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My Year in Garden Visits

Posting on New Year’s Day is my excuse to share photos of some gardens I visited in 2015, shots not previously shown here on GardenRant. First, the fabulous Garden Blogger Fling in Toronto included everyone’s favorite modern garden, above. Flingers also admired this back garden we stumbled upon. In 2016 the Flingers will be gathering in […]

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 1, 2016 at 9:26 am   This post has 10 responses.

Resolving to become a better naturalist

They knew where to go for the first of everything: the first snowdrops, the first catkin, primroses, violets, forget-me-nots, wild roses, honeysuckle. These flowers appeared in turn on the nursery sills almost as soon as they appeared in the woods and fields. —The Priory, Dorothy Whipple  “I should fall...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on December 29, 2015 at 7:57 am   This post has 19 responses.

The Master Logger and the Hay Rake in the Walnut Tree

  There is an abandoned fencerow on our Salvisa, Kentucky, farm. It’s marked clearly. A dozen black walnut trees Juglans nigra grow in a straight line, running up a small hill toward the rising sun. A generation ago, squirrels stored thousands of walnuts and forgot about them. The trees,...

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Read related articles in: But is it Art?, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on December 23, 2015 at 8:36 am   This post has 7 responses.

Post-solstice meander

This post is the first of several looking back/moving forward surveys—a process I always enjoy at this time of year. Although it’s been unusually mild—so much so that I think I may finally get to clearing out some weedy areas behind the house—it’s therapeutic to look back on the...

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Posted by on December 22, 2015 at 10:02 am   This post has 3 responses.

Prayer Flags in My Garden

Does your garden have a focal point you’d rather not see, one that’s not on your property so you can’t change it? I do – a neighbor’s storage area – but co-op rules prevent me from blocking it with, say, a lattice, and the space is far too small...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 18, 2015 at 7:39 am   This post has 12 responses.

Garden Ephemera

During this season of relative cold and darkness, I experience my garden in brief increments of time. I may take a brisk stroll through it on a windy day, or spend half an hour basking in a lawnchair during a calm, sunny afternoon, or work an hour here and...

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Posted by on December 16, 2015 at 3:45 am   This post has 8 responses.

Sticker shock

Raise your hand if you enjoy spending up to half an hour removing adhesive stickers from ceramic pots. No hands up? What a surprise. I have upgraded my game a bit for bulb forcing and no longer use the cheap (but not unattractive) Home Depot pots. One thing I’ll...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on December 15, 2015 at 7:25 am   This post has 9 responses.

Where Environmentalism Meets Public Health

Meet environmental activist Robert Zarr, shown here in a park in downtown D.C. He’s dressed for cycling because he rides his bike to work; his family as been car-free for 15 or so years. But what makes him an environmental activist isn’t cycling or his other outdoor pursuits; it’s...

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Posted by on December 11, 2015 at 8:07 am   This post has Comments Off on Where Environmentalism Meets Public Health.

The Conquest of Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu

Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu was toppled before first frost. A vital part of our garden has become a dog run.  Gone are the scree beds, replaced by sod. Rufus now rules the roost. Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu, conceived fifteen years ago by my good friend, the talented landscape architect...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 9, 2015 at 7:23 am   This post has 12 responses.

An Osage expose

Osage orange fruit. Hedge apples. Monkey brains. Maclura pomifera. Yellow-green, squiggly, hairy spheres the size of grapefruits. If these are underfoot on a fall hike, I guarantee someone will mention the purported insect and/or spider repellant properties of an Osage orange. Rumor has it that a few of these bowling balls...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Joanna Brichetto on December 7, 2015 at 7:56 am   This post has 16 responses.

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...

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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.
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