Hart Man, Hartman Logo 071115

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 a huge international gathering of hundreds […]

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Posted by on July 22, 2015 at 7:38 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.

Colors of equality

Those lanterns weren’t nearly gay enough. In celebration of Friday’s SCOTUS marriage equality decision, and in solidarity with all of my friends and colleagues who have already availed themselves of this freedom or who are now able to, here is some rainbow/garden imagery I found on Shutterstock. Like Susan,...

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 12 responses.

“Nature rewards the bold”

The quote comes from the last words of a recent essay by Umberto Pasti in the New York Times. Many of you will also recognize his inspiration—Fortune favors the brave, a Latin proverb that’s been used as the motto of regiments, clans, battleships, and many other entities. However you say...

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Posted by on June 16, 2015 at 8:38 am   This post has 11 responses.

Mad May: No Fury

My excitement for wild plants is as far afield from Mad Max: Fury Road as you can imagine. My best botanizing adventures, by comparison, would be more like an open-air My Dinner with Andre. An afternoon with my plant-obsessed compatriots would bore the bejesus out of most Americans or,...

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Posted by on June 10, 2015 at 7:12 am   This post has 4 responses.

My Favorite Flower Show

  We got tipped-off about Celesta McComas’s flower show last year at Thanksgiving dinner. My wife Rose told Bobbie Ann Mason that we lived, part-time, in Salvisa, KY. Bobbie Ann lives a few miles away in Lawrenceburg. Clearly suffering from separation anxiety, Bobbie Ann confessed that Celesta had moved...

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Posted by on May 27, 2015 at 7:20 am   This post has 11 responses.

Not so smug in a beautiful, hard-won country garden

Of the thirteen-plus acres they own in the exurban wilds of outer Hamburg in Western New York, Mike and Kathy Shadrack garden only about three and a half, but these cultivated areas represent hard-fought victories wrung from continuing struggles with shade, slopes, rocky soil, and hungry animals. The Shadracks’...

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Posted by on May 4, 2015 at 8:31 am   This post has 7 responses.

New Arboretum Director is Everyone’s Choice

The 446-acre treasure in an unloved part of Washington, D.C. that is the National Arboretum has seemed down on its luck these last few years.  It had a short-term director (not a plant person), then several acting directors, and worst of all, a two-year cutback on public hours to just...

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Posted by on May 1, 2015 at 6:20 am   This post has 10 responses.

From FFA Superstar to Botanic Garden Spokesman

I recently met the new public affairs officer for the U.S. Botanic Gardens and when I found out his degree is in agricultural communications, I had to find out more. Devin Dotson grew up in a small rural town in northwest Alabama, where his family grew their own vegetables...

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Posted by on April 24, 2015 at 8:04 am   This post has 13 responses.

The Theosophic Turtle

Adam Turtle may have been restless at times, but I doubt he has ever struggled much with boredom. The résumé of the Tennessee nurseryman and farmer is not a record of a dull life. Turtle has been “a boy scout, cowboy, fisherman, truck driver, chef, homeless bum, woodworker, sculptor,...

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Posted by on April 22, 2015 at 7:15 am   This post has 4 responses.

There’s Hope for Urban Design

‘Tis the season of garden seminars. Recently I participated in a thought-provoking one-day seminar on the theme of bringing nature into our cities. I spoke about hellstrip gardens, but a couple of the other speakers addressed larger-scale landscapes. After seeing their photos and hearing about so many projects that...

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Posted by on April 8, 2015 at 2:03 am   This post has 9 responses.

The man for woody plants—Michael Dirr

The true celebrities of the world of horticulture don’t appear on HGTV or gladhand  at home and garden shows. They’re busy discovering new plants, undertaking research projects, and writing the reference books that form the backbone of every serious gardener’s library. I knew that Michael Dirr was considered the...

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Posted by on February 9, 2015 at 7:55 am   This post has 6 responses.

Presidentially appointed but unpaid landscape architects making our spaces better

Here in DC, big projects that affect the look of Washington and our enjoyment thereof must be approved by all sorts of agencies, but my favorite and the one I’ve seen make the most improvements through their review is the oddly named U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.  Its website...

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Posted by on December 12, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 4 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 9 responses.

Meadow Day in Maryland

Meadows are HOT these days, thanks to anti-lawn sentiments, concern for pollinators, and some smart designers and plant researchers.  I encountered all of the above one day last month. University of Maryland at College Park First I attended a talk+tour at the University of Maryland about the meadows on...

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Posted by on December 5, 2014 at 9:44 am   This post has 7 responses.

THANKS,

This year is a special year for me. The day after Thanksgiving, I will celebrate half a century on this planet, so I am being extra thankful. I am thankful that one day, 22 years ago, I walked outside of my newly purchased home and started looking at the...

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Posted by on November 26, 2014 at 12:44 am   This post has 14 responses.

Meeting Animals

You may not be surprised to hear that, though I adore plants, I garden primarily for animals and the life they bring to a place. Growing up, I was taught by my mother to treat animals gently and respectfully, whether they are pets or wild creatures. Mom and I...

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 at 1:11 am   This post has 5 responses.

When Wildlife Gardens Look Like Gardens

Many of you wildlife gardeners will recognize the name Pat Sutton. She’s the Cape May, NJ-based naturalist who’s developed quite a following among people interested in gardening for wildlife, a group whose numbers she adds to with every class or tour she leads. I attended Pat’s Tour of Private...

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Posted by on September 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm   This post has 8 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.

The Parklet Craze

This year’s international Park(ing) Day falls on September 19, a mere two weeks from now. On that day, individuals, groups, and businesses in cities around the world will commandeer on-street parking spaces and convert them to temporary parklets. These people-friendly spaces might include plants, seating, bike parking, games, exercise...

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Posted by on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 am   This post has 3 responses.
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