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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 social media experts as well.  The […]

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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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Read related articles in: Ministry of Controversy, Unusually Clever People
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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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People
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.

The Roots of My Obsession

  Timber Press managed to do the impossible and get thirty gardeners to each stop what they were doing all at once and sit down and write something about why they garden.  The result is this little essay collection, THE ROOTS OF MY OBSESSION:  Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why...

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Posted by on October 24, 2012 at 4:37 am   This post has 37 responses.

J.C. Raulston and the Green Closet

Please welcome Bobby Ward, author of Chlorophyll in His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador. Recently Amy Stewart commented on Clyde Phillip Wachsberger’s book Into the Garden With Charles, a gardening memoir of Wachsberger and his partner, Charles Dean. The late J. C. Raulston would have greatly appreciated Wachsberger’s...

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 at 3:23 am   This post has 17 responses.

Melons, Squash, and Cash

  That’s NPR’s headline, not mine.  My husband switched the radio on yesterday morning just in time for me to hear this story about Amy Goldman, who as I’m sure you know is an author, artist, and heirloom seed advocate.   We’ve written about her incredible bronze casts of heirloom...

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 at 3:57 am   This post has 2 responses.

The Story Ends Well For Heronswood

Heronswood, the revered botanical garden created in Kingston, Washington by plant collector Dan Hinkley and his partner, architect Robert Jones, as an adjunct to the nursery they founded in 1987, was put up for a sealed bid auction last month by its owner of the last 12 years, W....

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Read related articles in: Ministry of Controversy, Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm   This post has 15 responses.

Green for President

We’ve always said here that gardening is political, a way of opting out of a culture that pushes us to live lives powered entirely by fossil fuels and processed substances that bear only the slightest relationship to actual food. Food is political, as Michael Pollan has been telling us...

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Read related articles in: Ministry of Controversy, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on July 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm   This post has 9 responses.
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