Dear Gardener2021-02-17T18:48:36-05:00

The online correspondence between Ranters Marianne Willburn (in Virginia) and Scott Beuerlein (in Ohio) began in July 2019 with Scott’s column ‘Time for a Grexit’ in Horticulture magazine which grumpily condemned British garden writers and their books. Marianne couldn’t let him get away with it; but chose to answer on GardenRant soil. Scott rebutted. Marianne rebutted his rebuttal, and Scott returned the punch.

Marianne answered with a letter.

What followed has been an edgy, informative, humorous and often intimate portrait of their gardens and lives in very different regions of the country. The letters aren’t managed or edited, and often, readers of GardenRant see them even before Scott or Marianne does.

It’s a gardeners’ correspondence for a digital age. You can find the entire collection of letters below. Enjoy!

Does Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder? A Letter From The Midwest.

By |August 17, 2022|

We've been together so much the last two weeks that it's changed everything. We've hung out together here and there before but never with so much quality time. I really feel like I know you so much better now. Although I'm trying very hard not to trust it, all this exposure has not meant I like you any less. This is not at all what I expected. 

Grinding Out Another Horror Show Project in, Turns Out, My “Yew” Garden: A Letter From The Midwest.

By |July 20, 2022|

Part of why the project is so horrible is because much of the point of it is to take space that was already too full of  junk and make it capable of  holding even more junk. Junk had to be move out of the way, only to be in the way of the next task, and then the next.

Muddy March Gardens, Flagrant Power Tool Violations, Heresy, Arson, & More: A [Belated] Letter from The Midwest

By |April 24, 2022|

After returning home, I went into a power tool-fired, panic-driven, spring cleanup, trying desperately to wipe ugly out of my garden but, truth is, only some of what I did made anything look even slightly better. The real cure for March is April, and the cure for April is May. Anyway, I went into a string-trimming frenzy, slashing back sedges, grasses, perennials and slinging dirt, sticks, gravel, plant labels, cigarette butts, beer cans, and whatever else all over creation anywhere I went. I consider myself kind of a performance artist when it comes to using a string trimmer. And a pretty innovative one at that. A lot of what I do with it would show up very prominently in the DO NOT section of the operating manual if manual writers had anything like the imagination I've got.  

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