GardenRant


 

A Rose…By Any Other Name?

I have suffered a series of severe afflictions ever since yesterday when a friend of mine forwarded to me a paper called, Restoring Indigenous Names in Taxonomy. My symptoms have included heart palpitations, headaches, depression, anxiety, wooziness, and drunkenness. It’s possible other things are going wrong too. Things I’m feeling but haven’t quite been able to understand or describe. Like my internal organs are swapping functions with each other. I don’t know. Like I said, I’m still trying to...
Tags: Amazon, Facebook, Gardening, New Zealand, Silicon Valley, Boris Johnson, Delaware, Taxonomy, Wright, Stern, Gillman, Shawnee, IPPS, Ministry of Controversy, Scott Beuerlein, Paul Cappiello


Windcliff: A book for passionate and playful gardeners

The very best books on my shelves suffer scribbles in their margins.  Future book sellers will either be amused or dismayed by my vandalism, but I cannot stop myself (and I always use pencil). A good book speaks to you and prompts you to answer back.  It is a long and involved conversation over many nights filled with questions, observations, exclamations, counterpoints, wine stains, and opinion. When you finish, you have consumed, and that book is set apart from those you have merely fondled or...
Tags: Gardening, Seattle, Pacific Northwest, Marianne, Hinkley, Dan Hinkley, Olympic Mountains, Robert Jones, Elizabeth Licata, Thomas Christopher, Daniel Hinkley, Claire Takacs, Windcliff, Indianola Washington, Rant Reviews


Armitage on pronouncing plant names: Get the syllables in the right order, then fire away

From the GardenRant archives, this post was originally published in December of 2008.  By Allan Armitage I wrote this a number of years ago after I discovered gardeners, even students, were intimidated when trying to give scientific names. They said they felt silly especially if they were with other gardeners whom they were sure “knew everything” and might correct their pronunciation. Now that everyone wants to use plant Latin and plant Greek, here is the next barrier to overcome.  Most people...
Tags: Gardening, Germany, Ireland, Holland, Armitage, Allan Armitage, Guest Rants, John Stokes, Rant's Plants, Stokesia, Elizabeth Excerpted


Gardens and Music

  A Choral Feast: – At Christmas we went to a (socially distanced) concert in Hereford Cathedral. We are great fans of small choirs who sing Renaissance, Baroque and modern choral music: in this case it was Ex Cathedra. And part of the beauty of the experience is the places these choirs perform in, which are usually cathedrals. So, there is a combination of architectural delight, statues, memorials, history and glorious music. A saturation of pleasure and interest. Ex Cathedra at Hereford Cat...
Tags: Gardening, Music, Hereford, Cathedrals, Choral music, Monet, Carolyn, Hereford Cathedral, Tim Richardson, Carolyn Mullet, Ex Cathedra, Random Topics, Garden Visitors, Tewkesbury Abbey People


Philadelphia Flower Show-A New Chapter

Breaking a 191-year-old tradition—necessitated by the current pandemic but long overdue in this gardener’s opinion—the Philadelphia Flower Show (PFS, shown above)) will, this year, be held outside. It would seem natural to hold a flower show outside, but, in the US, it is not the norm. Seattle, Sacramento, Chicago, Boston, and even South Carolina all have indoor flower shows. Most have been cancelled for this upcoming season. The PFS is adapting and this is a change for the better. It ...
Tags: Gardening, UK, US, South Carolina, Chelsea Flower Show, Public Gardens, Philly, Chestnut Street, South Philly, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia Flower Show, Masonic Hall, Frederick Law, Your Gardening Dollar, Philadelphia Flower Show PFS


American Gardens: Didn’t love the series and the book is worse

It’s a complete miss and it’s sad. Anyone who opens American Gardens—the book that accompanies Monty Don’s BBC TV series by the same name—expecting to be wowed by spectacular photography and glowing prose about Yankee gardening prowess needs to lower his or her expectations. Hard. Keep in mind that Don is a beloved garden presenter whose Gardener’s World is wonderfully personal and specific and that his other books are, rightly, very highly regarded. Unfortunately, this book suffers from the sa...
Tags: Gardening, Bbc, Chicago, Frank Gehry, Central Park, Anish Kapoor, Don, Lurie, Cardillo, Yankee, Longwood, Monticello, Dan Hinkley, American gardens, David Culp, Rob Cardillo


