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The Assistants

My fair city of Saratoga Springs, NY really feels like a city in the Adirondack woods. We are very close to the southeastern border of the Adirondack Park, and the city is old enough so that there are numerous giant trees along the streets and in the yards.  Many of them are evergreens.  So when it […]

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 13, 2013 at 11:10 am   This post has 13 responses.

Double lilies—what do we think?

Late summer flowers are hard to come by around here. Dahlias and zinnias don’t do well in my conditions, so in August I get by with roses, rudbeckia, buddleia, phlox, the ever-blooming hydrangeas, and plenty—plenty!—of annuals. By this time of year, the only lilium blooming in my garden are...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on August 12, 2013 at 7:05 am   This post has 15 responses.

How to Win Friends and Influence the Environment: Put on a Garden Tour

Garden tours don’t have to be about conventional garden aesthetics; they can also teach tour-goers to be better stewards of their land, while creating more beauty for them and their community. So in that spirit, I’m organizing a garden tour for my town, one with a theme – Less...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on August 9, 2013 at 8:43 am   This post has 18 responses.

Smart Remarks from the Seasonal Department, or How to Not Get Promoted at the Big Box Retailer

Following years of selling to and then working for independent garden centers and landscapers, I went to work for a mass merchandizer – the seasonal department of Home Depot, the other half of the retail horticulture industry.  It was a great place to try out comedic patter, or just...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on August 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm   This post has 22 responses.

How Flora Grubb and an Airport DJ Saved My Soul

I never saw it coming. Flora Grubb, the pioneering urban gardener and style maven, convinced me—to my great relief—that the Millennial Generation is beginning to shop for plants. Meanwhile DJ Juice proved that airports needn’t be a gauntlet of unending insult. I’d never heard of Flora Grubb and might...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on July 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm   This post has 12 responses.

Seen at the “OFA Short Course”

Welcome to the business side of gardening – the trade show!  First let’s get the name out of the way first – because what kind of name for a trade show is “OFA Short Course”?  See, it started 85 years ago as the Ohio Florist Association show, but it...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening
Posted by on July 26, 2013 at 9:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

Rant on the Road: Garden Bloggers Conference in Atlanta

    Hey people!  Like the sign says I’ll be speaking at a new conference for garden bloggers, put on by the same people who have been hosting a very successful design bloggers conference for several years.  They’ve invited not just speakers from the garden and horticulture world, but...

Read more in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 24, 2013 at 10:09 am   This post has 2 responses.

Totally Silly?

Like most of humanity, I am a largely inexplicable and highly individual mixture of profligacy and frugality.  I think I should only wear the nicest Italian shoes, which are no longer affordable for the middle class.  So I wait like a cat in the bushes watching a bird, until they...

Read more in: Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on July 23, 2013 at 6:20 am   This post has 28 responses.

Monday peeves

It was a beautiful weekend and I spent most of it outside weeding, planting, deadheading, and enjoying the scent of oriental lilies. So what do I have to complain about? Not much, just this: A bag of mulch by any other name What’s in this? I like the stuff;...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on July 22, 2013 at 8:53 am   This post has 6 responses.

Okay, I Love Columbus!

Invited to visit Columbus during its really big gardening trade show and then shown a fabulous time in their clean, beautiful city, how could I not write good things about it? I’d never taken part in a “press junket” before and planned to decline them – if ever asked...

Read more in: Grab Bag, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on July 19, 2013 at 12:31 pm   This post has 12 responses.

See the Documentary “Wonder: The Lives of Anna and Harlan Hubbard” if You Can

Anna and Harlan Hubbard may not be names familiar to most readers. But if you have ever thought dreamily of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment, forsaking the “slavery of time” and roughing it on Walden Pond, you might like to know a bit more about the Hubbards. For over 40...

Read more in: Guest Rants, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Winterthur in Summer

The Winterthur Garden (okay, and museum and library) in Wilmington, DE is an easy day-trip for me, but I’d never seen it until last month.  The reason?  I thought it was just for spring.  Famously so, of course, because it’s a garden with the big idea of being a...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 12, 2013 at 8:35 am   This post has 4 responses.

The Attack of the Himalayan Blackberry

I’ve almost staunched the bleeding. The crimson crosshatches etched across my forearms don’t sting much, but they look impressive.  I was just practicing some close quarter combat with that tasty rascal of the Pacific Northwest, perhaps our yummiest weed, nature’s barbed wire, your friend and mine: the Himalayan Blackberry!...

Read more in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 11, 2013 at 7:23 am   This post has 12 responses.

Really Good News is Everywhere

In case you missed it: Cornell is breeding better broccoli, which is to say that it will be higher in nutrients and will grow in a wider range of climates.  Apparently y’all don’t get very good broccoli on the East Coast–is this true?  I had no idea.  The things...

Read more in: Uncategorized
Posted by on July 10, 2013 at 6:37 am   This post has 2 responses.

Unsung anti-heroes

No one will be surprised that I was seduced by the beguiling rhetoric of Plant Delights owner Tony Avent when I ordered this plant (above): We were thrilled to find yet another in the overlooked genus boehmeria that makes a great garden specimen. The deciduous Boehmeria platanifolia makes a...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 8, 2013 at 6:55 am   This post has 7 responses.

Why Is This Woman Writing About Tulips Now?

I am at least a month late to be doing this post, and everybody sensible forgot about his or her tulips long ago.  But not me.  They were particularly astonishing this spring, probably because I planted them in such a fog of misery last fall, I don’t even remember...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on July 2, 2013 at 5:59 am   This post has 32 responses.

Won’t get fooled again

Increasingly, entire sectors of the plant world have become invisible to me. They cluster in colorful masses on garden center tables, but I walk by without a glance. When I first started gardening, I thought I was limited only by hardiness zones, and believed every “part sun” claim on...

Read more in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on July 1, 2013 at 8:00 am   This post has 32 responses.

The Fortress Look in Deer Fencing

Guest Rant by Wendy Kiang-Spray I mean, I get it…but I don’t really get it. The lawn is meticulously manicured, the stonework beautiful, and within the lovely iron garden gate (topped by an additional 4 feet of deer netting), the lilies are tall and happy, the shrubs lush and...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by on June 28, 2013 at 9:32 am   This post has 36 responses.

No Bad Yards

Guest Rant by Rebecca Sullivan I was just reading Billy Goodnick’s guest post, and I have to confess that by the end of it, I found myself annoyed. What bothered me is something that bothers me about a lot of garden writing, and that’s this element of judgment, that...

Read more in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Guest Rants
Posted by on June 27, 2013 at 6:24 am   This post has 22 responses.

Covering the ground isn’t enough

It took over ten years, but I’ve finally banished the last patch of pachysandra from my garden. It lingered on in front of the house, which is dominated by tree roots and deep shade. I knew it would present a terrifying replanting ordeal—and it did—and I was a bit...

Read more in: Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on June 24, 2013 at 7:02 am   This post has 6 responses.
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