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Where Environmentalism Meets Public Health

Meet environmental activist Robert Zarr, shown here in a park in downtown D.C. He’s dressed for cycling because he rides his bike to work; his family as been car-free for 15 or so years. But what makes him an environmental activist isn’t cycling or his other outdoor pursuits; it’s what he does to get people […]

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Posted by on December 11, 2015 at 8:07 am   This post has Comments Off on Where Environmentalism Meets Public Health.

Anti-Leaf-Blowers get Blowback

Continuing our seasonal leaf theme here on GardenRant, it’s time for some anti-leaf-blower ranting! Actually we’ve done that, so how about some rants against anti-leaf-blowers, coz those ranters know how to have fun. But we start with the anti-leaf-blower, in this case a famous one – James Fallows, journalist...

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Posted by on November 20, 2015 at 8:50 am   This post has 11 responses.

Hackberry Nerds Not in Lab Coats

Nowhere else on the planet will you find anything that compares to the geeky and up-to-date Garden Rant coverage of hackberries. Last week’s Guest Rant by Scott Beuerlein nudged the door on the belittled common hackberry. This week we will attempt to blow the door wide open with the...

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Posted by on November 11, 2015 at 7:28 am   This post has 9 responses.

Delaware Botanic Garden and “Rock Star” Piet Oudolf

Big news from Delaware? Yes, and it’s not about Joe Biden at all, though top Delaware pols are involved. The news is that the Delaware Botanic Garden (now under development) WILL include a meadow by none other than Piet Oudolf.  This story in the local press makes it official, and plant...

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Posted by on October 30, 2015 at 10:07 am   This post has 5 responses.

When gardens become reminders of war and tragedy

I have two bones to pick about gardens being destroyed or co-opted to honor the dead.  Yes, I’m going there. First, a national war memorial threatens to destroy an important landscape and second, a garden is used to remind visitors of a local tragedy, a situation that could happen...

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Posted by on October 23, 2015 at 9:51 am   This post has 10 responses.

Axis Shrugged for Nostalgia and Fun

  Ogden, Snodgrass and Uebelhart is not a pricey, litigious law firm. O.S.& U. was a garden collaboration, solidly rooted on terra firma, stretched across three continents. The O.S.& U. principals, led by axis-averse Australian garden designer Mel Ogden, are artists, visionaries and seedsmen. Ed Snodgrass is a progressive...

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Posted by on October 14, 2015 at 7:04 am   This post has 2 responses.

Chanticleer – the Garden, the Book, the Launch Party

The highlight of a great week in garden events for me was the book launch party at Chanticleer Garden, hands down, for the chance to see the garden again (my fifth visit, and not my last), and to meet and greet the authors and photographer. Plus, Chanticleer and Timber...

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Posted by on October 9, 2015 at 9:46 am   This post has 2 responses.

Dining in a Field of Slow Flowers

You know those glamorous-looking field-to-table dinners shown in high-end magazines? Well, just take it up a notch, if that’s possible, and you have Field to Vase dinners like the one I got to crash as “press” last week in Gainesville, Virginia. The event was part of a 10-city dinner tour showing...

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Posted by on September 18, 2015 at 5:53 am   This post has 6 responses.

How NOT to learn to water your garden

These last many weeks with no rain remind me of my garden-coaching days, when I’d show clients how to hand-water the plants that need it. I’d explain the reasoning behind the amount of water to give each plant – that the root zone needs to be drenched – and...

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Posted by on September 11, 2015 at 8:17 am   This post has 8 responses.

Way Down Yonder in the Blue Ribbon Pawpaw Patch

Tony Joe White’s Poke Salad Annie couldn’t change my mind about pawpaws. Nor about what deserves recognition as the best native plant song of all time. Nothing against pokeweed, but over the years, I’ve grown partial to pawpaws. Once you’ve found yonder, and a pawpaw patch, there is no...

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Posted by on September 9, 2015 at 7:44 am   This post has 15 responses.

Inside the White House Rose Garden “Memory Book”

For the first time ever, the public is able to see a private scrapbook about the Kennedy Rose Garden created by Jackie Kennedy herself in 1966 as a gift to her old friend Bunny Mellon, who helped design the garden. The scrapbook has been scanned, and the 150 or...

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Posted by on August 28, 2015 at 7:37 am   This post has 5 responses.

On Top of the Daylily World

David Kirchhoff and Mort Morss helped smooth my horrible mood swings with daylilies. I had loved a few daylilies and left them. I once grew an acre of the things in commercial production, in addition to growing a wide selection of perennials and wildflowers. There was nothing extravagant about...

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Posted by on August 12, 2015 at 6:59 am   This post has 19 responses.

Plant Fanatics Party in Baltimore

What to call the plant-obsessed people attending the Perennial Plant Association’s shindig last week in Baltimore? Terms like “geek” and “nerd” seem better suited to people who stay out of the sun, so I’ll call us (me, included) fanatics – in a good way.  And I’d never encountered more...

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Posted by on August 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm   This post has 7 responses.

Attracting July Visitors with Photos

Tom Stovall, the resident photographer at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Northern Virginia, is donating his images to my campaign promoting DC-area public gardens.  His photos of nature, especially of wildlife, are beyond anything I can or ever will achieve, but garden photography is new to him so he’s taking suggestions...

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Posted by on July 27, 2015 at 12:19 pm   This post has 10 responses.

Stacking Rocks in Wild Places

Recently I came across this article about the fairly new practice of stacking rocks in wild places. Historically, cairns (rocks piled or stacked by humans) have served important purposes, particularly in parts of the world lacking dramatic natural features to use as landmarks. A cairn might mark a trail,...

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Posted by on July 15, 2015 at 4:00 am   This post has 24 responses.

The grueling, reality-style competition to be the next White House floral designer

  In March we reported that White House floral designer Laura Dowling was mysteriously no longer on the job. Well, today’s Washington Post updates us on the search for her replacement. After months, the legions of applicants have been winnowed down to 25 semi-finalists. The process, similar to that used...

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Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm   This post has 7 responses.

The Local Gardening Show I Covet – “Central Texas Gardener”

While in Toronto for the Blogger Fling I snagged some really interesting bus-mates for our day-long rides to gardens and events, and one was someone I barely knew but quickly became soulmates with – Linda Lehmusvirta, writer/producer of the Austin-based PBS show Central Texas Gardener.  After I got home I...

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Posted by on July 3, 2015 at 7:28 am   This post has 12 responses.

Gardener’s Guide to the National Mall

Here’s a blog post I wrote for two general-interest blogs, in which I review a fabulous new way to see the sights around the National Mall and illustrate with images of the gardens and landscape memorials along the way. It’s a garden tour with tips from a local gardenblogger’s...

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Posted by on June 30, 2015 at 11:08 am   This post has 9 responses.

Amy Stewart on the Road with her First Novel!

GardenRant’s smart and funny co-founder Amy Stewart is sorely missed here, but she’s gone on to bigger things – novels! Her first, “Girl Waits with Gun,” will be out this September, so Amy’s hitting the road. Come on out!  One fellow Ranter will definitely be there for the DC...

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Posted by on June 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm   This post has 5 responses.

Nature Corridors Boost Failing Wildlife Populations

Doug Tallamy is one of my heroes. He is a visionary thinker with the ability to tie together disparate bits of information — research results, personal observations, known scientific facts — into powerful calls for action that guide us toward living within nature, rather than continuing to segregate ourselves...

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Posted by on June 17, 2015 at 6:19 am   This post has 11 responses.
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