United in Condemnation & Tonic: A Letter to the Midwest

21 February 2020 Lovettsville, VA Dear Scott, It is Sunday morning, everyone is fed, and there is still six inches of crusty, icy snow upon the ground. The will to put my boots back on and be upthrusting and productive outside dwindles with each contented sigh of little Mungo here at my feet.  It is a good time to answer your letter. I had thought of answering it last Sunday, regardless of the momentous date, but couldn’t trust you to leave the easy joke alone. It appears we are finally in agre...
Tags: Gardening, Florida, Instagram, Singapore, Everest, Oprah, United, Michael, Midwest, Marianne, Jerry Maguire, Nessa, Mungo, Madeline Kahn, Lovettsville VA, Terrebonne Oregon


Winter Colour in the Garden

Kaffe Fasset: Well, how do we feel about him? A knitter, embroiderer, patchwork maker, teacher and writer. Famous in the UK, travelled here from California. For many years such craft workers have been predominantly women, (though, small nudge of pride, my father was an embroiderer). Yet Kaffe Fassett is a man who managed to get knitting taken seriously, from a hobby or ‘pastime,’ (that word gives me the horrors) to a craft worthy of a show in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He was an o...
Tags: Garden, Gardening, UK, London, California, Victoria, Charles, Embroidery, Knitting, Winter Gardens, Kaffe Fassett, Winter Interest, Victoria and Albert Museum, Kaffe, Albert Museum London, Defiantly Uncategorical


Presenting to Garden Groups Virtually ~ the good, the bad, and the pandemic possibilities ~

Guest Post by C.L. Fornari In April of 2020 my speaking business had to suddenly shift from in-person talks to virtual presentations. Zoom became my new best friend. Some groups and audiences were quick to embrace this means of staying in touch, while others were slower to admit that if any gatherings and talks were going to happen, it needed to be online or not at all. Now, almost a full year and over 100 presentations later, I’m here to record some rants and raves about how this is working for...
Tags: Gardening, Garr Reynolds, Guest Rants, Technical Demands for Club


New Book Gives Advice to Native Plant Lovers Battling Deer

Despite what you may have earnestly been told through grapevines that should know better, deer do not avoid native plants due to a convenient co-evolutionary agreement between flora and fauna. Whether they’re the white-tailed marauders of the East Coast, or the long-eared mule deer of my California childhood, deer consider native foliage just as palatable as the exotic treats collectors find nibbled and stripped when the sun rises on a new and tragic day. So, with native plants featuring ever-h...
Tags: Gardening, California, United States, Cuba, East Coast, Ruth, Gregg, Delaware Botanic Gardens, Claussen, Tepper, Gregg Tepper, Ruth Rogers Clausen, Ruth Clausen, Rant Reviews, Ruth Rogers Clausen Gregg Tepper, Gregory D Tepper


Pandemic Hair, Ice, Snow and The Sons of Lee Marvin

Even with slowly lengthening daylight, what little sun we have has been eclipsed this year by pandemic hair, ice and snow. I’m willing to forego a haircut if this story reaches the distinguished secret order of The Sons of Lee Marvin. My hair is gray and growing longer. I’ve got credentials in the plant world. I am worthy. Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave and John Lurie: Are you paying attention? Okay, I am no “Kid Shelleen” but I should be considered as a Son of Lee Marvin. There’s...
Tags: Gardening, Kentucky, New York Times, Rose, Rufus, Lee Marvin, Mary Vaananen, John Lurie, Defiantly Uncategorical, Lee Marvin My hair, Jim Jarmusch Tom Waits Iggy Pop Nick Cave, Shelleen


