Ask a Designer: Favorite Shrubs

Cotinus ‘Royal Robe.’ Photo by Barbara Katz. For my first Ask a Designer post the question targeted groundcovers. This time it’s shrubs and I asked another fabulous designer about her favorites. Barbara Katz of London Landscapes in Bethesda, Maryland responded that she has “great respect” for these shrubs. (Here’s some of Barbara’s work.) With deciduous shrubs there […]

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Posted by on July 6, 2016 at 7:57 pm   This post has Comments Off on Ask a Designer: Favorite Shrubs.

I Aspire to Buffalo-Style Gardening

Elizabeth’s recent post about the new term “Buffalo-style gardening” got me thinking. The style is said to be characterized by gardening not landscaping, man-made objects, and less lawn, but to me there’s more to this, my favorite style of gardening ever. I ‘d add to the list: color and lots of...

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Posted by on June 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm   This post has Comments Off on I Aspire to Buffalo-Style Gardening.

Ask a Designer: What’s a Good Ground Cover for Shade?

Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ with Narcissus ‘Thalia’-imp. When a local Yahoo group was asked for ground cover recommendations for shade, these plants were suggested: Ajuga, Hosta, Pachysandra (native and nonnative), Epimedium, and Lily of the Valley, ferns, Hellebore, “some phlox, some carex,” Dicentra (bleeding heart), Sedum ternatum, Tiarella, Acorus,...

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Posted by on June 3, 2016 at 8:18 pm   This post has Comments Off on Ask a Designer: What’s a Good Ground Cover for Shade?.

#TBT What’s Invasive? Telling People What They Can’t Plant In Their Yards

The debate over invasive species won’t go away any time soon. We’re sure that many would still have issues with Rant co-founder Michele Owens views on flag iris and other problem plants. This post is from July, 2009. I have very strong ideas about how a civilized society behaves. ...

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Posted by on March 24, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has Comments Off on #TBT What’s Invasive? Telling People What They Can’t Plant In Their Yards.

The Payoff

For wildlife gardeners — including those who want to support pollinators — certain plants promise a bigger payoff. Shrubs are one category of plant that often deliver more rewards for less effort. They are larger than a perennial and can produce many more blooms per plant. Since they are...

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Posted by on March 16, 2016 at 2:31 am   This post has 4 responses.

#TBT: GardenRant Takes Over the World

Dear readers: We’re fast approaching the 10th anniversary of GardenRant’s arrival on the web – June 13, 2016. So to start the celebrations, we’re posting oldies but goodies – for Throwback Thursday. GardenRant wasn’t announced here, though – no one would have found it on its first day. Co-founder Amy Stewart made...

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Posted by on March 10, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has 10 responses.

When The Aster Hitched a Ride

I received a letter from Raydon (pronounced RAYd’n) Alexander 25 years ago. A passalong plant was on the road to distinction. January 15, 1991 Dear Mr. Bush, I am taking the liberty of sending you an aster that should, I think, be more widely distributed. I can see from...

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Posted by on March 9, 2016 at 7:51 am   This post has 12 responses.

Wild means wild

The season is almost upon us here in Western New York. Snowdrops came and went in early February, though I see just a few late bloomers emerging—they might be some fancy hybrids I put in last September. I don’t bother with crocuses, but do expect plenty of lesser-used ephemerals—like...

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Posted by on March 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm   This post has 5 responses.

How to Have a Flowering Lawn

Last week I spotted the first snow crocuses (Crocus chrysanthus) and snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) opening their flowers in my lawn — they are just one of the benefits of the fine fescue grasses that I grow as turf. These grasses are the basis of the “no-mow” lawns that you...

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Posted by on March 7, 2016 at 7:44 am   This post has 9 responses.

It’s the Year of Garden-Park Connections

Have you heard that 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service? Well, here’s the press release, and here’s Find Your Park, a growing collection of stories about people connecting with the parks. (The connection is easy for Michelle Obama – she lives in one, and has...

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Posted by on March 4, 2016 at 9:01 am   This post has 6 responses.

Trump, a Cabbage Palm or Sassafras

I had no idea it was National Margarita Day. A Sanibel Island waitress mentioned it to us a few weeks ago. I was trying to focus on palm trees, but Donald Trump, his outsize ego and disturbing pretense, wouldn’t go away. I ordered a margarita. My aunt and brother-in-law...

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Posted by on March 3, 2016 at 10:29 am   This post has 19 responses.

And then—finally—there was one

When we bought our house twenty-three years ago, what I knew about gardening would not have filled a seed packet. I did know early spring flowers were an antidote for winter blahs, so I planted a big sack of snowdrops under the sugar maple. The blooms would be visible...

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Posted by Joanna Brichetto on March 1, 2016 at 11:49 am   This post has 12 responses.

Garden Flags with Shibori and Permanent Dye

The last time I posted about making garden flags you saw them dyed with Rit and then stenciled with acrylic paints. All 66 flags of them will hang in my front yard and screen my view of a parking lot. There’s another screening problem in my back yard, and this time...

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Posted by on February 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm   This post has 12 responses.

European Garden Travels with Carolyn

If I ever go on a European garden tour, I’ll choose one that features gardens that are interesting to American gardeners and designers and about gardening today, not the usual tour of gardens that are over 100 years old. It might be a tour designed and led by garden...

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Posted by on February 19, 2016 at 8:35 am   This post has 2 responses.

New Views

As part of a home renovation project, I’m having a few windows replaced. It’s a great time to be thinking about windows because my new garden is still in its formative stages. When I’m indoors, I like to stand or sit right next to a window and drink in...

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Posted by on February 17, 2016 at 1:46 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Sustainable Cow Pots for Better Garden Plants

The best kind of sustainability is to take a waste product and turn it into a valuable resource; to turn garbage, as it were, into gold. There’s a farm family in northwestern Connecticut doing just that these days, and in the process it’s also creating an opportunity for gardeners....

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Posted by on February 15, 2016 at 9:28 am   This post has 21 responses.

My Granddaughter and I Take On Johnny Appleseed

As a young boy, I would have chosen a gumdrop tree over an apple tree any day. Baked apples, applesauce and candied apples were my answer to An Apple a Day. Any apple coated with sugar was worth sampling. My mother would throw a fresh apple into my lunch...

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Posted by on February 10, 2016 at 8:06 am   This post has 19 responses.

Catching up with Dr. A

It’s been a while! Horticulturalist, professor, breeder, and—as we know him best—author of Herbaceous Perennial Plants and many other standard texts on garden plants, Allan Armitage, has been absent from our blog pages for a couple years. I was happy to hear that he was the featured speaker at...

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Posted by on February 8, 2016 at 10:38 am   This post has 3 responses.

Plants for crazy sports fans? Sure, why not?

Mums potted up in Ravens and Redskins containers for that special football-plant lover in your life? Okay, not necessarily those teams – these were exhibited at a Baltimore trade show – but logos of winning teams are also available, and for college teams. They’re being marketed by a company called Sporticulture, started...

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Posted by on February 5, 2016 at 8:30 am   This post has 2 responses.

Home-Canned Tomatoes: A Tantalizing Taste of Nature in Winter

You may remember I’m an ultra-beginner at canning. Luckily, I am learning from my sister, who has spent years learning from others and experimenting to perfect her own techniques. Not to mention she has a large kitchen stocked with all the necessary equipment. So I give you Ultra-Beginner Tip...

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Posted by on February 3, 2016 at 2:09 am   This post has 12 responses.
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