in: Grab Bag, Real Gardens
Posted by on December 29, 2014 at 11:07 am   This post has 15 responses.

National Arboretum in November

Fans of the Arb know it’s gorgeous all year ’round.  November, for sure.  Here’s a quick Animoto video with the evidence.

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm   This post has one response.

Sign me up for a green burial, and make it decades from now

I recently attended a viewing and discussion of Dying Green, a short documentary about conservation or “green” burial, which I’d never heard of before.  Here’s the trailer. I’d always thought burial plots had to look like this: During my lifetime, in the U.S., they did, though much earlier in...

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Read related articles in: Grab Bag
Posted by on December 18, 2014 at 8:39 am   This post has 7 responses.

Treasure the Winter Farmer’s Market

My heart goes out to urban dwellers with no access to a winter Farmer’s Market. Just as the twinkle lights on trees and houses offer comforting pinpoints of light in the dark winter nights, farm stands with freshly made products remind us that good local foods (not to mention...

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Read related articles in: Drink This, Eat This, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on December 17, 2014 at 12:50 am   This post has 11 responses.

A meadow’s tale

The first thing I did after I bought the farm was quit mowing the grass. The property is ten acres with a nice rolling aspect, some very good old trees, and a dark deep pond for fishing. The assortment of buildings include a Victorian farmhouse, a big party barn,...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by David McMullin on December 16, 2014 at 8:15 am   This post has 13 responses.

Presidentially appointed but unpaid landscape architects making our spaces better

Here in DC, big projects that affect the look of Washington and our enjoyment thereof must be approved by all sorts of agencies, but my favorite and the one I’ve seen make the most improvements through their review is the oddly named U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.  Its website...

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Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 12, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 4 responses.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Landscaping – Sinners Beware!

Guest Rant by Lori Hawkins Just as Dante identified the seven deadly sins in his Inferno, so we will explore the cardinal sins of the landscaping world.  Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride are all alive and well!  They will all be identified with examples of the...

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Posted by Lori Hawkins on December 11, 2014 at 7:21 am   This post has 19 responses.

Deep-Rooted Wisdom for the Holidays

     I skipped Black Friday again this year. I shop at Christmastime only under duress, but as days grow shorter, my noose tightens. Yuletide suffocation draws nigh. There is no way I’m going to the mall, but I hate to be all Bah! Humbug! This year I found a holiday remedy to...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 10, 2014 at 5:01 am   This post has 9 responses.

Meadow Day in Maryland

Meadows are HOT these days, thanks to anti-lawn sentiments, concern for pollinators, and some smart designers and plant researchers.  I encountered all of the above one day last month. University of Maryland at College Park First I attended a talk+tour at the University of Maryland about the meadows on...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Lawn Reform, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 5, 2014 at 9:44 am   This post has 7 responses.

Winter Soundscapes

Winter offers less visual stimulation. I find myself noticing smells and sounds more. Maybe it’s just that every little bit of sensory input is more important, there being less overall. For the most part, it is a season of quiet. Snow and fog muffle the sounds of vehicles. People...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on December 3, 2014 at 2:01 am   This post has 8 responses.
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