A fearless gardener shares some of her nonrules

Welcome guest Ranter Loree Bohl.  Do you know what I hate? Being told how I’m supposed to do something. Phrases like “that’s just how it’s done…” or “everybody does it that way” always  get my hackles up. Usually, the person giving the advice has nothing but the best intentions, but I still end up questioning why I should listen. Just because that’s how everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s how I want to do it.  I’m not “everyone” and neither are you. When perusing gardening books, magazines, or b...
Tags: Gardening, Guest Rants, Grevillea, Bohl, Real Gardening, Loree Bohl, Danger Garden


Want your kids to play outside? Rip out the lawn!

Pam’s kids loved their lawnless front yard. Guest Rant by Pam Penick Originally published in 2013, Pam’s rant is more relevant than ever.  Lawns are for kids, right? After all, they need that big, green carpet to enjoy the outdoors. Would it be an exaggeration to say it borders on neglect not to keep a lawn for your children or grandchildren to play on? Some people think so. In a about drought-prone cities paying homeowners to rip out water-hogging lawns, one critic implied that families sho...
Tags: Gardening, Instagram, Los Angeles, South Carolina, Gardening on the Planet, Pam Penick, Guest Rants


White House Lawn Festooned with Valentine’s Day Hearts – Who Cares if they’re Corny?

In what her office called “The first lady’s surprise Valentine messages to the country, Valentine’s Day candies with messages of love and healing were installed overnight, surprising the President.   They talked with reporters, and C-SPAN got it on tape. “I just wanted some joy,” she told a reporter. “With the pandemic, just, everybody’s feeling a little down. So, it’s just a little joy. A little hope. That’s all.” Yard Snobbery at Slate On Slate, Heather Schwedel starts with acknowledging...
Tags: Gardening, White House, Biden, Valentine, Jill Biden, Susan Harris, White House Gardens, Heather Schwedel


No love for street trees

Especially not from utility companies. The image above was taken on a street on the east side of Buffalo, but this scene, or something similar, is common throughout the US, from Pasadena to Lexington to Aroostook. I’m lucky on my street, because our power lines are behind our houses and the tall shade trees on the street can grow unimpeded. That’s not the case in many other Buffalo neighborhoods, where, as you can see, large shade trees are chopped back without much attention to aesthetics. App...
Tags: Gardening, US, Ohio, Buffalo, Pasadena, Lexington, Ministry of Controversy, Aroostook, Midwest Electric


Does Gardening cure Coronavirus Misery?

Many years ago, we visited a garden and found box clippings all over a path from the gardener’s hedge cutting. We piled them into a carrier bag, took them home and I made them into cuttings. Which eventually made us our own hedges. Miles of them. (well almost) The ex box hedges in winter, now sadly all gone. In the photo just partly gone. Replaced with Osmanthus x burkwoodii, still, of course rather tiny. The Parterre is filled with ornamental grasses. Elsewhere in the garden there are still mo...
Tags: Health, Gardening, Charles, Miles, Garden Magazines, Slugs, Osmanthus, Charles Hawes, Margaret Attwood, Coronavirus, COVID, Real Gardening, Veddw, Box Blight


The Bad-Tempered Gardener

From the GardenRant Archives This post from 2011 seems to foreshadow Anne Wareham joining GardenRant this year. In it, Amy described Anne “one of us.  She is opinionated, ill-tempered, witty, and slightly crazy.” There’s a lot of hand-wringing going on in the publishing world right now.  The poor economy, the closure of many fine independent bookstores, the rise of ebooks—it’s causing a lot of anguish.  And there are some numbers to back up the anguish:  sales of all print books declined ten p...
Tags: Gardening, UK, London, Telegraph, Amy, Anne, Wareham, Unusually Clever People, Charles Hawes, Anne Wareham, Rant Reviews, Veddw House Garden, Anne Wareham Wareham, Glouchester They, Dear Ms Wareham


