The quick and dirty tricks of the yearly show gardener

Keep in mind that I’m not talking about gardens that are regularly visited by the public, via bus tours, Open Days, and appointments. Those are the real show gardens, and they don’t need to resort to subterfuge because they are maintained by dedicated owners (and sometimes staff) and they always look perfect. Garden Walk gardeners […]

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Posted by on July 25, 2017 at 10:00 am   This post has 5 responses.

Garden Update Five Years On

Since ripping out the turfgrass in my new townhouse garden in 2012, I’m still waiting for the turfless garden to look DONE, like Evelyn Hadden’s new garden seems to have done in barely a season. Here you see the front garden in late May, after the azaleas were done....

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Posted by on July 21, 2017 at 5:27 am   This post has 7 responses.

What is “cute”?

The other day, a visiting friend gasped when he saw a rat run across a corner of the suburban Connecticut yard where I garden during the week.  I shuddered when he told me.  I could guess what had drawn the creature:  we have a henhouse full of geriatric chickens...

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Posted by on July 17, 2017 at 10:43 am   This post has 4 responses.

Garden Bloggers take DC (area)

First, it must be stressed that I am not a good tour taker. I love looking at gardens, but I can enjoy a smaller garden pretty quickly, and then I’m done. I’m better in big public gardens, where you can keep moving and there’s always something different around the...

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Posted by on July 11, 2017 at 10:28 am   This post has 3 responses.

I’m a City Center Gardener

People in my town routinely pass this garden spot as they walk from the parking lot to the town center (appropriately named Roosevelt Center, since the town was built as a New Deal works and housing project). But walk a few more steps and just before reaching the Center you...

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Posted by on July 7, 2017 at 7:37 am   This post has 9 responses.

Mort Libby

Scott Beuerlein returns with another Guest Rant and pays tribute to one of the good ones. Somewhere back in the late 80s, I decided I knew more than at least half the landscapers out there and took that as a sign that it was time to start a side...

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Posted by Scott Beuerlein on July 5, 2017 at 7:58 am   This post has 9 responses.

Wildlife Encounters

I’ve posted before on this blog about the attraction of wildlife tracking in the garden.  Garden wildlife, I noted then, reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then typically leave without communicating about what they have been up to or what their plans are. Reading...

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Posted by on June 19, 2017 at 9:30 am   This post has 7 responses.

Garden show-offs and lawn proselytizing at a DC museum

Here’s one item not on the agenda for this month’s Garden Blogger’s Fling in Washington, DC, but I don’t plan to miss it: “Cultivating America’s Gardens,” at the National Museum of American History in Washington. It opened last month and is on view through August 2018, so there’s plenty...

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Posted by on June 8, 2017 at 7:51 am   This post has 2 responses.

Beach Landscape Hits and Misses

Some people go to the beach to enjoy the ocean. I do that (a bit) but mostly find myself looking at plants, at gardens. So in late May I walked down the boardwalk at Rehoboth, Delaware  and stopped to admire the cedar-shake homes and especially the windswept plants that look just...

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Posted by on June 2, 2017 at 8:14 am   This post has 9 responses.

A Whole Different Spin on Pot Planting

There have been very few opportunities for even the most avid of gardeners to plant bright red geraniums in an old, gray washing machine tub, so pay attention to this one. The story begins almost 45 years ago as Bob and Janet Hill, garden neophytes whose possessions included two...

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Posted by on May 29, 2017 at 9:48 am   This post has one response.

Once more in Buffalo—this time for the GWA

Those of you who belong to the Garden Writers Association know that its annual conference happens in Buffalo August 4–7. Here’s a video our local tourism agency and GardensBuffaloNiagara.com (the group that runs Garden Walk) made to help lure the conference. Not that it took much convincing. Many GWAers...

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Posted by on May 25, 2017 at 9:41 am   This post has 2 responses.

Chanticleer, the Modern Gardener’s Garden

Serious gardeners love to hate Butchart Gardens, Canada’s most famous public garden, and I’ll cop to being one of the haters. It’s blindingly colorful and the very opposite of naturalistic, the gardening style popular today. I wonder if people who love the Butchart style could also appreciate a very modern, sophisticated,...

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Posted by on May 19, 2017 at 8:15 am   This post has 11 responses.

Olfactory Overload

I’ve been spending more time of late wandering our eight-acre landscape both because after 42 years here I keep finding old plants I too often overlook, and, more important, the chances are very slim I’ll find an aircraft carrier either on its way to Australia or North Korea. Gardening...

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Posted by on April 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Eye Candy from a Famous Spanish Designer

In my 40+ years in the DC area, I’ve been invited to very few embassy functions. It was thanks to my garden writing that the Embassy of Spain invited me to a recent event at Dumbarton Oaks – so right there, count me IN, almost no matter the topic. But...

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Posted by on April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am   This post has 2 responses.

Garden Redesign: Evaluate Everything and Have No Mercy

Guest Post by Wendy Kiang-Spray Usually, when I look out my kitchen window this time of year, I look forward to the delicate, pale purple-topped baptisia that will delight me for a few short weeks, or peony stems poking through whose stunning flowers I’ll stop daily to admire upon...

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Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on April 5, 2017 at 7:55 am   This post has 11 responses.

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.

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.

Landscapes with Healing Powers: Video Tribute to Lava Hot Springs

Occasionally we Ranters pay video tributes to our favorite public gardens, a lovely tradition begun by our own Susan Harris. Here’s a little video ode (videode?) to a sweet destination tucked away in the mountains of southern Idaho, the town of Lava Hot Springs. Hope you will be able...

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Posted by on January 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm   This post has 3 responses.

The Planetary Style and Wisdom of Norris, Clément and Lacy

We had heavy rains this Christmas season, with eerily warm temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The Salt River was swollen, while winter jasmines and even a few Asian cherries were in full bloom. The Christmas rose, Helleborus niger, delivered on a long-held promise to bloom on Christmas Day....

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Posted by on January 13, 2016 at 7:46 am   This post has 6 responses.