a little bit of snark, a touch of bitchiness, and a big eye-roll

Garden Variety SNARK

I was recently made aware of something that I had no idea about – it was said on an online garden writer’s forum that “The best garden tips are the snarky ones”. WHERE HAVE I BEEN PEOPLE??? If anyone is going to be giving snarky gardening tips, it better be ME. I mean, in all […]

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic
Posted by on February 26, 2014 at 1:27 am   This post has 38 responses.

This (see photo) will never be me: 10 years of orchid FAIL

It’s not that I’m actually killing them. I can keep the plants alive, no problem. Indeed, I am very proud of my houseplant success in general; I have a huge 13-year-old gardenia that bursts into bloom every summer and a jasmine almost that old that provides lovely fragrance from...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on February 24, 2014 at 8:00 am   This post has 17 responses.

Should Community Gardens be Organic-Only? What about Pesticide-Free?

As I recently mentioned here, the community gardeners in my town are fighting – with the treehuggers who don’t want the shade-producing trees nearby removed, and with each other over rules outlawing the use of synthetic gardening products.  And people wonder what’s there to rant about over gardening?  Ha!...

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Read related articles in: Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on February 21, 2014 at 8:36 am   This post has 15 responses.

Beware of the Wronged Coconuts!

Coconut palms are the quintessential symbol of tropical paradise. Spindly, tall trees with large feathery leaves wisp in tropical breezes on tropical beaches of white sand, under blue sky and by turquoise water. Beach in Hawaii with coconut palm tree. (cc) anda (: on Flickr. Up in the crown...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by Lena Struwe on February 20, 2014 at 7:05 am   This post has 5 responses.

Do Trees Have Rights?

Let us consider the non-mobile, those who live at a slower speed than humans, those who conduct many “activities of daily living” underground. I’m talking about trees. Bound to its place place to a degree that most modern humans cannot comprehend, a tree must make do with only those...

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Read related articles in: Ministry of Controversy
Posted by on February 19, 2014 at 3:40 am   This post has 29 responses.

What I want in 2014

  Pardon the delay in my 2014 wish list. Here it is with one caveat—it’s really more of an impossible dream list. No more bug-of-the-months. There have been way too many overwrought scares about pests. Pests will always be with us. Rather than freak-out attacks on bugs like the...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Shut Up and Dig
Posted by on February 18, 2014 at 7:56 am   This post has 26 responses.

Garden and Nature Photos for the Snowbound Gardener

The winners of the International Garden Photographer of the Year  have apparently been announced, though from the website and press information online there’s no telling when that happened.  So this may not be news at all, but so what?  The images are a welcome sight as I look out...

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Read related articles in: What's Happening
Posted by on February 17, 2014 at 11:03 am   This post has Comments Off.

It’s Valentine’s Day. Do You Know Where Your Roses Came From?

Guest Rant by Debra Prinzing Earlier this week, Libby Francis-Baxter, owner of The Modest Florist in Baltimore, made headlines in the local media by announcing her plans for a rose-free Valentine’s Day. “I don’t support outsourcing flower production to South and Central America at the expense of our own...

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Read related articles in: Everybody's a Critic, Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on February 14, 2014 at 7:15 am   This post has 16 responses.

My Favorite Turfgrass? Sheep Fescue!

Guest post by Thomas Christopher Enhancing biodiversity is fundamental to transforming lawns from the polluted green deserts that they now are into the sustainable, environmentally constructive landscape features we desire.  For that reason, in my plantings I’ve avoided becoming too reliant on any one grass.  Instead, I try to...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, Lawn Reform
Posted by Thomas Christopher on February 13, 2014 at 7:42 am   This post has 11 responses.

The Runaway Monk

  A memorial service was held for Joshua Brands on a cold, drizzly Friday morning in late November. Julie Breeding, Ken Eberhart, and I drove from Louisville to Bardstown, past the mottled sycamores along Cox’s Creek, and across the rolling countryside speckled with green cedars. Josh, a talented archivist, artist...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on February 12, 2014 at 7:37 am   This post has 11 responses.

