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To maintain or not to maintain

That is the question, but sometimes it depends on what type of maintenance you’re talking about. Last week, I heard many tributes to writer Nora Ephron (who died last Thursday at 71), including reprises of radio interviews where she read from her most recent books. This is from I Feel Bad About My Neck: … […]

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm   This post has 17 responses.

Dinosaurs at the Conservatory

San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers has just opened a new exhibit called Plantosaurus Rex that highlights prehistoric plants and–uh–alarmingly lifelike replicas of the creatures that ate them.  I asked the exhibit director, Lau Hodges–who, by the way, is one of the funniest and most interesting women you’ll ever meet–to...

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Read related articles in: Shut Up and Dig, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on June 27, 2012 at 4:28 am   This post has 6 responses.

One rises; another falls

There’s no doubt that independent garden centers and nurseries—like many businesses—have been seeing their sales decline over the last few years. The percentage dips have been in as much as the double digits, depending on where you are in the U.S. Many nurseries and IGCs have been forced to...

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Posted by on May 25, 2012 at 5:14 am   This post has 25 responses.

Farmer pirates get their dump truck!

Avast and belay! I couldn’t help but notice some familiar names on the Kickstarter list, so thanks to any of our readers who contributed to the Farmer Pirates Kickstarter campaign. They made their goal late last night, and will be able to expand their compost program, collecting food waste and...

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Posted by on May 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm   This post has 2 responses.

Still More Earthworm Madness!

Andrew Keys continues his podcast series, Garden Confidential, with–guess what?  Earthworms! He and I chatted about all things wormy a while back, and if you just haven't had enough worms already this week, you'd better head over to Fine Gardening's website and check that out.

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm   This post has one response.

Have You Peed on Your Garden Lately?

Well, why not? Our favorite garden professor, Jeff Gillman, tells you how.  Well.  Not how.  I'm pretty sure you know how.  He'll tell you why, though! These and other amazing bits of information can be found in his clever and highly useful new book Decoding Gardening Advice, written with...

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Read related articles in: Books, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on March 14, 2012 at 5:06 am   This post has 12 responses.

Cactomania: We Have a Winner!

Thanks, everyone, for your highly amusing comments on Scott Calhoun's post about his fine new book, The Gardener's Guide to Cactus.  I was just in Phoenix for a day, and I drove around with a genuine interest and curiosity about the cacti I saw, all thanks to Scott and...

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Read related articles in: Books, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on February 22, 2012 at 5:24 am   This post has one response.

It’s Not Gardening, It’s Cactomania

Y'all please welcome Friend of Rant Scott Calhoun, author of a new book called The Gardener's Guide to Cactus. Read on for the chance to win not just a book, but an actual cactus. I have to say, this is a totally amazing and really fun book.  Gardening with...

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 at 1:01 am   This post has 37 responses.

My Author Crush: An Armchair Garden Classic for $1.99

My very clever publisher, Algonquin Books, is trying something new:  they're pricing seven of their backlist ebooks at only $1.99, for one week only, as a way of sharing the love we all have for some of these, shall we say, vintage titles.  In February, they asked seven Algonquin...

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Posted by on February 13, 2012 at 5:18 am   This post has 11 responses.

Chicken Gardens: We Have a Winner!

Thanks, everybody, for your comments in response to my chicken gardening dilemma. Jessi Bloom, author of Free Range Chicken Gardens, chose a winner and offered all kinds of interesting ideas for keeping the girls out of the vegetable beds.  First, our winner is Kerry, who Jessi chose because she...

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Posted by on February 8, 2012 at 4:31 am   This post has 3 responses.

My Chicken Gardening Dilemma

Please excuse the dismal condition of my backyard.  It is winter, after all,  In a few months, the perennials will be in flower and the whole thing will be quite cheerful.  But here's my problem–and if you've got an idea, you might win a book, so read on: I've...

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 at 3:13 am   This post has 55 responses.

I’m off doing something holiday-ish

But where you should go is Lauren Scheuer's wonderful chicken blog, Scratch and Peck, to read this totally charming post about her chicken's feet. I've written about Lauren before.  She's an illustrator, which is what makes her blog so wonderful, and she's a warm and funny person, as I...

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 at 5:45 am   This post has 3 responses.

Wolfgang Oehme’s Crusade to Change the American Garden

Many in the gardening world are mourning the recent loss of Wolfgang Oehme, one of the world's most famous and influential landscape architects.  He and his design partner James van Sweden populared sweeps of ornamental grasses and easy, mostly native perennials in a naturalistic style named The New American...

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Posted by on December 27, 2011 at 6:36 am   This post has 9 responses.

Last-Minute Gift: Made By Hand

Speaking of handmade stuff, as we did a couple weeks ago, here's a brilliant book that absolutely everyone will love:  Mark Frauenfelder's MADE BY HAND. (Which we hope you will purchase at your local independent bookstore.) Mark is the co-founder of BoingBoing and editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine. So already...

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Posted by on December 21, 2011 at 5:10 am   This post has 4 responses.

A Chance to See “A Man Named Pearl” on Sunday

Susan has written about this movie before, here and here. Now the folks at Oprah's OWN network have contacted us to share a trailer and let us know that it will be airing on Sunday.  Check it out:   Watch the Trailer for A Man Named Pearl That pretty...

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Posted by on December 15, 2011 at 3:58 am   This post has 12 responses.

The GardenRant Handmade Gift Extravaganza

It’s time for our annual round-up of handmade garden-related gift ideas, many of them made by our readers.  I offer you this in the spirit of opposing the mass-produced, the deeply-discounted, the imported-and-exported, the plastic, the impersonal, the disposable, and the soon-to-be-obsolete.  This is a good time of year...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 7, 2011 at 4:57 am   This post has 9 responses.

Catching up with Graham Rice

What's New and Book Giveaway Graham Rice is one of gardening's most prolific and prize-winning authors, and we're lucky to have him – on both sides of the Atlantic.  After more than 20 books, including the behemoth Encyclopedia of Perennials that he's holding in this photo, his Planting the...

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Posted by on November 29, 2011 at 4:23 am   This post has 79 responses.

A disappearing breed

In April of 2007, I came across a word that I didn’t like—especially when used instead of the term “gardening.” I posted about it and got a long and gracious comment in response from the man who had invented it. Here’s an excerpt:     My partner in life...

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Posted by on November 14, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 8 responses.

Garden Bloggers: We’re Going to Asheville!

Fabulous, exciting, wonderful news.  The next Garden Bloggers Fling will be held in Asheville, NC from May 18-20, 2012.  And there's a new website that will serve as a sort of central hub for this and all future Flings, so be sure to bookmark that:  Garden Bloggers Fling We...

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Read related articles in: Unusually Clever People
Posted by on November 10, 2011 at 11:06 am   This post has 4 responses.

Andrew Keys–Back and Better Than Ever

I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Keys when I was in Boston last month, and he is every bit as charming in person as he is on the air.  His fantastic podcast, which has been on hiatus while he moved from Horticulture to Fine Gardening, is back.  So...

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Read related articles in: GardenRant Airwaves, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on November 3, 2011 at 10:08 am   This post has Comments Off.
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