Allen and Rufus on Top  Hill 011115

Got to Scrape the Shit Right Off Your Shoes

It was cold in Louisville last week with morning lows near zero and daytime temperatures struggling to reach the 20s. Rufus had to do his business a half-dozen times each day. That meant I bundled up in four or five layers of clothing to go outside. There’s plenty in the garden to interest us both, […]

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 at 6:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

The winter interest battle …. continues

If there’s anything, I hate, it’s dragging out Rant posts.  My motto: Drop the post, then move on to another topic.  However, we’re leaving for St. Lucia tomorrow, and I have to lay down a post for Monday, or Susan will be mad at me (I’m secretly afraid of...

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Posted by on January 12, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 11 responses.

Favorite places in town, including my new garden

On a local blog I write I thanked Greenbelt Maryland for 3 fabulous years there this month.  Then I went on to post photos of my favorite places – none farther than a slow 10-minute walk from my house – with some commentary. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary by posting photos...

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Posted by on December 29, 2014 at 11:07 am   This post has 15 responses.

National Arboretum in November

Fans of the Arb know it’s gorgeous all year ’round.  November, for sure.  Here’s a quick Animoto video with the evidence.

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Posted by on December 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm   This post has one response.

A meadow’s tale

The first thing I did after I bought the farm was quit mowing the grass. The property is ten acres with a nice rolling aspect, some very good old trees, and a dark deep pond for fishing. The assortment of buildings include a Victorian farmhouse, a big party barn,...

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Posted by David McMullin on December 16, 2014 at 8:15 am   This post has 13 responses.

Deep-Rooted Wisdom for the Holidays

     I skipped Black Friday again this year. I shop at Christmastime only under duress, but as days grow shorter, my noose tightens. Yuletide suffocation draws nigh. There is no way I’m going to the mall, but I hate to be all Bah! Humbug! This year I found a holiday remedy to...

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Posted by on December 10, 2014 at 5:01 am   This post has 9 responses.

Swarthmore: One of the Most Beautiful Campuses in America

I first visited and fell in love with the Scott Arboretum, covering the entire campus of Swarthmore College, back in 2008 when I visited for a talk on lawn alternatives.  I finally made a return visit last month when I attended its annual Perennial Plant Conference, where some of the top...

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Posted by on November 20, 2014 at 6:07 am   This post has 8 responses.

Snow: Lessons in Perspective

Why is it that, after a snowfall, the landscape looks so much better, even if nothing has changed underneath? Snow offers the opportunity to view your garden with new perspective and insights that can make it more enjoyable in every season. When you hear the phrase “winter interest,” you...

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Posted by on November 19, 2014 at 12:51 am   This post has 6 responses.

Travels with Rufus

  John Steinbeck crossed the country with Charley in 1960. I rode to Louisville last month, from Pennsylvania, with Rufus. Steinbeck, who wrote Travels with Charley, made the road trip with his standard poodle in a camper truck. I took Rufus home in a rental car. I met Rufus...

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Posted by on November 12, 2014 at 7:01 am   This post has 10 responses.

Piling Leaves and Stacking Functions

There’s a permaculture concept called “stacking functions.” It refers to choosing strategies that have several benefits or accomplish multiple goals. Take, for example, a strategy I’m fond of: smothering lawn with fallen leaves to create new planting beds. I have done and will continue to do this in different...

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Posted by on November 5, 2014 at 5:34 am   This post has 36 responses.

The Monsters Among Us

Happy Halloween. I hope to really scare you. Because there ARE monsters. There are things that are truly frightening in our world, and we gardeners are on the front lines, either fighting these forces of evil, or being victimized by them. OR, we stand by and do nothing… and...

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Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm   This post has 76 responses.

Confessions of a Garden Conservancy Open Day Volunteer

Before I get to the confessions, a short tour of the four fabulous DC-area gardens open to the public through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Gardens Program.  (And thanks to local APLD VP Carolyn Mullet for making it happen.) The home and garden above and in the next three photos are modern in...

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Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 9:09 am   This post has 10 responses.

Sins of My Lawn: Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu

  I confess: I keep a lawn. Call me heathen. I know lawns are environmentally suspect, but mine doesn’t ask for much. I’ve applied nothing from the periodic table that screams Skull and Crossbones. And I won’t plow this spit of land for the sake of butterfly weeds or...

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Posted by on October 8, 2014 at 7:21 am   This post has 17 responses.

Urban prairie envy

I’m not the owner of this house, nor am I the designer of the pictured front yard, but I do admire  the knowledge,  commitment and creativity of whoever made this garden. I came across this house on a random trip around town while driving down a street that I...

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Posted by on October 6, 2014 at 7:48 am   This post has 39 responses.

Foliage watch

Leaf tourists had better get moving. My unscientific observations, based on a weekend trip south of Buffalo, indicate that peak—at least around here—seems days, rather than weeks away. We were surrounded by red and gold during the drive down and back from Ellicottville, New York, which is ski central...

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 at 8:24 am   This post has 3 responses.

Death Enhances a Garden

Death plays a significant role in my garden, and in so many ways, it makes the garden more interesting. Death provides comfort. I don’t routinely snip or snap off dead flower heads, not even the large dahlia blooms that stand on their stems brown and bedraggled for weeks. I...

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Posted by on September 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm   This post has 18 responses.

A hard act to follow

But at least he agrees with me on one of my most cherished gardening principles. I was privileged to be on the same bill with David Culp at Rochester’s Gathering of Gardeners on Saturday, and I can assure you that I was as entranced as the rest of the...

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Posted by on September 15, 2014 at 8:38 am   This post has 3 responses.

Late-Summer Scenes from DC

At the National Arboretum in late August: Joe-Pye Weed and Crapemyrtle blooming in the Gotelli Dwarf Conifer Collection. Behind a wildflower meadow, the Capitol Columns.  They once held up the U.S. Capitol. Around the Friendship House, plant and design ideas for residential gardens. In the National Gallery’s Scultpure Garden...

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Posted by on September 13, 2014 at 10:16 am   This post has Comments Off.

B&B Garden Attracts Customers

At least the tiny garden in front of the Royal Rose Inn in Rehoboth Beach, DE got this potential customer’s attention when I walked by it this week, and you better believe I’ll be staying there the next time I visit.  The garden said to me:  ”Fun place to stay!”...

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Posted by on September 5, 2014 at 9:36 am   This post has 3 responses.

Sensational

It’s a fact that botanical gardens have to keep on their toes to attract visitors throughout the year. Just as with art museums, a great collection is not enough.  In addition to the traditional special events, like orchid, mum, spring flower, coleus, and poinsettia shows, there must be model...

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Posted by on August 25, 2014 at 8:49 am   This post has 8 responses.
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