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Crapemyrtle – Bark Scale

Q: What do you know about crapemyrtle bark scale? A: All I know was passed to me by Steve Pettis in the Rockdale Extension office. Here are some references: Crapemyrtle Bark Scale – Arkansas Crapemyrtle Bark Scale Spreading in Louis...

Jelly Fungus – On Twig

Q:I am guessing this is some kind of fungus and it isn’t good for my tree. A: It looks like one of the jelly fungi, probably Exidia recisa. The twig is dead and the fungus is decomposing it. No harm to the rest of the tree.

Nostoc Bacteria – In Damp Gravel

Q: I have this stuff that looks like dark green seaweed growing on my gravel driveway. I looked online and found posts on garden forums from other people who have it and no one can seem to get rid of it. They call it “nostoc commune”. A: It’s a common damp lawn inhabitant called nostoc. […]

Hellebore (Lenten Rose) – Aphids

Q: I was piddling around with my hellebores yesterday (Jan 25, 2015) and found a big infestation of aphids under the leaves of my ‘Ivory Prince’. I didn’t know aphids attacked hellebores! A: You are very observant! Hellebores have their own little insect: hellebore aphid, Macrosiphum hellebori.

A new book for 2016 and a Lawn Gone! GIVEAWAY

2 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

I have a big announcement, my friends! I’m writing a new book, a follow-up to Lawn Gone! that’s all about how to garden with less water. Or perhaps a better way of describing it is, it’s about honoring water in your garden. No matter where you live, whether you contend with drought or are blessed with regular rain, water gives life. Show More Summary

Winter Interest Battle, Round III: Revenge of the Bulbs by Elizabeth Licata

Over the last few posts, this discussion has partially devolved (in comments at least) into climate comparisons and other weather-related talk. Such is the nature of online conversations, but just to reiterate, I’m merely saying that for me, where I live, designing my outside garden for winter interest, as many, including Evelyn, recommend, makes little […]

Puff balls and the virtue of laziness

4 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

I love seasonal changes, don’t you? Even winter has its own beauty, if you look closely. These tawny puffballs are the seedheads of silver ironweed (Vernonia lindheimeri var. leucophylla)… …which in summer looks like this. I think it...Show More Summary

Shout-out to 2 A-Way-to-Garden Podcasts by Susan Harris

Here’s some winter interest for ya – catching up with gardening podcasts!  Which I don’t believe we’ve mentioned here on the Rant since 2010, so it’s high time, with this being called the Golden Age of Podcasts and all.  And did iPhone users notice that the newest version of the iOS includes an automatic podcast icon […]

Can Winter Feed a Gardener’s Soul? by Evelyn Hadden

Not to beat Elizabeth’s dead horse, but I am still pondering winter interest — and not just in dazzling snow-covered landscapes that most of us couldn’t reproduce in our own yards, though I am truly delighted for those of you who live near one or have made one (see Linda’s garden for some real inspiration). […]

Fire Pits: Part One

It is probably fitting that following a post on leaving wild corners in your garden I would be drawn to a recent post I saw on author Helen Yoest’s blog Gardening with Confidence regarding her organic creation of what she calls her Fire Garden. I found I kept thinking of her post and had the […]

“Kiss Your Ash Good Bye” by Thomas Christopher

That’s what the Massachusetts state forester told me – the emerald ash borer is on the loose in southern Berkshire County where my wife and I have our 130-acre woodlot and within the next couple of years this pest is expected to kill virtually all the native ashes, or roughly 5% of the forest trees, […]

82 gardening book reviews and counting

Browsing for a few good gardening books to get you through the dark days of winter? I’ve got a running list of 82 book reviews and recommendations I’ve written over the years: design books, plant books, artful gardening books, garden-craft...Show More Summary

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - January

This GBBD is nearly a repeat of last month's blooms. Yes, the Orchid is still blooming and I am still awaiting the other Orchids to decide to pop open their buds. A bit of surprise though is the Christmas Cactus that is starting it's third round of blooms since I brought it inside for the winter. Show More Summary

PPA Brings out the Bawlmer Spirit in MANTS-Goers by Susan Harris

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 piled Marge Simpson wigs and other […]

New year in green and gold: January Foliage Follow-Up

It’s a new year in the garden, and I haven’t really been out in it for a while. An unusually long stretch of cold, gray days had me feeling like I was in Seattle, and let me tell you, it made me feel pretty gray myself. But yesterday...Show More Summary

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