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Garden Rant

Perfect Privacy Screen Hides Ugly View  by  Susan Harris

Perfect Privacy Screen Hides Ugly View  by  Susan Harris

The townhouse I moved into 6 years ago came with a rather junky spot just beyond my back yard, marring my view from the house, porch and garden. So began my long quest to hide the junk. Here’s one of
A Plant Nerd Finds Himself Mulling Gardens and Hardscapes  by  Scott Beuerlein

A Plant Nerd Finds Himself Mulling Gardens and Hardscapes  by  Scott Beuerlein

We’ll start here. When you look at any suburban and most urban neighborhoods, what do you see? If asked to describe it as an ecosystem, what would you say? Invariably, our neighborhoods are a place of
Meet the Ranters  by  Elizabeth Licata

Meet the Ranters  by  Elizabeth Licata

You probably think you already know us, but here are some statements about writing/blogging/ranting that we prepared for a Garden Writers Association panel—at a GWA conference going on right now in
Parkland, FL School Garden as Place for Learning and Healing  by  Susan Harris

Parkland, FL School Garden as Place for Learning and Healing  by  Susan Harris

You’ve seen my photos of Cornell and environs; now for a report from the Children and Youth Garden Symposium I was there to attend. The highlight for me was the Community Forum on Gardens as Haven,
Please, let there never be a Yelp or a Tripadvisor for garden tours  by  Elizabeth Licata

Please, let there never be a Yelp or a Tripadvisor for garden tours  by  Elizabeth Licata

I was just reading about visitors to Sequoia National Park and Yellowstone leaving 1 star reviews for the natural attractions because they didn’t have a great meal at the cafeteria, or, as the
Border Control  by  Allen Bush

Border Control  by  Allen Bush

I arrived in Raleigh a few days before last week’s Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium. I checked into the hotel and made a beeline for the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. I may sound like an aging
Dying to Go  by  Thomas Christopher

Dying to Go  by  Thomas Christopher

I’ve been haunting cemeteries ever since my teenaged years. Not literally – I leave that to the dear departed. But I’ve always liked the peaceful and nostalgic aspect of old burying grounds. They are,
My Indoor Cats and their Craving for Grass  by  Susan Harris

My Indoor Cats and their Craving for Grass  by  Susan Harris

It must be Cat Week here at the Rant, with Elizabeth’s post about indoor cats prompting me to finally find out if my own indoor cats really need to eat grass. Here they are on the porch absorbed in
A Summer Phlox Survives Storms and Spies  by  Allen Bush

A Summer Phlox Survives Storms and Spies  by  Allen Bush

Just off our front porch, a Phlox of sentimental interest didn’t flinch during heavy storms a week and a half ago. But what about spies? During the storm, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 “psychological fable”
A solution for letting cats enjoy the outdoors—safely  by  Elizabeth Licata

A solution for letting cats enjoy the outdoors—safely  by  Elizabeth Licata

Backstory: As some readers will remember, I’ve posted before about free-roaming and feral cats and the dangerous lives they lead—dangerous to both them and their songbird prey. Studies vary, but it’s
Making Peter Great Again – One Fountain at a Time

Making Peter Great Again – One Fountain at a Time

Most gardeners after about 40 years in the asparagus patch begin to at least consider downsizing. You know, cutting back to only three-quarters of an acre of weeds, fewer disease-plagued rose bushes
The Sights of Cornell, Ithaca and More

The Sights of Cornell, Ithaca and More

Almost on a whim I drove to Ithaca to attend the Children and Youth Garden Symposium being hosted by Cornell (with the American Horticultural Society), and I’m glad I did. First, the stunning beauty
Natives here, natives there, natives, natives everywhere…

Natives here, natives there, natives, natives everywhere…

Now and again, someone asks me where they can buy native plants. Sometimes they go on to complain that native plants are hard to find in today’s nursery industry. My hackles rise, and I know at that
Painted plants? It’s only Ok when I do it.

Painted plants? It’s only Ok when I do it.

It does seem a bit hypocritical. For years, we have consistently ranted or hosted guest rants decrying glittery silver poinsettias, blue orchids, and garishly painted succulents. I heard about
Slow Flowers Summit and the Farmgirl Story

Slow Flowers Summit and the Farmgirl Story

I’m a big fan of Debra Prinzing and her amazing Slow Flowers movement, which I generally describe as “local and seasonal flowers” but Debra explains a lot better in this guest post. One of the many
Great Dixter Through the Lens of an 11-Year Old

Great Dixter Through the Lens of an 11-Year Old

Rose and I traveled to England early this month with Story May Lowe, our 11-year-old granddaughter. To Story, I am known as Babu a name I inherited. My grandfather was also known as Babu. I’m not sure
Gardening For Health – Part II

Gardening For Health – Part II

So long ago that I can’t remember when, I gave up on the idea of having any real pride in myself. It wasn’t what anyone would call a decision. No momentous occasion or anything. I just don’t really
Coop Office Make-Over at Mid-Summer

Coop Office Make-Over at Mid-Summer

When I last reported on this make-over I declared that I’d kept the old junipers, despite your advice, and showed pics of the limbed-up old junipers looking pretty sculptural with all the dead matter
Managing plant withdrawal

Managing plant withdrawal

I’m starting slow. When I see one of these that hasn’t set buds for whatever reason, instead of leaving it to gather strength for next year, I just pull it out, bulb and all. I’m also more likely to
U.S. Botanic Garden’s Sustainable Gardening Showcase is SITES-Certified

U.S. Botanic Garden’s Sustainable Gardening Showcase is SITES-Certified

Hey, remember the Sustainable Sites Initiative? It’s the project of the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Center and the American Society of Landscape Architects that created the landscape