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In Japan, “The flowers only bloom for a week, so let’s party!”

Stories about cherry blossoms in Washington can be pretty boring, but this report about how they’re celebrated in Japan is anything but.

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Posted by on April 14, 2015 at 6:43 am   This post has 4 responses.

Bourbon Disease Could Be Worse Than a Bad Hangover

  The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner—the first Saturday in May. I am gripped with fear. I won’t lose sleep over another losing Derby bet, but I’ve just read in the past few weeks that Bourbon disease could rear its ugly head.  I hope not, but who...

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Posted by on April 9, 2015 at 7:57 am   This post has 3 responses.

Pesticide Bans Arriving in U.S.

The banning of pesticides on ornamentals plants started in Canada but is gradually spreading to the south. Liberal Takoma Park, MD recently became the first place in the U.S. to implement such a ban on public and private property, as reported here. And now the proponents of that ban are taking it...

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Posted by on April 3, 2015 at 8:33 am   This post has 9 responses.

Floral Design Clash at the White House: French v. Modern

First there was news that head White House floral designer Laura Dowling had left her job a few weeks ago, with no fanfare, and no one knew why.  There were reports that she’d actually been “escorted off the grounds”! Two days later the Washington Post’s gossip-column had an update –...

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Posted by on March 26, 2015 at 8:12 am   This post has 3 responses.

Let’s Spread the Word about Public Gardens in D.C. and Elsewhere

I just donated to help fund a website that showcases DC-area gardens, a project spearheaded by fellow Ranter Susan Harris. Wherever I go, I visit gardens; no doubt many of you fellow gardeners do too. And sometimes it is difficult to quickly figure out which public gardens are near...

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Posted by on March 18, 2015 at 12:15 am   This post has 5 responses.

MY Trip to the Philly Flower Show

Boy, do we cover the Philadelphia Flower Show here – with a guest post, a guest photographer, and now with my very personal experience of the show – which was not the greatest, and all my fault. First, some meeting and greeting. White House floral designer Laura Dowling demonstrated...

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Posted by on March 13, 2015 at 8:14 am   This post has 15 responses.

Scenes from the Philadelphia Flower Show

It was a great year for the Philadelphia Flower Show, and local photographer Ashley Youwakim is sharing with Rant readers her shots from the show. Captions by Ashley, too. The show’s theme, “Celebrate the Movies,” scattered large cinematic screens that projected clips from an assortment of films.  As the...

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Posted by on March 12, 2015 at 9:02 am   This post has 5 responses.

Whitewashed Tree Trunks: The Unvarnished Story

After a few swipes on Aunt Polly’s plank fence, Tom Sawyer  tired of painting whitewash. So it doesn’t surprise me that there’s no hint, in Mark Twain’s novel, that Tom took a paintbrush to tree trunks. I have been intrigued with this peculiar cultural phenomenon since I was Tom...

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Posted by on March 11, 2015 at 7:43 am   This post has 13 responses.

The Annual Buying (and subsequent killing) of the Air Plant and Plumeria Stick

Guest Rant by Wendy Kiang-Spray Having been to the Philadelphia Flower Show for many years in a row now, my annual trip has taken on a really wonderful rhythm and familiarity. My friend Grace is tiny and swift. Her job is to zip in and out through the crowds while...

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Posted by Wendy Kiang-Spray on March 10, 2015 at 9:07 am   This post has 7 responses.

They have gardens in Canada, too!

Just kidding. I’ve been enjoying my proximity to the cosmopolitan delights of Toronto and the beauties of Ontario’s Niagara region for decades, and now I invite fellow bloggers to do the same. The next Garden Bloggers Fling takes place June 5-8 in Toronto and environs. We’ll see gardens on...

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Read related articles in: Public Gardens, Real Gardens, What's Happening
Posted by on March 9, 2015 at 5:24 am   This post has 15 responses.

The Power of Naming

In my last column, I admitted I prefer my own garden to Garden Shows, though it does depend on how far under the snow my garden is buried at the time the shows are happening. Symposia, on the other hand, are special treats. I invariably find them valuable, especially...

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm   This post has 24 responses.

How to Barter Gardening Expertise for Home Repairs and Soup

Timebanks are being created all across the U.S. so that people can help members of their community in whatever way they can, and get help in return, though probably not from the person they helped. Hours spent helping are banked, and all skills are treated the same. Timebanks are...

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Posted by on February 20, 2015 at 9:48 am   This post has 14 responses.

The Best Garden Show of All

I don’t enjoy ranting and would much rather rave — about, for example, the glorious iridescent slug traceries on the pavers of my courtyard this morning. However, that will have to wait for some future date, because today’s topic is home and garden shows. My tendency has been to...

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Posted by on February 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm   This post has 14 responses.

My Epigenetic Epiphany and the Gingko Hermaphrodite

  High up in a white pine last summer, on our farm in Salvisa, Kentucky, I spotted something odd. I called my neighbor Otis Knox and asked him if he’d ever seen a Witches’ Broom. He came down to investigate. I pointed toward the 30” diameter growth. Otis said...

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Posted by on February 11, 2015 at 6:20 am   This post has 17 responses.

Gratitude in the Eye of this Storm

This week I’m in a flurry — finalizing talks, sending off handouts and invoices, and making the last travel arrangements for presentations at spring events across the country. It’s amazing to think ahead to April when, having logged dozens of hours in transit, I will (if all goes well)...

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Posted by on February 4, 2015 at 4:54 am   This post has 5 responses.

PPA Brings out the Bawlmer Spirit in MANTS-Goers

The annual orgy of plant worship and fun times – the Perennial Plant Association symposium - is happening in Baltimore this year and the Flock is Gathering - in high Pink Flamingo and Big Hair. That was all on display this week at the big Mid-Atlantic  Nursery Trade Show, where garden diva Janet Draper...

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Posted by on January 16, 2015 at 7:59 am   This post has 3 responses.

Got to Scrape the Shit Right Off Your Shoes

It was cold in Louisville last week with morning lows near zero and daytime temperatures struggling to reach the 20s. Rufus had to do his business a half-dozen times each day. That meant I bundled up in four or five layers of clothing to go outside. There’s plenty in...

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 at 6:45 am   This post has 9 responses.

Who Will See the Canopy for the Trees?

  Louisville, Kentucky is on Fodor’s 2015 travel “Go List.”  Forget about Antarctica and Iceland. You want a hot spot? My hometown is unquestionably the hot spot among the top 25 travel destinations. Louisville ranks among the Top Five cities in the country with hottest urban heat islands. Some...

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Posted by on January 8, 2015 at 5:06 am   This post has 15 responses.

“Peace Love 2015″ from Mosquito-Battling New Gardener

Meet my new neighbor, Lindsey Dodson, who moved into what she calls “My Happy House” after 30 years of apartment living in the city.  When asked about the outfit she’s wearing, she wrote that “Yes I actually did wear that outfit a lot this past summer. I get bitten...

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 at 8:31 am   This post has 11 responses.

Travels with Rufus

  John Steinbeck crossed the country with Charley in 1960. I rode to Louisville last month, from Pennsylvania, with Rufus. Steinbeck, who wrote Travels with Charley, made the road trip with his standard poodle in a camper truck. I took Rufus home in a rental car. I met Rufus...

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Posted by on November 12, 2014 at 7:01 am   This post has 10 responses.
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