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Batman and Poison Ivy’s Leaves

The weeds and botanical inaccuracies have also entered the world of comics. In 1966, Batman had a new nemesis, Poison Ivy, a botanist turned bad. (Brilliant!, says the botanist and author of this blog.) The poison ivy plant is one of the most obnoxious weeds of North America. Issue 181 of DC comics Batman, introducing […]

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Posted by Lena Struwe on January 16, 2014 at 6:16 am   This post has 8 responses.

Tale of a Strawbale Raised Bed

One year, three friends and I decided to make a vegetable garden together. It would be built on one of our properties in the suburbs west of Minneapolis, and all of us would help maintain it and share in the harvest. We built the garden in a mowed area...

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Posted by on January 15, 2014 at 2:54 am   This post has 32 responses.

Slow and local in winter: I grow them myself

Yes, I’ve seen all the winter bouquets that people are creating with seedpods, evergreen foliage, berries, rose hips, pinecones, interesting twigs and so on. Indeed, one of our good friends, Debra Prinzing, is the queen of this movement. The winter arrangements that she and others create are beautiful, and...

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Posted by on January 13, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 6 responses.

Eastern Gardener ISO Desert Plants

One of the many press releases coming my way recently was from High Country Gardens, and I found myself wanting all of its new introductions, especially the Salvias.  Loved by hummingbirds but NOT by deer or rabbits!  But then I read this quote from David Salman, the company’s chief horticulturist,...

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Posted by on January 10, 2014 at 11:08 am   This post has 13 responses.

Wintering Over in the Garden Center

Business is slow.  This is the reason some garden centers here in Massachusetts close until April, but there is so much to do here before then.  In between selling carts of wood and the occasional orchid or pot of paper whites, while we water what’s left of the rosemary...

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Posted by Janet Belding on January 9, 2014 at 6:52 am   This post has 11 responses.

The Joy of Giving: To Seek and to Share a Little Crab Apple

Another season of binge shopping and Bourbon balls has come to an end. Credit cards and waistlines have been stretched. Good luck if you made New Year’s resolutions to make amends for holiday excesses. But don’t worry if your good intentions fall by the wayside before April Fools’ Day....

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Posted by on January 8, 2014 at 5:42 am   This post has 7 responses.

Hey, Pantone! Roy G. Biv called; he wants his rainbow back.

Color trending is silly by definition, but it’s a way to make a living. I have followed Pantone’s (and Color Marketing Group’s) successive “colors of the year” for over a decade now. Every year, a color—with maybe a secondary color—is picked, and then touted among home design and fashion...

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Posted by on January 6, 2014 at 7:54 am   This post has 17 responses.

2013 in my Garden and my Town

Following Elizabeth’s lead, I’m celebrating the year-end with a round-up of the yay’s and boo’s from my garden in its first full year and what’s happening in my adopted town of Greenbelt, Maryland. YAY:  The perennials in my garden are filling in nicely, and where they haven’t, I used...

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Posted by on January 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm   This post has 11 responses.

2013: It was a year

Yay: I finally can have my vegetables and eat them too. A box of local, organically grown food is delivered to our door every week. We can also go out to the farm once in a while and load up on chickens, excess corn, even flowers. The food-growing thing...

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Posted by on December 30, 2013 at 8:45 am   This post has 13 responses.

Merry Christmas from the White House!

From a recent visitor to the  White House, to be more precise.  Yes, that’s me standing beneath the presidential seal (major photo-op), and on the left is the grand north entrance.  If I’d planned ahead and contacted my congressman I could have taken the White House tour with the...

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Posted by on December 25, 2013 at 8:29 am   This post has 3 responses.

Garden in a gun

While some conspiracy theorists believe that shadow organizations such as the Illuminati or the New World Order or the American military-industrial complex are heck-bent on taking over our lives, ProfessorRoush has long suspected that marketing groups are the real shadow organizations that will bring about the downfall of civilization.  After all, they’ve already convinced...

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Posted by on December 23, 2013 at 7:48 am   This post has 15 responses.

Overpriced, useless, or just plain bizarre: an anti-garden gift guide

Inspired by the wonderful Haters Guide to The Williams Sonoma Catalog, which you have no doubt enjoyed via its countless Facebook postings, here is a similar look at the world of garden-related mail order. Sadly, a) I am not even one millionth as funny, and b) the gardening world...

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Posted by on December 19, 2013 at 8:04 am   This post has 24 responses.

Garden Sage: One of my Signature Plants

Garden sage (Salvia officinalis) was one of the first useful plants I added to my first garden; my goal was to grow enough that I could use it fresh for Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. Fifteen years later, I’m on my third garden, and though it is brand new this...

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 at 2:48 am   This post has 24 responses.

No tree, no problem

Most years, we have the Christmas tree post here on Rant (here’s a great one); the topic is a source of mild controversy among gardeners, mainly because of the sustainability angle. It breaks down this way: Just buy a cut tree Trees are an agricultural product and buying from...

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Posted by on December 17, 2013 at 9:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

Serenity now

Who knew that this forward-thinking garden center was only 15 minutes or so from my house? Make no mistake, Western New York is relatively wealthy in excellent independent garden centers and seasonally open greenhouses. I never need to  visit the local big boxes. But Serene Gardens had not really...

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Posted by on December 12, 2013 at 9:01 am   This post has 4 responses.

My Life With George Bush, Gardener

There is the young boy, barefoot in the garden, gamely holding a long hoe, even if it is much too big for him. Who could have imagined? Did a young George Bush enjoy the garden? He never mentioned a word to me. This is a photo of my grandfather,...

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Posted by on December 11, 2013 at 8:14 am   This post has 3 responses.

Pink for a Girl

It was a shock to the senses, when I looked for a ‘Baby Shower’ gift recently, and found that the world had suddenly become divided into pale pink and powder blue – gender stereotyping clearly begins at birth. Clothes, toys and accessories were all sorted by colour into male...

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Posted by Jane Scorer on December 9, 2013 at 10:04 am   This post has 15 responses.

Made any of these “10 Terrible Mistakes”?

Seen on the Landscape Architect Network.   Click here for the other 9. Also seen at the Landscape Architect Network is this T-shirt.  A little sensitive, are we?

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Posted by on December 3, 2013 at 8:39 am   This post has 10 responses.

Evil, Frivolous Gardener!!!

I am ruining the world. Because I like pretty plants. Because I practice the dubious art of ornamental gardening. Yes – I admit it. I have planted non-native exotic species in my garden. I have planted them in gardens of others. I am one of those thoughtless, arrogant gardeners...

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Posted by on November 27, 2013 at 1:07 am   This post has 149 responses.

A Flower Show at the End of the World

Enjoy a photo-travelogue by our guest Rob Cardillo! This past October, I was lucky enough to attend Japan’s fourth annual Gardening World Cup set in Huis Ten Bosch  –  a slightly surreal, Dutch-inspired theme park complete with canals, windmills and stroopwafels.   Invited by the sponsors to come see one...

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Posted by Rob Cardillo on November 14, 2013 at 7:41 am   This post has 6 responses.
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