Austin: ten years later and even better

More than 90 garden bloggers got together for three days of garden touring in Austin last weekend. It is a return to the first such get-together, which took place in April, 2008. I was one of those Austin, 2008 bloggers, organized a similar weekend in Buffalo in 2010, and have attended other Flings, as they’re […]

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Posted by on May 8, 2018 at 11:13 am   This post has 6 responses.

Easter with Cherry Blossoms and Tourists

Midday Easter Sunday I took the subway downtown with my new bike (love it!) to check out the cherry blossoms and see what other plants might be putting on a show for the tourists.  On the trip I noticed people in costume and learned that they were on their way...

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Posted by on April 5, 2018 at 4:38 pm   This post has Comments Off on Easter with Cherry Blossoms and Tourists.

Niagara Falls is not frozen

And it wasn’t three years ago either, which was the last time this clickbait appeared on Facebook. But it is pretty damn cold, and frozen mist has formed a crust of ice over some parts of the still-flowing water—the thinner Bridal Falls, in particular, really looks frozen, though water...

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Posted by on January 8, 2018 at 11:30 am   This post has 4 responses.

Plant-Based Icons at the U.S. Botanic Garden

The year-old Museum of African American History and Culture on the grounds of the Washington Monument is still so hard to get tickets for, I’ve only seen the exterior (fabulous!) and the landscape (too new to look like much). But while I’m figuring out how to get inside, at...

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Posted by on December 25, 2017 at 7:54 am   This post has 3 responses.

Sunflowers Rivaling Cherry Blossoms as Top Plant Attraction

Here’s why I’m going out on a cherry blossom limb to assert that the humble sunflower is gaining on DC’s most overhyped flowers. Just outside DC, Maryland’s McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area is just now seeing its sunflower fields cleared of photographers from near and far. There’s a special Guide for Photographing...

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Posted by on August 4, 2017 at 10:07 am   This post has 3 responses.

Beach Town’s Transition from Gambling and Gangs to Gorgeous Gardens

This week I visited North Beach, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay, about 45 minutes from my home. I hadn’t been there since the 1980s, when I remember it as rundown and generally depressing. A little research into the town’s history explains why. From Wikipedia: The town was a gambling mecca...

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Posted by on July 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm   This post has Comments Off on Beach Town’s Transition from Gambling and Gangs to Gorgeous Gardens.

Garden Bloggers take DC (area)

First, it must be stressed that I am not a good tour taker. I love looking at gardens, but I can enjoy a smaller garden pretty quickly, and then I’m done. I’m better in big public gardens, where you can keep moving and there’s always something different around the...

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Posted by on July 11, 2017 at 10:28 am   This post has 3 responses.

Garden show-offs and lawn proselytizing at a DC museum

Here’s one item not on the agenda for this month’s Garden Blogger’s Fling in Washington, DC, but I don’t plan to miss it: “Cultivating America’s Gardens,” at the National Museum of American History in Washington. It opened last month and is on view through August 2018, so there’s plenty...

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Posted by on June 8, 2017 at 7:51 am   This post has 2 responses.

Where Leaders for Public Gardens Come From

Last week I showed off my favorite views in Chanticleer Garden from a recent visit, promising a second post about the “good and important work that Chanticleer does.” So I’m back to spread the word about the behind-the-gorgeous-gardens stuff that goes on there, good works I had no notion...

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Posted by on May 26, 2017 at 8:17 am   This post has one response.

Preserves work in every season

While I do enjoy visiting the warm glasshouses of our splendid botanical garden during the winter, the experience can pall. Though it’s lovely to view orchids, bromeliads, succulents, towering palms, and a wide variety of tropical oddities, it can get to be a bit routine. And you’re not getting...

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Posted by on February 16, 2016 at 10:01 am   This post has 7 responses.

Public Gardeners Tackle the 2016 Blizzard

Did you all see the Smithsonian’s blizzard video? You know, the panda playing in the snow.  You probably shared it. But to this gardener, the blizzard story I love wasn’t online anywhere. It’s about horticulturists sleeping on cots at the Smithsonian and other public gardens – deliberately, not because they’re...

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Posted by on February 12, 2016 at 9:23 am   This post has 4 responses.

Reporting from Iowa

Guest Rant by Linda Larson, A Traveling Gardener This just in: Iowa has beautiful gardens and parks, with grand trees, roses, hostas, and lakes. Despite the frenzy of Iowa’s political caucuses, happy people are ice skating on the pond in Vander Veer Botanical Park and Conservatory in Davenport. They will...

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Posted by Linda Larson on January 28, 2016 at 6:56 am   This post has 4 responses.

Landscapes with Healing Powers: Video Tribute to Lava Hot Springs

Occasionally we Ranters pay video tributes to our favorite public gardens, a lovely tradition begun by our own Susan Harris. Here’s a little video ode (videode?) to a sweet destination tucked away in the mountains of southern Idaho, the town of Lava Hot Springs. Hope you will be able...

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Posted by on January 20, 2016 at 6:04 pm   This post has 3 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dumbarton Oaks in April

Yesterday was the perfect day to visit Dumbarton Oaks, the Beatrix Farrand-designed garden and research facility in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood. Cherry trees and magnolias were still blooming, under blue skies.  I was reminded why the National Geographic named it the 6th best garden in the world. Above, the garden’s most iconic...

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Posted by on April 17, 2015 at 7:19 am   This post has 6 responses.