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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, and random log cabins and cribs. […]

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Posted by David McMullin on December 16, 2014 at 8:15 am   This post has 9 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 8 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.

Courtyard Garden: One Year Later

It’s time for an update on my courtyard garden. The thrill of saying that hasn’t dimmed after a year, and I imagine I will still be delighted about it if I am lucky enough to have a courtyard garden decades from now. First, a quick before-and-after pairing to show...

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Posted by on August 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm   This post has 11 responses.

Riverscaping

While on a brief getaway in the northern Catskills, we saw plenty of natural beauty, including late summer wildflowers (rudbeckia, asters, eupatorium, and more) along the trails. We also saw some lovely manmade landscaping that took full advantage of its context. Along route 28, just past Phoenicia, you’ll pass...

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Posted by on August 18, 2014 at 9:20 am   This post has 6 responses.

Contrasting Gardens in Pittsburgh

I’m home from visiting Pittsburgh, where I attended the big Garden Writers Symposium, and thankfully I returned with a few photos to post here.  (After posting here for eight years this summer I’m thrilled to find anything new to write about.) First up, a study in contrasts starts with the...

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Posted by on August 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm   This post has 19 responses.

The Patience of a Gardener

Recently we’ve hosted lively discussions here at Garden Rant about spending gobs of money on our gardens, choosing native over non-native plants, and to what extent gardens are art. To me, there is a more personal and pertinent issue at stake with regard to America’s current horticultural practices: how...

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Posted by on August 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm   This post has 40 responses.
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