Best Gardening Event of Winter? MANTS!

Yesterday I made my yearly pilgrimage to Baltimore to attend MANTS.  the largest nursery trade show in the East – by far. This year there were 900+ vendors in 1,200 booths, and over 10,000 pre-registered attendees. It was a blast for me – getting to see dozens of garden-world friends, and being surrounded by plants, […]

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Posted by on January 12, 2018 at 11:14 am   This post has one response.

The Little Greenhouse That Could

My first greenhouse was neither big nor fancy. Built in 1980, the 14’ X 32’ hoop house—small by commercial greenhouse standards—became my plant propagation house for the next 15 years. I spent a lot of time in the little greenhouse at Holbrook Farm and Nursery near Mills River, NC....

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Posted by on January 11, 2018 at 9:25 am   This post has 5 responses.

The Best Seed Company in the World

It is time to say good-bye to the wonderful and versatile Jelitto Perennial Seeds—at least in one sense. I’ll be clocking out, for the last time, at the end of the year. I am grateful to my friend Klaus Jelitto for giving me a job 22 years ago. There...

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Posted by on December 13, 2017 at 7:54 am   This post has 26 responses.

How one Garden Club is Changing with the Times

Who’s old enough to have belonged to a garden club back when they were known as cliques for privileged white women? (The Savannah Garden Club made famous in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil comes to mind – the boozy lunches, the expelling of members for getting...

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Posted by on December 1, 2017 at 9:25 am   This post has 6 responses.

Perennial Royalty: It’s Inbred

There are few families in American horticulture with four generations of successful nursery crops. There are even fewer nursery legends with a story so well remembered as that of Jack Schultz, the 88-year-old Schultz family patriarch and founder of Springbrook Gardens, wholesale perennials growers, in Mentor, Ohio. Jack’s dad,...

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Posted by on November 29, 2017 at 7:56 am   This post has 2 responses.

Are Images of Gardeners in the Media Finally Improving?

My recent rant about stereotypes of gardeners in a new play got me thinking about the images of gardeners used in advertising and elsewhere. The garden-club-competing gardeners in the play typify the demographic so often used to portray us – white and elderly.   More of the same can...

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Posted by on November 3, 2017 at 8:55 am   This post has 10 responses.

Waiting for Camus

Albert Camus nearly got it right when he wrote: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is in flower.” The French philosopher didn’t clutter a good line with what really blossoms in autumn for many gardeners. In practical terms, with cooler temperatures, the weeds wind down. This year,...

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Posted by on October 25, 2017 at 7:47 am   This post has Comments Off on Waiting for Camus.

Ask Your Budtender First

  I went to a legal pot dispensary in Denver this summer. Marijuana, you’ve no doubt heard, is a hot commodity in Colorado. The dispensary reminded me of the Long Branch Saloon on the long-playing television series Gunsmoke (1955-1975). Miss Kitty traded gossip in the saloon with U.S. Marshall...

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Posted by on October 11, 2017 at 8:19 am   This post has 2 responses.

All Maters Matter

Guest Ranter Ralph Haas, and his Kailua Farm partners, had a goal of winning a ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair last week. They had one problem. They couldn’t pull together five red tomatoes between them. Ralph wrote a letter of explanation that was submitted with their fair entry....

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Posted by Ralph Haas on August 23, 2017 at 7:10 am   This post has 5 responses.

GWA/Buffalo Take-Aways

Buffalo! Time for a debrief after attending the Garden Writers annual shindig held in Buffalo this year – to the delight of anyone who’s been there in the last decade or so and the apprehension of anyone who hasn’t. Yeah, Buffalo had lots of doubters, but boy did that...

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Posted by on August 18, 2017 at 7:48 am   This post has 11 responses.

John Oliver Discovers the One and Only Ciscoe Morris

I love this! So does the Seattle Times.

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Posted by on August 15, 2017 at 10:27 am   This post has 5 responses.

Perennially Yours: Steve Still

Garden Rant contributor Bob Hill came to my 60th surprise birthday party some years ago. After a few glasses of wine, he said, “Look around. All of these friends will be at your funeral.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or pray. I have thought about Bob’s prophetic words...

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Posted by on August 9, 2017 at 7:23 am   This post has 10 responses.

joe gardener Goes Live!

For months I’d been dying to set my eyes on Joe Lamp’ls new website joegardener.com, hoping for a lot. It launched last week and at the risk of gushing, it includes everything a how-to-garden site should have and some stuff I didn’t think of. In Joe’s words to me...

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Posted by on June 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm   This post has one response.

Flingers, First Trip to DC?

Gardening get-togethers like the Garden Blogger Fling and Garden Writer events are the best possible ways to see great private gardens, and the Fling attendees coming to the Washington, D.C. area next weekend will see lots of them. But like Elizabeth, when I visit a city that’s new to me...

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Posted by on June 16, 2017 at 8:45 am   This post has 3 responses.

Take the Sting Out with Nutritious Nettles

My daughter, Molly, decided to harvest nettles on our farm in Salvisa last year. I wondered, Why? I must have been lost in the woods. Suddenly, more herbalists are singing the praises of stinging nettles. Urtica dioica is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is also a valuable, anti-inflammatory, weedy...

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Posted by on June 7, 2017 at 7:35 am   This post has 4 responses.

Always Dreaming

Long lines at the betting window last weekend were not my concern. I piddled around on Derby Day at home—on the couch and in the garden. I dodged rain showers outside, while inside I sidestepped heavy grazing on beef tenderloin, country ham, corn pudding and my niece’s cookies. I...

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Posted by on May 10, 2017 at 8:12 am   This post has 3 responses.

The Run from the Roses

I run from roses until mid-April, when my mood changes, as the Kentucky Derby grows near. The Run for the Roses turns me tenderhearted toward roses. It’s complicated. We have two disease-ravaged and bug-eaten pitiful roses in our garden. I should back up for a second. I’m married to...

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Posted by on May 3, 2017 at 7:01 am   This post has 5 responses.

3 Examples of a Pro-Science Movement in Gardening – Are There More?

The press release below touts a “New Pro-Science Movement in Gardening” based on the popularity of the Garden Professors, the curation project Good Gardening Videos, and the Garden Writers Association’s new science-writing award. Know of any more examples? Or on the contrary, do you know of any blowback from...

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Posted by on April 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm   This post has Comments Off on 3 Examples of a Pro-Science Movement in Gardening – Are There More?.

The One and Only Poison Ivy Horticulturist

Superman was the most thrilling comic book hero of my boyhood. “Look… Up in the sky…It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman!” I felt better knowing that good would conquer evil—eventually. Now, J.J. Burkman and the “team of horticulturalists-turned-heroes are fighting an evil villain named Heart Root and...

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Posted by on April 12, 2017 at 8:07 am   This post has 4 responses.

New Podcast Discovery: “Still Growing”

I’ve complained about the dearth of gardening podcasts and one of my favorites seems to have even gone dormant. But when I came across three podcasts about this year’s Garden Blogger Fling in Minneapolis, which I actually attended, I had to give a listen, and so discovered probably the...

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Posted by on December 14, 2016 at 5:53 pm   This post has Comments Off on New Podcast Discovery: “Still Growing”.