My Love Hate Relationship with Snow

There are few things more magical than a snowfall, and few terms more overused to describe it. Nonetheless, the cliché communicates the outright miracle of slowing a world that refuses to slow itself.   As the flakes fall, and the cardinals and Jenny wrens bob back and forth from feeder to trees, I am entranced. 24 hours later, I am so over it.   I have a running dialogue with a very dear friend that begins around the end of November and continues ad nauseam until the daffodil blossoms break. S...
Tags: Gardening, Usda, Will Ferrell, Sierra Nevada, Mid Atlantic, Jenny, Scott Beuerlein, Real Gardening, Woodland Garden Green Man


Kelly Norris on New Naturalism and Informed Plant Choices

This guest post by Kelly Norris is excerpted from New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient, Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden by Kelly D. Norris (Cool Springs Press, 2021). History is full of great visions about landscapes that rest on the mantle of place. The Romans had a phrase —genius loci—that quite literally referred to the protective spirit of a place. American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was often called a “genius of place,” the literal translation of said Roman ph...
Tags: Gardening, Qvc, Romans, Kelly, Gardening on the Planet, Kelly Norris, Guest Rants, Frederick Law Olmsted, Informed Plant Choices, Kelly D Norris Cool Springs Press, Kelly D Norris


10 Greenest U.S. Presidents

From the GardenRant Archives Originally published 1/21/09, the day after Obama’s first inauguration. Teddy Roosevelt, the winner! Whatever may happen over the next months and years, this has surely been a memorable past few days, and I have been as caught up in them as anyone. It makes me think of the types of policies I would hope for, particularly in terms of the natural world—how we live in it, use it, and change it. But it will take me a while to formulate those hopes and speculations. I...
Tags: Gardening, Yosemite, Obama, Congress, White House, Southeast Asia, Usda, Epa, Lincoln, Johnson, Kennedy, Clinton, National Park Service, Wilson, Nixon, Carter


The GardenRant Story

To help celebrate GardenRant’s 15th anniversary this year, I’ve pulled together the story of how it started, how it continued through changes in life circumstances and technical crises, and how it’s changed my own life. Michele Owens – fit, classy, and boy can she write. Early Gardenblogging and Scheming Gardenblogging noticeably debuted in about 2005, with a dozen or so of us across the country posting and reading/commenting on each others’ blogs.  It was fun. Google Reader (RIP) made it ea...
Tags: Google, Europe, Gardening, Mississippi, Maryland, Wales, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, America, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Tennessee, Connecticut, Buffalo


Film “The Biggest Little Farm” and AppHarvest

Have you seen the feel-good documentary The Biggest Little Farm? You should. It’s the story of a husband and wife who change careers to pursue a dream of living and working on a sustainable, diversified farm on impoverished soil 40 miles north of Los Angeles. Many of my friends loved the film. I had a different view. My head hurt after watching a portion of the couple’s eight long years of on-the-job training at Apricot Lane Farms. Coyotes were hungry for lambs; snails had an appetite for fruit...
Tags: Gardening, California, Molly, Mexico, Kentucky, China, Martha Stewart, India, America, Los Angeles, Earth, Gmo, Chile, Arizona, Peru, John


Three More White House Garden Stories Already

Continuing our reporting on garden-related news about the First Family, something new has turned up about gardens the Bidens may have created or cared.  Bidens Added Family Heritage Garden at the Naval Observatory  Thanks to a story in Huffington Post, we get to see a garden the Bidens established there! The story is full of great photos of the home, too. The porch is to die for. This is the same VP quarters that VP Harris and her husband will be moving into after some renovations are complet...
Tags: Gardening, Obama, Washington Post, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Dc, People Magazine, Biden, Huffington Post, Kamala Harris, Public Gardens, HARRIS, Bidens, White House Kitchen Garden, First Family, Blair House


Why we have a Ministry of Controversy

Do politics belong in the garden or in a garden blog? I suggest that the answer to this question doesn’t matter much; politics are there already and have been for decades. I was reminded of this recently while cleaning out a closet that had long been abandoned as a large hole in the wall to fill with junk. In it, I found several issues of Horticulture, for whom I wrote columns and features at one time. The first one, published on the back page in 2008 (screenshot shown above, illustration by Br...
Tags: Gardening, White House, Obamas, Ministry of Controversy, Brian Adjhar


