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Neighbors—can’t live with ‘em, can’t kill ‘em

If you want to appreciate the widest possible range of opinions about gardening, talk to gardeners about their neighbors. Because, you know, nobody really wants to admit that their neighbor might have the right idea (about anything), and most of us have had mild-to-medium plant-related disagreements with the property holders on either side. I was […]

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on September 24, 2012 at 7:57 am   This post has 22 responses.

My new favorite botanic garden – in Mexico!

I’m back home after a whirlwind visit to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for my niece’s wedding and my bags are still unpacked, but my photos are fully loaded and ready to post. First up, the jardin botanico called El Charco del Ingenio, on the outskirts of town. Between...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on September 18, 2012 at 9:10 am   This post has 7 responses.

The High Line backlash

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit the High Line yet, I’m sorry to have to tell you that it’s over. Already. At least according to a New York Times op-ed by Jeremiah Moss, in which the writer condemns the West Side elevated park succinctly:...

Read more in: Ministry of Controversy, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 27, 2012 at 7:58 am   This post has 18 responses.

Start your day with Garden Photos from Fine Gardening

I usually start my day by for checking email and news of more gaffes by clueless candidates for office but Michelle Gervais, an editor of Fine Gardening Magazine, suggested I try subscribing to her morning emails of garden photos submitted by readers.  I did and I’m already hooked. Michelle...

Read more in: Everybody's a Critic, Real Gardens
Posted by on August 21, 2012 at 10:01 am   This post has 10 responses.

Just add water

Our official status in Western New York is “moderate drought.” I can’t really remember the last soaking rain we got—maybe a couple times in June and a couple more in July—and the temps have ranged into the 90s with regularity. That’s unusual here. There are no watering restrictions that...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on August 20, 2012 at 8:49 am   This post has 10 responses.

Another New Garden Revealed

Readers may remember when I revealed the front garden at my new rowhouse, complaining at the time that I couldn’t plant anything in the back garden until construction was done.  Well, after seven months of workers and inspectors and three-jurisdiction permit purgatory, my life is at last quiet.  And...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 31, 2012 at 8:56 am   This post has 12 responses.

Performance anxiety

In spite of drought, heat, and relentless animal assaults, there will be no quarter asked or given this weekend, when thousands of walkers fan out among the gardens of Buffalo. They’re not going to understand or appreciate beds and containers filled with wilting plants and/or chewed-up plants, or the...

Read more in: Garden Walk Buffalo, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 23, 2012 at 8:16 am   This post has 7 responses.

A Theme of Complaint

“Every man may be observed to have …some peculiar theme of complaint on which he dwells in his moments of dejection.” Samuel Johnson I was having a delightful phone conversation with my old boss last week.  He always makes me laugh and gives the best advice of anybody.  We...

Read more in: Eat This, Real Gardens, Uncategorized
Posted by on July 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm   This post has 11 responses.

Color in the (House and) Garden

You know what I like even more than the grandest of professionally designed gardens? Personal gardens, the funkier and more colorful the better.  And I found a fabulous one the other day, thanks to a garden-coaching client wanting to show me the best garden in his neighborhood.  Indeed it...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on July 17, 2012 at 8:23 am   This post has 14 responses.

Longing for space in a community garden

Before even moving to my new town last December, I inquired about getting a plot at the local community garden.  I’ve declared first on the waiting list since April.  It’s late June and still, I wait. But I’m in active waiting mode.   I visit the gardens (three of them)...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on June 26, 2012 at 10:37 am   This post has 17 responses.

Patience With the Experiment

Though gardeners are supposed to put down roots, I’ve made an awful lot of vegetable gardens in the last decade. When I first bought a weekend place in the country, I made a garden right behind the house. It worked well in high summer, but my fall crops did...

Read more in: Eat This, Feed Me, Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on June 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm   This post has 29 responses.

Distracting and Diverting

It’s a fair bet that I own my last Victorian house.  Never again.  In future, I intend to suffer only over pieces of architecture worth suffering over.  Some people are Victorian house people.  Not me.  Dark, pokey, irrational, over-embellished. I invited a carpenter over this week to discuss my...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on June 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm   This post has 16 responses.

Gardens of the 1 Percenters

Way back in ’06 I wrote about Rich People’s Gardens and defended “checkbook gardeners” who pay other people to make their landscapes look gorgeous.   Better to spend their megabucks on gardens than on fast cars!  I urged the wealthy to go ahead and hire the best, as long as...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on June 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm   This post has 23 responses.

Livin’ the dream on my Buffalo junket

When a New York City-based P.R. firm sent me an invite to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Buffalo to explore that city’s “passionate garden culture,” I must admit I had some hesitation.  These trips are fun, but the fact that they’re underwritten makes them an ethical problem. It...

Read more in: Real Gardens, Uncategorized
Posted by on June 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm   This post has 19 responses.

New Garden Ready for its Debut

Readers may be remember that I recently moved and downsized, especially in the size of the garden.  Above is the “before” shot of my new front* yard – a lawn with a couple of oversized boxwoods and a few ungainly azaleas. While indoors is still a dirty, messy construction site –...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on May 10, 2012 at 6:51 am   This post has 10 responses.

The Fence Line

Do gardeners want to put down deep roots, plant trees, and watch them ever so slowly become massive and still presences in the landscapes of their personalities? No, the people who do that are not gardeners. Do gardeners strive to take a slice of earth stuck in this noisy...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on April 27, 2012 at 7:02 am   This post has 40 responses.

What I Learned from Margaret Roach’s Garden

These days most of my blog reading is off-topic to gardening (sites like Apartment Therapy and Houzz) but I do listen togardening podcasts and wish there were more good ones, like Margaret Roach’s – she’s the author of the excellent blog A Way to Garden and former garden writer/editor for newspapers and Martha Stewart.  So...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on April 17, 2012 at 5:37 am   This post has 13 responses.

Gardens of the Candidates

Didja see this slide show of the homes of Republican presidential candidates?  Check them all out – for their sheer size, if not any landscaping of note.  Only Newt Gingrich’s landscaping stands out – and not in a good way, to my taste.  If our homes say anything about...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on January 2, 2012 at 6:29 am   This post has 36 responses.

From Compost to Compost

I've always taken a very relaxed approach to composting. If it's organic and it's not something the chickens find delectable, it goes in the pile. Ten years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Joan Dye Gussow's lovely garden memoir This Organic LIfe.  Gussow is a longtime professor...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on December 16, 2011 at 4:52 am   This post has 31 responses.

Nashville’s Cheekwood is good to the last drop

I recently visited Nashville for the first time and, like any avid gardener, made sure I saw its premier public garden while I was there. Without a doubt, that's Cheekwood Garden and Museum, a grand place that exists thanks to Maxwell House coffee money.  My regular brand. On a...

Read more in: Real Gardens
Posted by on November 1, 2011 at 5:10 am   This post has 11 responses.
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