Posts filtered by tags: Rant's Plants[x]


 

Exploring Yellow Island

Yellow Island I am, floristically speaking, a sybarite.  Though I will attempt to enjoy the occasional long weekend at an Oberoi or Four Seasons, especially so as the guest of a wealthy friend, and will suffer through multi-course meals that are as unsettling to my wallet as the mucosa of my digestive tract, I am in my element under modest means.  In terms of my phytogeographical peregrinations, however, not so much. Of the numerous petty slings and arrows suffered during the pandemic, none wa...
Tags: Gardening, China, Vietnam, Seattle, Pacific Northwest, Public Gardens, Michelin Star, Robert, Hawai'i, Lewis, Hawaiian Islands, Wilkes, Victoria Island, Arunachal Pradesh, Wilke, Camassia


I like thug plants and I cannot lie

When I saw this quote/paraphrase from Sir Mixalot’s 1992 hit in my local gardening group, I thought, “Finally. Somebody gets me.” My gardening life is punctuated by love/hate relationships with plants that have to be cut back and selectively pulled out on a regular basis. Trumpet vine, wisteria, anemone canadensis, sweet woodruff, lily of the valley, and ostrich fern are a few that can be oh-so-readily named. Vigorous climbers are needed to help screen the garden from a neighboring property and...
Tags: Gardening, New York State, Anemone, Ministry of Controversy, Mixalot, Rant's Plants


Praising and *Defending* the ‘Ogon’ Spirea

I’ve grown several spirea shrubs over the years but it wasn’t until I found the ‘Ogon’ variety that I became thoroughly smitten, recommending it to the dozens of people who’ve asked me about it admiringly. Here’s why. The photo above, taken March 8 of last year, shows how early they bloom – with the ‘February Gold’ daffodils, even earlier than forsythias near me. It also has fabulous fall color, which it maintains for an impressively long time – so long that I kept photographing it over the win...
Tags: Gardening, Maryland, Michigan State, Morton Arboretum, Ogon Spirea, Rant's Plants


Social Distancing Guidelines for the Garden

For over a year I have looked forward to a time when there would no longer be the heavy burden of social distancing. Visits with friends were scarce during the pandemic. I worried that fist bumping might permanently replace a handshake. There was a bright side. I never bothered to mask up or social distance around friends with Latin binomial names. I was safe in the garden. Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law Milton Cooper I grow many plants that have personal stories. They mean much more to m...
Tags: Garden, Gardening, Kentucky, Turkey, United Kingdom, Essex, John, Charles, Charlotte, Thomas, Rose, Elizabeth, Andrea, Lawrence, Howard Hughes, Milton


Once Upon a Childhood Oak Tree

Molly Bush and a young swamp white oak in upper left hand corner. Tim Barnwell photo.                                                                                                                           “Every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who stood their ground.”     Henry David Thoreau                                                               I have been inextricably bound to one swamp white oak since I was seven years old. For many years, I could only identify the oak, a...
Tags: Gardening, California, Louisville, Gray, Niagara Falls, Robert, University Of Georgia, Holly, Henry David Thoreau, Niagara, Fletcher North Carolina, Betsy, Holbrook, Thoreau, International Society of Arboriculture, Salvisa Kentucky


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


Seasonal distractions

A screenshot from a facebook post (don’t click on the +3) Usually, at this time of year, my social feeds are filled with cries of “Too soon!, too soon!” Not this month. Instead, I am seeing houses getting decked out for Christmas before Thanksgiving is past and inquiries about where to get live potted trees. People are embracing the season before it even begins. Why? Because it’s a way to bring light and color into our domestic environments at a time when we can’t bring people or go where peopl...
Tags: Gardening, Elizabeth Licata, Rant's Plants, Real Gardening


Anthropomorphism and plants

Meet ‘Charlotte,’ which will always be an “it” to me. This won’t be a popular opinion. But it’s been on my mind for a while, and, as the practice becomes more and more common, I finally had to say something. As we know, most plants (by no means all) are hermaphrodites, with flowers that have both male and female sex organs—but it’s complicated, much more complicated than I will go into here. Indeed, I am not interested in going into it, because there is zero science behind indoor/outdoor garden...
Tags: Gardening, Epsom, Emma Hamilton, Elizabeth Licata, Rant's Plants, Elizabeth Graham Thomas


