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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 four days a week since a […]

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 –...

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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...

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Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 23, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 8 responses.

Late Bloomers on CBS, and They’re Not Talking Asters

CBS Sunday Morning story this week did a story on late bloomers, which had me looking up from my newspaper expecting flowers.  Turns out, it was much more interesting, at least to this late bloomer. First up, reporter Susan Spencer introduced us to Carol Gardner who (in her 50s) started a...

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Read related articles in: Grab Bag
Posted by on March 20, 2015 at 9:26 am   This post has 3 responses.

Borrowing stones and scenery

Even in New England the snow is melting and soon I will be confronted with what the winter – and the plow truck – have done to my stone walls.  I take a particular pride in these, not because they are such beautiful specimens of the craft, but because...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on March 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm   This post has 11 responses.

They have gardens in Canada, too!

Just kidding. I’ve been enjoying my proximity to the cosmopolitan delights of Toronto and the beauties of Ontario’s Niagara region for decades, and now I invite fellow bloggers to do the same. The next Garden Bloggers Fling takes place June 5-8 in Toronto and environs. We’ll see gardens on...

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Read related articles in: Public Gardens, Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on March 9, 2015 at 5:24 am   This post has 15 responses.

Let us now praise evergreens

The more I garden, the more I want plants that look like something all year – namely evergreens.  Compared to the much flashier flowering plants, they’re pretty underwhelming at the garden centers but boy, do I appreciate them right about now. Take, for example, this scene just outside my...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on February 27, 2015 at 8:38 am   This post has 10 responses.

The Best Garden Show of All

I don’t enjoy ranting and would much rather rave — about, for example, the glorious iridescent slug traceries on the pavers of my courtyard this morning. However, that will have to wait for some future date, because today’s topic is home and garden shows. My tendency has been to...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening
Posted by on February 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm   This post has 14 responses.

Messy gardens—they’re a trend!

Trend reports are kind of trivial in the grand scheme of things—we can all agree on that. But they can also be interesting, entertaining, or both. Or maybe they just reinforce things we’d like to see happen, regardless if they really do or not. For example, I like to...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on February 16, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 15 responses.

The man for woody plants—Michael Dirr

The true celebrities of the world of horticulture don’t appear on HGTV or gladhand  at home and garden shows. They’re busy discovering new plants, undertaking research projects, and writing the reference books that form the backbone of every serious gardener’s library. I knew that Michael Dirr was considered the...

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Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on February 9, 2015 at 7:55 am   This post has 6 responses.

Tracking Tales

Garden wildlife reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then typically leave without communicating about what they have been up to.   Except in wintertime, when they leave a tale of tracks in the snow. I’m no great tracker, but with the help of my Peterson Field...

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Read related articles in: Grab Bag, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on February 5, 2015 at 8:59 am   This post has 8 responses.

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)...

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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.
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