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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 when the speakers are chosen to […]

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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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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening
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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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, What's Happening
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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Read related articles in: Ministry of Controversy, What's Happening
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.

Protecting Turfgrass from Springsteen Fans is One Huge Job

Tonight, in celebration of Veterans Day, one huge concert will take place on the National Mall, with headliners like Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna and Eminem. You can watch live it on HBO if you’re a cable subscriber, whether or not you pay extra for HBO. Or if you live nearby you can...

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Posted by on November 11, 2014 at 8:42 am   This post has 6 responses.

Partying with the Friends House Gardeners

GardenRant has a core of engaged readers who comment on our posts (and we thank you!) but the other 2,000 or so daily readers are unknown to us. So it was a nice surprise to be contacted out of the blue by Rant reader Lucille Ridlon, inviting me to...

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Posted by on September 12, 2014 at 7:50 am   This post has 7 responses.

Driving Alaska with My Three Miss Daisies

  Bears loomed large last month in Alaska, but there was more danger lurking for a scrapulation.* Close quarters and too much family togetherness always make for a menacing vacation threat. Rose, my daughter Molly, granddaughter Story and I spent ten days driving around south central Alaska. I’m happy...

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Posted by on September 10, 2014 at 5:37 am   This post has 8 responses.

The Parklet Craze

This year’s international Park(ing) Day falls on September 19, a mere two weeks from now. On that day, individuals, groups, and businesses in cities around the world will commandeer on-street parking spaces and convert them to temporary parklets. These people-friendly spaces might include plants, seating, bike parking, games, exercise...

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Posted by on September 3, 2014 at 3:08 am   This post has 3 responses.

Where’s the Wow? The Green Industry Takes Stock.

Garden suppliers’ sights are set on next spring. Last month, representatives from nurseries, greenhouses, independent garden centers and even Big Box Stores loaded up their cars, vans and trucks, heading to two vastly different Ohio trade summer shows. Cultivate ’14, in Columbus, is the biggest North American trade show,...

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Read related articles in: Taking Your Gardening Dollar, Unusually Clever People, What's Happening
Posted by on August 13, 2014 at 6:37 am   This post has 39 responses.

Pinterest tells us what you like

Hey, bloggers among you, have you ever checked to see which of the photos you’ve published are pinned to readers’ Pinterest boards?  It’s kinda fun, and here’s how.  For this blog I went to: www.pinterest.com/source/gardenrant.com.   You get the idea. Pinterest only displays the most recent but I’ve been checking...

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Read related articles in: What's Happening, Who's Ranting About Us
Posted by on August 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm   This post has 10 responses.

More Foreign Invaders: Possums on the Half Shell

  Robyn Brown, a Nashville buddy and talented gardener, told me last week that her garden is under siege by armadillos. I was all ears. The nine-banded armadillos are rooting around her garden like little armored feral pigs. These foreign invaders arrived in Western Kentucky over twenty years ago....

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Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 6:39 am   This post has 10 responses.

A Growing Trend in the U.S.: Food Forests

Upstart food forests — designed landscapes incorporating perennial and woody plants that produce food — are popping up around the US, inspired no doubt by Seattle’s new Beacon Hill Food Forest as well as successful older sites including Mercy Emily Edible Park on 18 vacant lots in Philadelphia and...

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Posted by on July 16, 2014 at 2:01 am   This post has 12 responses.

Public Gardens and Social Media

For my new volunteer project promoting DC’s public gardens, the focus is on images, using them to create videos, but then what?  Just a slide show?  I think not, because Pinterest and Instagram are hot-hot-hot and gardens are uniquely suited to visuals, to say the least. The research on...

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Posted by on May 30, 2014 at 10:15 am   This post has 6 responses.

Saving Seedlings, Saving the World

Recently I went camping near my new home in Boise. I sat down with a cup of coffee and a notebook in my campsite one morning, enjoying the trilling of a meadowlark and a view of natural scrubland as I pondered (this is one of my favorite activities). As...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Lawn Reform, What's Happening
Posted by on May 20, 2014 at 11:52 pm   This post has 21 responses.
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