Abuse of Osmanthus Shrubs by Power Tools

Take a look at the two ‘Goshiki’ Osmanthus (a/k/a False Holly) on either side of my front door, where they get just a couple hours of late afternoon sun. They’re slow-growing, so they need almost no pruning, ever, and they’re evergreen! And not plain dark green like most evergreen shrubs and trees but a variegated mix of white and light green. So lovely – I love this shrub! And this year, in their 9th year out of the nursery and into this spot, they bloomed, and the scent covered my front yard...
Tags: Gardening, Holly, Susan Harris, Power Tools, Rant's Plants


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


On Naming Asters – Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.

One of fall’s last hurrahs. Symphiotrichum (Aster) oblongifloium on October 27th. The old joke among horticulturists is that shuffling and splitting plant names keeps botanists off the dole. The botanic name-changing business has been productive, but the consequences of taxonomic tinkering are sometimes painful. For instance… The aromatic aster “…by any other name would smell as sweet…” became Symphyotrichum oblongifoium. The jaunty, old botanic name, Aster oblongifolius, was tossed on the ash ...
Tags: Gardening, Scotland, Virginia, North America, New England, Great Plains, Allen Bush, Salvisa, Aster, Carolus Linnaeus, Campanula, Julian Shaw, Symphyotrichum, Christian Gottfried Daniel Ness von Essenbeck, Ionactis Eurybia Seriocarpus Doellingera Oclemena, Gail Eichenberger


Abuse of Osmanthus Shrubs by Power Tools

Take a look at the two ‘Goshiki’ Osmanthus (a/k/a False Holly) on either side of my front door, where they get just a couple hours of late afternoon sun. They’re slow-growing, so they need almost no pruning, ever, and they’re evergreen! And not plain dark green like most evergreen shrubs and trees but a variegated mix of white and light green. So lovely – I love this shrub! And this year, in their 9th year out of the nursery and into this spot, they bloomed, and the scent covered my front yard...
Tags: Gardening, Holly, Power Tools, Rant's Plants


Anthropomorphism and plants

Meet ‘Charlotte,’ which will always be an “it” to me. This won’t be a popular opinion. But it’s been on my mind for a while, and, as the practice becomes more and more common, I finally had to say something. As we know, most plants (by no means all) are hermaphrodites, with flowers that have both male and female sex organs—but it’s complicated, much more complicated than I will go into here. Indeed, I am not interested in going into it, because there is zero science behind indoor/outdoor gard...
Tags: Gardening, Epsom, Emma Hamilton, Rant's Plants, Elizabeth Graham Thomas


Seasonal distractions

A screenshot from a facebook post (don’t click on the +3) Usually, at this time of year, my social feeds are filled with cries of “Too soon!, too soon!” Not this month. Instead, I am seeing houses getting decked out for Christmas before Thanksgiving is past and inquiries about where to get live potted trees. People are embracing the season before it even begins. Why? Because it’s a way to bring light and color into our domestic environments at a time when we can’t bring people or go where peo...
Tags: Gardening, Rant's Plants, Real Gardening


Glorious Gold and Brown (and Golden Brown Too)

Red fall color is the universal favorite, and I get it. Like everybody else, I’m a fan. There is nothing like coming upon an ‘October Glory’ red maple or a Stewartia pseudocamelia in fully saturated scarlet regalia. But I have got a complaint. While admitting that these attention seeking plants, the harlots of fall, are indeed capable of capturing and holding the attention of even a speeding bank robber as they flee the cops, text, change the CD, and finish a burrito, I still lament that maybe, ...
Tags: Gardening, Uncategorized, Brown, Michael Barnes, Brandywine, Fall Color, Scott Beuerlein, Rant's Plants, Brown Fall Color, Gold Fall Color, Yellow Fall Foliage, Steve Foltz, Cincinnati Zoo Botanical Garden Magnolia


