milkweed4

Saving Seedlings, Saving the World

Recently I went camping near my new home in Boise. I sat down with a cup of coffee and a notebook in my campsite one morning, enjoying the trilling of a meadowlark and a view of natural scrubland as I pondered (this is one of my favorite activities). As my eyes roamed leisurely across the […]

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Lawn Reform, What's Happening
Posted by on May 20, 2014 at 11:52 pm   This post has 21 responses.

Doublefile Viburnum – One More Reason to Garden on a Neighbor’s Land

Continuing our theme of gardening on property not our own, it can be a city-owned patch along the street (as discussed here and here), or it could be a spot in a neighbor’s yard.  Thus, there seems to be no safe empty spot of land in my new neighborhood,...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on May 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm   This post has 14 responses.

The Joys of Curbside Gardening, and Groundcover Sedums

Hellstrip gardening is getting its due these days, thanks to Evelyn Hadden’s terrific new book on the subject, and Lauren Springer Ogden’s coining of the term in the first place.  And it starts a discussion about gardens that bring pleasure to not just the gardener, but the whole community. ...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Lawn Reform
Posted by on May 16, 2014 at 7:56 am   This post has 7 responses.

Kentucky King of Taros

  Poi, a traditional edible starch of the tropics, made from the ground corms of taro, can’t keep up with its popular starchy rivals—potato, corn and rice. But its ornamental qualities have come out of the shadows in the last ten years. The tropical plant, commonly known as elephant...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Eat This, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on May 14, 2014 at 6:38 am   This post has 9 responses.

Boxwoods? Bah!

ProfessorRoush would like to call down a pox on all garden authorities who have advocated various winter hardy boxwoods to be excellent landscaping plants. A further pox should descend on the big box stores who sell the cheapest boxwoods available and thus limit the selection of available cultivars to us. Boxwoods are everywhere these days....

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on May 12, 2014 at 8:18 am   This post has 39 responses.

House and Garden Porn from a Spring Tour

Last weekend I returned to my former home town, Takoma Park, MD, for their spring tour and left with one big take-away – that good-looking gardens are easier to achieve when they surround great-looking homes.  And Takoma is known for its gorgeous housing stock of Victorians and bungalows and...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on May 9, 2014 at 7:07 am   This post has 10 responses.

Sights and Sounds from the Porch I Finally Have

Recorded this morning from my favorite chair, which I’ll be using lots more when it gets buggy here in Maryland.

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on May 8, 2014 at 2:38 pm   This post has 8 responses.

That “New Plant” Experience

It is a joy to grow certain plants for the memories they invoke and the anticipation of their familiar scent, sight, taste, and other beloved qualities, as well as the pleasure of seeing them expand and perhaps self-propagate in our gardens. However, it is an equally delightful experience to...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on May 6, 2014 at 10:28 pm   This post has 8 responses.

A master of botanical accuracy

Just in time for local wildflower season (finally), the Burchfield Penney Art Museum is mounting a show of Charles Burchfield’s early botanical drawings. Along with them, they have the models made by another artist, Paul Marchand, who specialized in dioramas and other 3D displays for the local science museum’s...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on May 6, 2014 at 7:07 am   This post has 2 responses.

The Smiling Faces of Spring

SPRING!!! I am traveling to Brooklyn to do some garden business, and to see what spring looks like after a long, long winter. I am amazed at the pep in everyone’s step! Living for so long in Southern California, one takes the endless summer/spring for granted – but NOBODY...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: CRRRITIC, It's the Plants, Darling, Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on May 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm   This post has one response.

U.S. Botanic Garden ISO Executive Director

After 14 years at its helm, Holly Shimizu is leaving the U.S. Botanic Garden this week, retiring to a life of…to be determined.  (Wild guess – some gardening, and somehow pursuing her passion for conservation.)  She tells me there will be a national search for her replacement, so spread...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on April 29, 2014 at 8:19 am   This post has 3 responses.

RIP tulipa?

It looks like the deer won. I gave a talk at a suburban garden club last week, and, to a woman, all the gardeners there told me they don’t bother trying to grow tulips anymore. No matter what they do, the bulbs get eaten, as soon as they start...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 28, 2014 at 9:07 am   This post has 17 responses.

Hellstrip Gardening Highlights and Give-away

How could I NOT love Hellstrip Gardening?  The subject is fun and inspiring, and I’m a long-time fan of the author, too – the Rant’s own Evelyn Hadden  (whose earlier book about Beautiful No-Mow Lawns I reviewed here.) But this isn’t a “review.”  (They’re usually so boring!)  Instead, I...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Lawn Reform, Uncategorized
Posted by on April 25, 2014 at 9:09 am   This post has 94 responses.

Death Valley Days and the Discovery of Two New Plant Species

I had a fitful first day in Death Valley a few weeks ago. I felt like an apprehensive Spencer Tracy when he got off the train at Black Rock in the 1955 film Bad Day at Black Rock. Whereas Tracy was nominated for an Academy Award for his role,...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on April 23, 2014 at 7:12 am   This post has 6 responses.

The L word

Two days before Earth Day, my regular segment on our local NPR station was aired. I don’t come on as a gardening expert; I am part of a rotation of local editors and media types who chat about issues their publications are covering. We talked about gardening because my...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: GardenRant Airwaves, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on April 22, 2014 at 8:34 am   This post has 11 responses.

Immediacy and the Novice Gardener

by Guest Author Wendy Kiang-Spray I had a great neighbor who has since moved away. The first day we met him, he invited us over for empanadas. He and his wife were perfect neighbors for first-time homeowners to have. Old enough to know the neighborhood stories, young enough to...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Guest Rants, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 18, 2014 at 8:11 am   This post has 17 responses.

If I had a nickel for every garden cliché I’ve ever heard…

Guest Rant by Amy Campion Like thistles invading a garden, hackneyed phrases have seeded themselves into garden writing and need to be rooted out. They choke out good prose and distract from the message.  What’s more, they really irk me.  If you write about gardening, I beg you to...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Amy Campion on April 17, 2014 at 6:15 am   This post has 37 responses.

Wild within bounds

Believe it or not: After initially pouring some compost into the globular bottle, Latimer used a wire to carefully lower in a spiderwort seeding, and then added a pint of water to the mix. The bottle was sealed and placed in a sunny corner. Apparently, the bottle planting, started...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes
Posted by on April 14, 2014 at 8:23 am   This post has 3 responses.

Stop Tilling Your Vegetable Garden!

Guest Rant by Megan Cain I get why you till. There’s something in all of us gardeners that leaps with joy when we see a freshly tilled bed. That rich, dark, blank canvas beckons us to come on over and work our vegetable magic. We imagine ourselves gently planting...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants, Real Gardens
Posted by Megan Cain on April 10, 2014 at 7:30 am   This post has 22 responses.

Through the Hand Lens: Pat Haragan’s Steady View

I have dozens of floras sitting on cluttered bookshelves: from China to the Caucasus and from Kansas to Kentucky. Yet even more mileage is guaranteed from a new botanic investigation that covers territory closer to home—my neighborhood. I predict the pages of Pat Haragan’s “The Olmsted Parks of Louisville:...

Continue Reading

Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on April 8, 2014 at 5:06 pm   This post has 3 responses.
« Previous        |        Next »
  • Follow Garden Rant

    Follow Me on Pinterest RSS