Ask a Designer: Favorite Shrubs

Cotinus ‘Royal Robe.’ Photo by Barbara Katz. For my first Ask a Designer post the question targeted groundcovers. This time it’s shrubs and I asked another fabulous designer about her favorites. Barbara Katz of London Landscapes in Bethesda, Maryland responded that she has “great respect” for these shrubs. (Here’s some of Barbara’s work.) With deciduous shrubs there […]

Learn More

Sep 25, 2016 BY Harry Olson

A Dark Place

Sentinals, standing guard, making shade, protecting the dark spaces I’m vacationing in Northern California this week, on the Russian River, enjoying a break from the bleak, scorching brightness of LA. It is very hot here as well, but the heat is mitigated by the deep, nearly mystical shade from the redwood trees. Driving into Guerneville, […]

Learn More

Sep 24, 2016 BY commonweeder

Watering tools I love, and why I hate the others

In honor of a day that doesn’t deserve it (the horrid Black Friday), here are some gift suggestions for the gardener on your list or your own list of wants. All my favorite gardening tools seem to be watering-related, and here are three that I recommend to anyone who’ll listen. One flawed and two perfect […]

Learn More

Sep 24, 2016 BY naomi

One size fits all?

Both images courtesy of Shutterstock (Image at right is St. Paul, not St. Cloud, closest I could get) What do St. Cloud, Minnesota and Westerly, Rhode Island have in common? Westerly is a seaside community in southern Rhode Island; St Cloud lies in central Minnesota and is bisected by the Mississippi river. Summers and winters […]

No Tag
 5 5
Learn More

Sep 22, 2016 BY Shelby

When gardens become reminders of war and tragedy

Photo courtesy Oehme van Sweden I have two bones to pick about gardens being destroyed or co-opted to honor the dead.  Yes, I’m going there. First, a national war memorial threatens to destroy an important landscape and second, a garden is used to remind visitors of a local tragedy, a situation that could happen anywhere. […]

No Tag
 2 6
Learn More

Sep 22, 2016 BY Robin

The Master Logger and the Hay Rake in the Walnut Tree

  Indiana tulip poplars in the 1920s. There is an abandoned fencerow on our Salvisa, Kentucky, farm. It’s marked clearly. A dozen black walnut trees Juglans nigra grow in a straight line, running up a small hill toward the rising sun. A generation ago, squirrels stored thousands of walnuts and forgot about them. The trees, […]

Learn More

Sep 20, 2016 BY Pamela Carter

1952 Gardening Rule: “Display good taste and exercise restraint.”

At a used-book sale to benefit the local elementary school, I found two gardening books old enough to pique my interest. First up is the Home Owners’ Complete Garden Handbook “by “top-ranking authority John Hayes Melady,” whoever he was (book didn’t say).  But look – the book is actually “5 books in 1”.  It’s copyrighted […]

Learn More

Sep 18, 2016 BY Harry Olson

Back to the Future with Sustainable Lawns

What is cutting edge in the field of sustainable lawns? Much of it is forgotten lore from the late 19th/early 20th century, I have been discovering. I came upon this revelation while preparing for the talk I am going to give this month at a conference organized by Larry Weaner that is to be hosted […]

Learn More

Sep 18, 2016 BY Penney Hubbard

Amy Stewart on the Road with her First Novel!

Theurbanwallgarden’s smart and funny co-founder Amy Stewart is sorely missed here, but she’s gone on to bigger things – novels! Her first, “Girl Waits with Gun,” will be out this September, so Amy’s hitting the road. Come on out!  One fellow Ranter will definitely be there for the DC event on September 12. You’ll be […]

Learn More

Sep 17, 2016 BY Andrea Sprott

Making my peace with poinsettias

As you can  imagine, many of my most passionate rants are years in the past, back when we started. You can only inveigh against lawn culture, shake your fist against Big Chem, or rage about cheap resin statuary so many times. Then there the things I’ve ranted against that many people like, including a whole […]

Learn More

Sep 16, 2016 BY Louise