Seed Stars of 2011

Happy New Year! The catalogs are arriving, and it's time to start thinking about the vegetable garden.  While 2010 was a banner year for me, 2011 was problematic for many reasons.  I made a new garden in my city yard.  Too small!  Too many trees casting shade and sucking up all the nutrients!  And it […]

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Posted by on January 6, 2012 at 6:13 am   This post has 12 responses.

Contrasting Community Gardens

A 21-year-old community garden in the heart of Washington, D.C. was recently shut down indefinitely.  The owner of the property, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, took the wildly unpopular action to clear the 1/4-acre space as a staging area for their upcoming renovation, which is predicted to last 5...

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Posted by on January 5, 2012 at 6:21 am   This post has 15 responses.

More Vegetable Gardens

The New York Times reports that because the U.S. population is so much heavier than it was 50 years ago, the Coast Guard is assuming 25 pounds more per person on average and revising the carrying capacity of boats downward.

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 at 7:48 am   This post has 3 responses.

Books we’re Reviewing

 Books we have or want to have, and will review.  Alphabetically by title.   Baker Creek vegetable book? Michele  

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Posted by on January 1, 2012 at 10:53 am   This post has Comments Off on Books we’re Reviewing.

A Few New Year’s Resolutions

Start dozens of alpine strawberry plants from seed.  Impossible to find in the nurseries near me already started as plants.  Yet for a perennial, incredibly easy to get going in a basement.  Super-useful.  Will grow neatly in sun or semi-shade.  Yields perfumy little berries all summer.  I want these...

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 at 5:57 am   This post has 12 responses.

A phrase that’s growing on me

From the local botanical gardens' new medicinal section; two trends in one, according to 2012 marketing  predictions. End-of-year garden trend talk contains all the usual predictions about which plant colors will be most popular (black and amber), which edibles will leap to the fore (herbs), and what types of...

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Posted by on December 26, 2011 at 7:56 am   This post has 11 responses.

The Triumph of the Commons

Whether you are in full holiday-spirit mode or merely grumbling about the shopping requirement, here is a bit of inspiration for a Friday morning: Bill Murphy, one of the most charismatic and interesting people I went to high school with.  Thanks to the magic of Facebook, I've learned that...

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Posted by on December 23, 2011 at 6:37 am   This post has 8 responses.

Have Yourself a Boozy Little Christmas

This is another in a series of columns for the North Coast Journal called The Drunken Botanist. Book by the same title coming in 2013.   Several years ago, at a family Christmas gathering in Sacramento, my brother-in-law served the pie and asked if anybody would like a drink...

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Posted by on December 22, 2011 at 4:32 am   This post has 13 responses.

Jeff Gillman Is One Of My Favorite People In The World

and you're about to find out why.        More on Jeff and his new book, DECODING GARDENING ADVICE, coming soon.

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Posted by on December 21, 2011 at 10:17 am   This post has 5 responses.

Downsizing and Downscaling in House and Garden

Left: the house I just sold.  Right: the house I just moved into. The latest in the continuing saga of my move to a smaller house and garden is that it's DONE.  My lawnless, complicated garden and cute house sold in three weeks to people who'll love it as...

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Posted by on December 20, 2011 at 7:23 am   This post has 20 responses.

A Sad Day in Chicken Land

Dolley (lower) admiring a photo of herself in Organic Gardening magazine. When you get a flock of chickens, you don't think much about how they're going to die. You're not yet attached to them, so it's unclear exactly how upsetting their deaths will even be.  You're too busy building...

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 at 4:55 am   This post has 39 responses.

Even when it’s already dead—let’s spray!

This is the first time I have seen Wilt Pruf sold as an accompaniment to holiday wreaths and other decorative cut evergreens around here. There was no signage, but I am assuming you’re meant to spray it on them as a preservative. I wonder what the point would be—with...

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Posted by on December 5, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 15 responses.

Are we shopping yet?

Too. Much. Stuff. If they were honest, all of my friends would admit that, like me, they spend a good amount of time moving stuff around—putting it away, giving it away, and reorganizing it. In my mailbox today was a long line of CyberMonday emails urging me to buy...

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Posted by on November 28, 2011 at 5:31 am   This post has 32 responses.

Supercommittees Won’t Feed the Planet

Okay, I am now officially sick of the cowardice and lack of imagination demonstrated by many academic agriculture experts. They purport to address the question of the day: How are we going to feed 7 billion and counting people without destroying the planet?  But they offer no answers, or only...

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Posted by on November 25, 2011 at 5:10 am   This post has 35 responses.

What I’m Grateful For

This week, Susan took a look at what gardeners around the web are thankful for and was personally thankful for the end of "women's page" journalism, which was where the gardening articles used to reside.  But this mood has not entirely vanished from the gardening world.  I once had...

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Posted by on November 24, 2011 at 4:34 am   This post has 9 responses.

So you didn’t win—how about 15% off?

The generous publisher of Wilder Quarterly has a new offer for readers of Garden Rant. Just enter this code: WQGR11, when a discount code is asked for (toward the end of the online subscription process). This entitles a reader to 15% off a full year subscription. The code will be...

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 5 responses.

Wilder Quarterly winners announced!

Thanks so much for playing, everyone. The comments were truly enlightening for me, even given that you had to say something in order to win. If these comments are any indication, about 99.9% of you want to continue reading print, with digital as a supplement. About 90% of you...

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 at 7:09 am   This post has 9 responses.

A classy gardening quarterly—and we’re giving it away!

Further evidence of the enduring power of print  arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago—a review copy of Wilder Quarterly. This is the type of gardening publication we just don’t do in the U.S. It’s more like an independent literary periodical than the gardening magazines we’re used to....

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Posted by on November 18, 2011 at 5:46 am   This post has 138 responses.

An Evangelical Speaks

The perfect, rousing accompaniment for a cup of coffee this morning, a TED talk by Roger Doiron.  Doiron is the founder of Kitchen Gardeners International and a big force behind the White House vegetable garden, here doing his damnedest to make us all gardeners.

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Posted by on November 11, 2011 at 4:50 am   This post has 10 responses.

The Carbon Thief

When I was 23 and living in New York City, I had a new boyfriend who loved upstate New York, the well-preserved old towns where nothing of significance had happened in the last hundred years, the poverty, the natural beauty. We would head out of the city in his...

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Posted by on November 11, 2011 at 4:25 am   This post has 20 responses.
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