Succulents are OUT? Oh, No They’re NOT

Guest rant by Debra Lee Baldwin, a rebuttal to Ivette Soler’s rant in which she expressed ennui about succulents and proposed that the plants’ popularity is diminishing. If anyone ought to be sick of succulents, it should be me, having spent a decade studying and photographing them, and twice...

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Posted by Debra Lee Baldwin on February 11, 2014 at 7:39 am   This post has 25 responses.

It’s cold, it’s white, it’s going on forever, and it’s not even killing the bugs

Some of us are having trouble remembering the benefits of a cold, snowy winter. Especially when the disadvantages are so omnipresent every day of single digit temps, slick roads with minimal visibility, and—always—shoveling. Buffalo went from around 30 inches of winter snowfall at this time last year to 90-plus...

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Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet
Posted by on February 10, 2014 at 8:20 am   This post has 7 responses.

Cork-Popping and Other News

Hey folks!  I’ve been meaning to drop back in and explain my unexplained absence.  Well, now it’s official, and I can tell you:  I just signed a book deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for a series of novels based on the true story of a woman in the early...

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Read related articles in: Tune In
Posted by on February 8, 2014 at 5:23 am   This post has 8 responses.

Coming soon – Roundup-Ready Turfgrass

Photo via Shutterstock News from the garden-product company we love to hate – Scotts-MiracleGro, of course.  As reported here (via a Rant tipster) CEO Jim Hagedorn announced at the company’s annual meeting that it’s testing genetically modified grass seed (Kentucky bluegrass) that will withstand the large-scale spraying of the...

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Read related articles in: Lawn Reform
Posted by on February 7, 2014 at 11:35 am   This post has 9 responses.

Believe it or Not: Rutabaga Souffle

Think of Thanksgiving dishes you most dread and mashed rutabaga probably springs first to mind. What was that vaguely bitter orange stuff Aunt Tilly was so fond of anyway? Outside Minnesota, rutabaga have all the appeal of a dead skunk on the highway. Or do you have to be...

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Read related articles in: Eat This, Guest Rants
Posted by on February 6, 2014 at 8:37 am   This post has 3 responses.

The Public Food Forest: Clever Solution or Future Flop?

Public food forests are a shiny new trend in the United States. Focused on perennial crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees and shrubs, they embody the values of permaculture (which I’ve touted elsewhere) : generosity, abundance, good health and nutrition, and food security. If they are developed and...

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Read related articles in: Feed Me, Lawn Reform, What's Happening
Posted by on February 5, 2014 at 3:49 am   This post has 26 responses.

Plants with (Those) Benefits

by Helen Yoest, author of Plants with Benefits The last two things a woman puts on before meeting her date for dinner is a touch of perfume and a smile. We want to be attractive to our evening companion. Even Cleopatra, the last Pharaoh of Egypt, more than 2000...

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Posted by Helen Yoest on February 4, 2014 at 7:46 am   This post has 7 responses.

When good garden writers give bad pruning advice

Yes, ProfessorRoush has not blogged for quite some time.  January has frankly been dismal here in the Flint Hills, and I’ve been leery of planning the return of green and glorious landscapes lest I awaken the wrath of the Winter Gods and precipitate another late April snowstorm. I was rudely roused, however, from...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on February 3, 2014 at 6:39 am   This post has 38 responses.

Celery – Stems, Stalks or Sticks?

Celery is a vegetable and plant that is prominent in American cooking, and infuses both cooked and raw dishes with its very special flavor.  When I arrived in America I couldn’t believe how much celery was added to tuna salads, soups, stews, and on plates with peanut butter.  Back...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants, It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by :Lena Struwe on January 31, 2014 at 8:57 am   This post has 7 responses.

A Blogger’s Lament

A productive weekend is behind me.  I’ve re-organized the shed, wired in a new light for the barn cats, planted six five-gallon Itea and marked out the corners for the spring vegetable garden.  There’s a new straw bale encampment for the leftover camellias, a water barrel installed on the...

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Read related articles in: Guest Rants
Posted by Marianne Willburn on January 30, 2014 at 6:35 am   This post has 23 responses.
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