Back to the garden

Set for a small daytime NYE gathering Is there anyone else whose tolerance for frigid temps has risen significantly this winter? In the cold climate zones of the US, people are finding ways to get out of the house safely, either with the family unit or even with others. For me, that doesn’t mean indoor restaurant dining or shopping. It does mean taking advantage of the winter beauty found in nearby nature preserves and parks. I wrote about that recently.  And then there is the opportunity for s...
Tags: Gardening, US, Elizabeth Licata, Regular Gardens


Plant Delights 2021 Catalog Sparks Outrage

Tony Avent’s beloved garden and his Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina have many mentions here on GardenRant, all favorable. We’ve reported on visits in person, and we were thrilled to be included in the cover of the 2013 catalog (the four original Ranters are in the upper left). So no one here takes pleasure in reporting on the public outcry over the 2021 catalog, though it sure deserves it. But judge for yourself. (Comments contrary to fact will be removed.)           Hundreds of people...
Tags: Gardening, Instagram, Ukraine, Best, Biden, North Carolina, Democratic Party, HARRIS, Tony, Susan Harris, Ministry of Controversy, Avent, Kathy Jentz, Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery, Kathy Kathy


Pissing Away a Privilege and a Newly Invented Theology; A Letter to VA.

January 27, 2021 Cincinnati, Ohio  Dear Marianne, It was a great relief to receive your most recent letter. I was a bit worried my previous letter to you might have been a little on the harsh side. I apologize for shining so much light on how much you like to complain. It was very generous of you to say that I’m the better person in your last letter, but the fact is–and we both know this–we could squabble all day on the issue of which of us is worse. While it would be terrific fun for us, I fear...
Tags: Gardening, Marianne, Kevin He, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati Ohio, Michele, Scott Beuerlein, Canna, Canna Kevin


Plant Explorer Ernest Wilson’s Sink is Going in My Garden

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” ― Robert Jordan   I own E.H. Wilson’s bathroom sink. It came to me in a big wooden box from a generous and thoughtful acquaintance who had purchased, and then remodeled, E.H. Wilson’s cottage near the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts.  He had purchased, and then remodeled, the cottage in which Ernest an...
Tags: Gardening, England, China, Massachusetts, Taiwan, Sichuan, Sargent, Wilson, Sichuan Province, Boston Massachusetts, Ernest, Guizhou Province, Heronswood, Veitch, Dan Hinkley, Yunnan


Hi from the UK.

Hello American Gardeners, What do I know of you, American garden-interested people? Very little, I believe, even about Americans generally. Well, as a child I knew you were all fabulously rich, with central heating and huge fridges. This is our central heating. I have since learned that you all like to have endless sweeps of joined up lawn in front of your houses: houses which strangely have no names. And in the Land of the Free you have lots of regulations about what to grow and how. (Is thi...
Tags: Gardening, UK, Britain, Bellis, Who's Ranting About Us, Anne Wareham, Veddw House Garden, Hallellujah


GardenRant Announces New Design and New Ranters Hinkley and Wareham

Big news from the GardenRant team! New Design  (L) Jim Charlier with Sally Cunningham, from Buffalo-Style Gardening. (R) Laura Bowly. The GardenRant team is thrilled to announce that the site you’re on IS GardenRant – it just looks very different. Original logo from 2006. Our new logo was created by Buffalo-based marketing and graphics genius Jim Charlier (blogging at Art of Gardening), a friend to several of us at GardenRant. He’s well known in gardening circles for successfully promotin...
Tags: Gardening, Buffalo, Washington State, Anne, Laura, Dan, Jim, Hinkley, Dan Hinkley, Wareham, Who's Ranting About Us, GardenRant, Heronswood Nursery, Jim Charlier, Anne Wareham, Ernest Wilson