An annual enabler

There remains a certain snobbishness about annuals, partly because some perceive them as “common,” and partly because they’re, well, annual. (Many of us have seen the famous Plant Delights/Tony Avent T-shirt that says, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Annuals.”) I always have a lot of annuals in pots and routinely I am asked during garden walks whether or not I can save them from year to year. Quel nightmare! I can just imagine trying to keep a lot of petunias, coleus, annual salvia, and scaveola ...
Tags: Gardening, Buffalo, Ball, Don, Western New York, Swisher, Unusually Clever People, Elizabeth Licata, Tony Avent, Trial Gardens, Stan Swisher, Erie Basin Marina Trial Gardens, Ball Danziger, Rant's Plants


My plants are happier without me

Like many, I’ve been working at home since March and, for the most part, enjoying it. But I do go to the office once in a while to pick up mail (so I can throw it out immediately) and water my office plants. The thing is, most look better than they ever did when I was there, including a huge monstera I bought a year ago to replace a faltering dracaena. It is putting out so much bright-green new foliage that I cut away some big stalks at the bottom that looked like they were nearing the end of th...
Tags: Gardening, Elizabeth Licata, Rant's Plants


The Domoto Legacy: Plants and Immigration

Such was the size of the nursery operation that the San Francisco Call Bulletin in 1913 called the Domoto Brothers Nursery the largest in the state. Photo Credit: https://50objects.org/object/the-domoto-maple-bonsai-part-i/ We are pleased to present Eric Hsu’s first Guest Rant. When I was growing up, the narrative of North American horticulture, especially ornamental horticulture, was through the prism of a Euro-centric, if not Anglophilic lens. It was not through the perspective of an immigr...
Tags: Europe, Gardening, Japan, UK, Colorado, California, Stanford, China, US, San Francisco, United States, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Oakland, East Bay, San Francisco Bay


A Conversation with Dan Hinkley

A month ago I posted in this space about Daniel Hinkley, about his noted collector’s garden in Indianola, Washington, and his new book about it, Windcliff: A Story of People, Plants, and Gardens.  I admired the book – it’s beautiful and well-written – but I didn’t, and don’t, understand the plant collecting impulse that motivates Hinkley.  In the interest of fairness, however, I called Dan Hinkley a couple of weeks ago to get his side of the story. When I asked him why, with all the plants avai...
Tags: Gardening, Gardens, Dan, University of Washington, Hinkley, Dan Hinkley, Thomas Christopher, Ministry of Controversy, Daniel Hinkley, Windcliff, Plant Collectors, Indianola Washington, People Plants, Rant's Plants


Life is short. Plant tulips.

This might be Creme Upstar, though not double enough. Nothing lasts forever. Beauty is fleeting. You’re heard these hackneyed sayings many times. But maybe this year they’re worth taking a little more seriously. Maybe the past few months have provided further compelling emphasis that it can all be taken away—just like that. My big time to plan for a brief few weeks of beauty in the garden comes now, at bulb-planting season. And, no, I don’t care that hybrid tulips falter after two–three years...
Tags: Gardening, Becky, Elizabeth Licata, Rant's Plants, Real Gardening


Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.

One of fall’s last hurrahs. Symphiotrichum (Aster) oblongifloium on October 27th. The old joke among horticulturists is that shuffling and splitting plant names keeps botanists off the dole. The botanic name-changing business has been productive, but the consequences of taxonomic tinkering are sometimes painful. For instance… The aromatic aster “…by any other name would smell as sweet…” became Symphyotrichum oblongifoium. The jaunty, old botanic name, Aster oblongifolius, was tossed on the as...
Tags: Gardening, Scotland, Virginia, North America, New England, Great Plains, Allen Bush, Salvisa, Aster, Carolus Linnaeus, Campanula, Julian Shaw, Symphyotrichum, Christian Gottfried Daniel Ness von Essenbeck, Ionactis Eurybia Seriocarpus Doellingera Oclemena, Gail Eichenberger