The Hamernik family has 143 years of combined service to the Clarkson, Nebraska Volunteer Fire Department.
Jenny Hamernik Photo

The Joy of Giving: To Seek and to Share a Little Crab Apple

Another season of binge shopping and Bourbon balls has come to an end. Credit cards and waistlines have been stretched. Good luck if you made New Year’s resolutions to make amends for holiday excesses. But don’t worry if your good intentions fall by the wayside before April Fools’ Day. I’ve got a better idea. Dig […]

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Posted by on January 8, 2014 at 5:42 am   This post has 7 responses.

GardenRant Announces New Partners!

Since 2006 GardenRant has been the work of four opinionated gardeners doing their best to “uproot the gardening world,” with occasional help from guests adding their voices to the mix.  But now that’s changed, with the addition of three new GardenRant partners as regular Voices over there in the...

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Posted by on October 21, 2013 at 9:42 am   This post has 8 responses.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Novel of Botanical Exploration

  When I ran into Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the megahit Eat, Pray, Love and five other books, at a party earlier this year, she wanted to talk about only one thing: botany. Her new novel, The Signature of All Things, was working its way to publication and I...

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Posted by on October 2, 2013 at 5:06 am   This post has 73 responses.

On the importance of James van Sweden to the Ecological Movement in American Gardening

Adrian Higgins perfectly captures how radical a change Jim van Sweden’s “New American Garden” was when he and Wolfgang Oehme introduced grasses and perennials in the ’70s.   The whole obituary is a fascinating read.

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Posted by on September 26, 2013 at 9:39 am   This post has Comments Off.

Remembering James van Sweden

I just learned that DC-based but world-class landscape architect James van Sweden died a few days ago after a long illness.  Landscape Architecture Magazine has a nice summary of his importance here and will surely pay homage to him in an upcoming issue.  I had the pleasure of interviewing...

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Posted by on September 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm   This post has one response.

Rant on the Road: Garden Bloggers Conference in Atlanta

    Hey people!  Like the sign says I’ll be speaking at a new conference for garden bloggers, put on by the same people who have been hosting a very successful design bloggers conference for several years.  They’ve invited not just speakers from the garden and horticulture world, but...

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Posted by on July 24, 2013 at 10:09 am   This post has 2 responses.

See the Documentary “Wonder: The Lives of Anna and Harlan Hubbard” if You Can

Anna and Harlan Hubbard may not be names familiar to most readers. But if you have ever thought dreamily of Henry David Thoreau’s experiment, forsaking the “slavery of time” and roughing it on Walden Pond, you might like to know a bit more about the Hubbards. For over 40...

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Posted by on July 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Return of the Farmer Pirates

Some of you may remember the Kickstarter campaign I posted for Buffalo’s Farmer Pirate cooperative. It was successful; the group bought their dump truck and now they’re using it to pick up organic matter from restaurants, grocery stores, and other commercial sites. They’ve also added a residential compost program....

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Posted by on May 6, 2013 at 7:16 am   This post has 8 responses.

The Travels and Trials of Plant Explorer Panayoti Kelaides

It’s only thanks to Tony Avent’s latest catalog cover that I knew that of the existence of Panayoti Kelaidis – he appears there just to the right of the Ranters.  I didn’t know him as a famous plant collector/explorer who’s put the Denver Botanic Gardens on the map, but...

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Posted by on May 3, 2013 at 7:24 am   This post has 13 responses.

Trendy in a bad way

For those who, like me, read trend reports with fascinated horror (Really? Animal prints? Still?), here’s one that’s a little more fun—Today’s Garden Center’s Top 10 Most Hated Garden Trends. There are several I dislike with equal fervor, a few others are more garden industry inside baseball stuff, and...

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Posted by on April 22, 2013 at 7:59 am   This post has 10 responses.

Lunch with Barbara Damrosch

I was reluctant to make the schlep into D.C. to attend DC’s Home and Garden Show, which (like HGTV) deserves a silent G for its dearth of garden vendors.  But the show DID have the good sense to book a talk by someone I’d wanted to meet for a...

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Posted by on March 29, 2013 at 6:58 am   This post has 10 responses.

This is what winter looks like

It’s cold, it’s dreary, and it seems like it will last forever. At least, that’s the reality if you live in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeastern zones, as many of us do.  It doesn’t bother me much—I’ve lived and gardened through many a snowy season. No biggie and ho-hum....

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Posted by on March 25, 2013 at 7:29 am   This post has 3 responses.

Plea from a Plant-Loving Landscape Architect

Michael Van Valkenburgh is one of a few hot-shot landscape architects who’s known for large, high-visibility projects, like his redesign of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House post-9/11.  He landed on my radar thanks to that project, which is local to me.  So I was happy to...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on March 22, 2013 at 8:50 am   This post has 21 responses.

Discoveries at a Nursery Trade Show

Every January I spend a day at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in downtown Baltimore, lured by the people I’ll run into as much as by the actual products and companies on display.  I’ll let others judge whether MANTS lives up to the distinction it claims for itself...

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Posted by on February 9, 2013 at 8:00 am   This post has 9 responses.

The Garden Bloggers Fling! Get Over There!

It’s time, people!   The 2013 Garden Bloggers Fling is happening in San Francisco on June 28-30, and registration is open now.  They would really, really, really like you to register by February 1 so they can get going on a head count and make some plans (but you can...

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Posted by on January 26, 2013 at 5:29 am   This post has 2 responses.

woo-woo back atcha, margaret roach

Margaret Roach’s blog tour for her new book “Backyard Parables” has been going strong for two weeks, and I’m kinda late to the party.  But like any opinionated gardenblogger, I have things to say. At first I was confused by the title but soon learned that this book is...

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Posted by on January 25, 2013 at 9:37 am   This post has 8 responses.

Thomas Rainer on Design Trends

My favorite blogging landscape architect, Thomas Rainer, posted a provocative report on Garden Design Trends, so let’s discuss, shall we?  I wrote to Thomas for clarification and he kindly obliged. New Romanticism First, I love these predictions and sure hope they come to pass: People will turn to their...

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Posted by on January 18, 2013 at 9:46 am   This post has 10 responses.

Pen Pals No More

I’m not much of a pack rat, but I have saved old letters from the past thirty-five years. Gardeners, who it seems seldom had a boring day, dominate the files. Among them are letters from Christopher Lloyd and Elizabeth Lawrence, but I especially enjoyed rereading my letters from David...

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Posted by on January 17, 2013 at 6:43 am   This post has 6 responses.

An Almighty Will to Propagate

“Why do you love what you do?” This was a question posed last month at the annual conference of the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators Societyin the Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania. The joyful reply came from Joe LaMent (a fellow whose name in no way fits his personality)...

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Posted by on November 22, 2012 at 8:35 am   This post has 5 responses.

The State of Cannabis-Growing Literature

Ranter James Rousch recently lamented that Garden Literature is going Up in Smoke, based on his count of 87 pot-growing books currently on offer at the local Barnes and Noble.  I recently read one of them myself (to review, I swear!) – the excellent Supercharged from Timber Press, which...

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Posted by on November 2, 2012 at 8:57 am   This post has 9 responses.
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