Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Kelly Norris photo.

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. My former neighbor, Paul McKinney, would […]

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

My Year in Garden Visits

Posting on New Year’s Day is my excuse to share photos of some gardens I visited in 2015, shots not previously shown here on GardenRant. First, the fabulous Garden Blogger Fling in Toronto included everyone’s favorite modern garden, above. Flingers also admired this back garden we stumbled upon. In 2016...

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Posted by on January 1, 2016 at 9:26 am   This post has 10 responses.

Prayer Flags in My Garden

Does your garden have a focal point you’d rather not see, one that’s not on your property so you can’t change it? I do – a neighbor’s storage area – but co-op rules prevent me from blocking it with, say, a lattice, and the space is far too small...

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Posted by on December 18, 2015 at 7:39 am   This post has 12 responses.

Garden Ephemera

During this season of relative cold and darkness, I experience my garden in brief increments of time. I may take a brisk stroll through it on a windy day, or spend half an hour basking in a lawnchair during a calm, sunny afternoon, or work an hour here and...

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Posted by on December 16, 2015 at 3:45 am   This post has 8 responses.

The Conquest of Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu

Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu was toppled before first frost. A vital part of our garden has become a dog run.  Gone are the scree beds, replaced by sod. Rufus now rules the roost. Putt-Putt at Machu Picchu, conceived fifteen years ago by my good friend, the talented landscape architect...

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Posted by on December 9, 2015 at 7:23 am   This post has 12 responses.

In the Time of the Long Shadows

Fall. A time of the year I love and hate. Love most of the weather. Love the clear blue sky and bright orange autumn leaves. Love the way it makes me want to start nesting. Hate the shorter days. Hate the weather on days that are cold and damp....

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Posted by Irvin Etienne on November 23, 2015 at 8:04 am   This post has 5 responses.

Fall and Rebirth

Autumn is a sad yet beautiful season in my garden.  It brackets the anniversaries of my son’s life:  his birth in late fall and his death at age 18 at fall’s beginning.   I think of him often at this time of year but especially in the garden, which is...

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Posted by on November 19, 2015 at 10:51 am   This post has 9 responses.

While This Agave Gently Weeps

The agave is weeping because not only are we in a multi-year drought in California, now we are headed for a catastrophe of biblical proportions. EL NIÑO!!!!! (shrieks are heard in the distance) The warm waters in the Pacific will herald in unprecedented winter storms, and all sorts of...

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Posted by on October 28, 2015 at 3:31 am   This post has 26 responses.

Axis Shrugged for Nostalgia and Fun

  Ogden, Snodgrass and Uebelhart is not a pricey, litigious law firm. O.S.& U. was a garden collaboration, solidly rooted on terra firma, stretched across three continents. The O.S.& U. principals, led by axis-averse Australian garden designer Mel Ogden, are artists, visionaries and seedsmen. Ed Snodgrass is a progressive...

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Posted by on October 14, 2015 at 7:04 am   This post has 2 responses.

Who needs leaf peeping when you have your own arboretum?

“I’m not an environmentalist.” That’s one of the statements I remember from my morning visit to one of Western New York’s foremost tree experts, Thomas Draves, who’s also a certified nursery and landscape professional and attends to the tree needs of clients throughout the area. He’s not an environmentalist,...

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Posted by on October 13, 2015 at 9:59 am   This post has 7 responses.

The Butterfly Effect

  For weeks, my garden has been ALIVE with the beating of orange wings! I have Gulf Fritillaries coming at me from every corner of my garden – I think the other day I counted more than 20 – and more are emerging from cocoons every day! I am...

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 at 1:13 am   This post has 35 responses.

Barbara Ellis and her Liberated Country Garden

Barbara Ellis is a garden book editor and author, most recently of the terrific Chesapeake Gardening and Landscaping (from UNC Press, with Atkins Arboretum), and she blogs at Eastern Shore Gardener.  I visited her at her home near Chestertown, Maryland with another beloved garden writer, the horticulturist Ruth Rogers...

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 at 8:24 am   This post has 6 responses.

So, an artist, a curator, and a designer walk into a garden (part II)

Here’s an update on an interesting front garden concept I introduced last year.  (I promised to follow up!) This project by a local curator, artist, and designer is called Territory of Collaboration. Organic shapes and plants suggested by the artist were combined with the ideas of the designer; another...

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Posted by on September 1, 2015 at 8:07 am   This post has 3 responses.

My Hot and Spicy Adventures, or She’s On Fire!

I HAVE A HEAT TOOTH!!! Not a sweet tooth, a HEAT TOOTH! I love hot peppers. I have been honing my tolerance for heat for a few years now, and at this point I can take a bite out of a habañero and not pass out or vomit. It...

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Posted by on August 25, 2015 at 11:34 pm   This post has 9 responses.

Planting for Hummingbirds

One of the big perks of moving to the west has been an increase in opportunities to create habitat for hummingbirds. I planted many of my new garden plants with an eye toward ensuring nectar sources through the seasons for these fascinating creatures, and I’ve been rewarded by seeing...

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Posted by on August 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm   This post has 26 responses.

A Dark Place

I’m vacationing in Northern California this week, on the Russian River, enjoying a break from the bleak, scorching brightness of LA. It is very hot here as well, but the heat is mitigated by the deep, nearly mystical shade from the redwood trees. Driving into Guerneville, I couldn’t help...

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Posted by on July 29, 2015 at 1:51 am   This post has 10 responses.

Rock Star Garden

I had no idea what to expect from the Hartman Rock Garden. Richie Steffen pitched it to me as a garden like no other. I was in Columbus, OH, a few weeks ago for the Cultivate ’15 trade show and had some time to kill.  The Cultivate ‘15 is...

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Posted by on July 22, 2015 at 7:38 am   This post has 13 responses.

The real benefits of a free, uncurated garden tour

As Garden Walk Buffalo approaches, I have already been participating in the Open Garden program, helping promote the other sixteen area walks and the special tours,  and planning for the out-of-town visitors we will have on the big weekend of the Buffalo walk. GWB has turned into a month-long...

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Posted by on July 14, 2015 at 9:25 am   This post has 9 responses.

Janet Draper: A Perennial Force

Rare is the circus that has the extraordinary talent or the vast experience of someone like Janet Draper. This dynamo of the green world is helping to organize a circus of sorts. The 33rd annual symposium of the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will be held in Baltimore from July 27...

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Posted by on July 8, 2015 at 6:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

Lessons from a Portland Hellstrip

Garden touring season has given way to what I’m learning to treat as a second dormant period here in the high desert: the extreme heat of midsummer. And how convenient that is, since now there will be time to mull over the many photos of gardens that I’ve accumulated...

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Posted by on July 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm   This post has 14 responses.
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