Blog Profile / Garden Rant

Filed Under:Hobbies / Gardening
Posts on Regator:1524
Posts / Week:3.2
Archived Since:March 5, 2008

Blog Post Archive

I hate being a gardening know-it-all by Elizabeth Licata

19 hours agoHobbies / Gardening : Garden Rant

And the funny thing is that I’m really not. I’m not a master gardener, a CNLP, or any kind of horticultural professional. I’m just a writer/editor who loves to garden, geek out on gardening books, and keep up with new ways of thinking about traditional garden practice. And, yes, I like to use botanical names. […]

Olfactory Overload by Bob Hill

I’ve been spending more time of late wandering our eight-acre landscape both because after 42 years here I keep finding old plants I too often overlook, and, more important, the chances are very slim I’ll find an aircraft carrier either on its way to Australia or North Korea. Gardening always provides some escape from reality […]

The Wrong Way to Teach Eco-Friendly Gardening by Susan Harris

I recently attended a “Green Yards and Gardens” talk in my town. The intern giving the talk was more knowledgeable than I expected, but the topics covered were no surprise: native plants, composting, water conservation, and organic pest control, the usual bullet points. Afterwards I asked some attendees I knew how they liked the talk […]

Pollen, Politics and Doomsday Prep by Allen Bush

I’ve been a careless victim of too many late nights in my past, but knocking back shots of Bourbon into the wee hours did not redden my eyes this spring. Pollen is the culprit. The warm late winter and early spring brought flowers into bloom earlier than usual. And of course that meant pollen— lots […]

Garden variety hellebores are still the best by Elizabeth Licata

Like many shade gardeners, I am in love with hellebores. They start flowering in March (or earlier) and some stay in bloom right into May. Deer, though not a problem for me, hate them; it’s easy to figure out why—just grab a handful of the plant’s sharp, raspy foliage. After bloom, the foliage provides lush […]

Starting from Seed by Thomas Christopher

Real gardeners, compulsive gardeners, are up to their elbows in seedlings this time of year.  We (I qualify at least as compulsive) have a number of rationales for starting from seed. To begin with, it’s economical, the only way we can afford all the plants we want.  For the price of a packet of a […]

Garden Photographer of the Year Winners by Susan Harris

A local photography friend sent me a link to the International Garden Photographer of the Year, which bills itself as “the world’s premier competition and exhibition specialising in garden, plant, flower and botanical photography,” now in its 10th year. The competition works with Kew Gardens and the winners are displayed there and on tour throughout […]

The One and Only Poison Ivy Horticulturist by Allen Bush

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 his hostile band of praying mantises […]

Sorry, no seeds—or cereal—for me, GM by Elizabeth Licata

Full disclosure: I have a relationship with Cheerios. On any given morning, when I step out into the garden, a pleasant smell, kind of like baking, is often lightly wafting through the air. It’s coming from the General Mills plant down at the waterfront. It started making Cheerios as “CheeriOats” in 1941; they also make […]

Eye Candy from a Famous Spanish Designer by Susan Harris

In my 40+ years in the DC area, I’ve been invited to very few embassy functions. It was thanks to my garden writing that the Embassy of Spain invited me to a recent event at Dumbarton Oaks – so right there, count me IN, almost no matter the topic. But it gets better because the event […]

Is Facebook a great place for gardening questions? Usually not. by Elizabeth Licata

It can depend on who’s in your friend list, but I’ve seen enough to determine that asking random gardening questions on Facebook is an exercise in frustration and bad information. The ones I have seen on my feed—usually about plant IDs or houseplant problems—get such a wide range of answers, mostly wrong, that I wonder […]

A trendy wish list for 2017 by Elizabeth Licata

Not having even looked at any of the predictions or surveys regarding general gardening behavior, here is my wishful thinking for the coming year: More six-packs, fewer pricy branded pots I am lucky enough to be able to order interesting new cultivars from the yearly sale our botanical gardens has—and they actually come in 4- […]

Planting for the cause by Elizabeth Licata

Many of you have heard that 2017’s “Perennial Plant of the Year” is Asclepias tuberosa/butterfly weed. It’s not a surprising choice—attention to attracting and supporting pollinators, especially butterflies, especially monarchs, has been peaking for the past few years and shows no sign of declining. A good thing. Normally, I pay scant attention to “plants of […]

Clean water? Fresh air? Unspoiled national parks? Science? Who needs ’em? by Elizabeth Licata

After appointing what are essentially bizzaro-world choices to lead the EPA, and other government offices that might affect the natural environment, the current administration has removed key  protections through executive order and plans to get rid of many more through upcoming budget changes. The done deals include allowing coal leases on federal lands, beginning the […]

In the Green by Thomas Christopher

This time of year, when the snowdrops bloom, I always think of Bill Owens.  Bill was a remarkable man:  born in 1905 in the tiny community of Pin Hook, Texas, he was raised in poverty by his widowed mother.  His teaching at a one-room schoolhouse was all from one book, the only schoolbook his family […]

Gardens and Gardening on Video by Susan Harris

While we’re waiting for the last year of GardenRant’s posts to be restored (long, frustrating story), enjoy the 14 new videos I recently added to the nonprofit educational campaign Good Gardening Videos. HOME GARDENS Tour a STUNNING GARDEN NEAR AUSTIN, with great plants and the best-looking stormwater solutions you’ve ever seen. Even when rocks are used […]

Assessing my Gloves and Trowels by Susan Harris

I began assessing my most vital gardening tools – like gloves and trowels – pre-season, in February. I rounded up all the gloves in my collection and discovered first that they’re super-dirty. Can my favorite cheap gloves (just over $2 a pair) be put in the washer? I’ll be finding out on my next laundry day. But […]

Me and my Weepers by Garden Rant

Guest Post by Bob Hill. I have never fully understood my attraction to weeping plants and I really don’t want to pay some nerdy-looking guy with a psychology degree about $250-an-hour to find out. Truth be told, I’ve spent some time drinking beer and exchanging words like “theorization” and “anosognosia” with otherwise likeable shrinks who […]

How to make your region as garden-crazed as Buffalo by Elizabeth Licata

May is the month designated for extra gardening coverage in the magazine I edit, so I’m in the middle of preparing that right now. This year I decided to focus on classes, workshops, and reliable online learning (giving a nod to Susan’s gardening video site). I’m almost done, and it’s really surprising how much there […]

Turn off the tap for a better garden by Thomas Christopher

I spent the last two weeks in Morocco; as travel is supposed to do, this provided me with a new perspective. Morocco is a semi-arid to arid country. In Fez, where I spent the most time, the wettest month is February, with an average of just 2.8 inches of rain, while the whole of summer […]

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