Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf opens with Oudolf pulling out colored pens and drawing, with his left hand, bright squiggles, slashes, curlicues and abbreviated Latin plant names. Oudolf’s paper drawings and seasonality become seductive themes of Thomas Piper’s film. “Yeah, it may look wild, but it [his gardens] shouldn’t be wild. This is what you’d like to see in nature,” Oudolf explains. I watched Five Seasons in mid-May at Louisville’s Speed Museum Cinema. Thomas Piper, the film’s director and producer, was introduced by Tom Smarr, who worked with Oudolf on the High Line in New York. Smarr is now the Horticulture Director of 21stCentury Parks and the new Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville. First drawn by Oudolf’s garden aesthetics, Piper was soon enticed by Oudolf—the character. Oudolf cuts an impressive figure. He’s tall and handsome with a full head of stylish silver hair. The 73-year-old Oudolf doesn’t come off like a “rock star” or “cool guy,” according to Piper ..
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Returning a Town’s Perennial Border to Lawn?  by  Susan Harris

Buttresses and bas-relief sculptures seen behind Knockout roses Of all the historic buildings in my town, my favorite is what’s now the Community Center, so it’s full of artists, dancers, seniors and really everyone else, every day. I love the Arc Deco buttresses on the front facade. And I wrote here about the bas-relief sculptures between them depicting the Preamble to the Constitution, with the excuse to write about it here that they illustrate “Promote the General Welfare” with someone gardening. Speaking of gardening, a few years back the City Horticulturist was a real gardener, so of course he ripped up a prominent patch of turfgrass and installed in its place a large border of perennials and roses. If you’ve started and maintained perennial beds yourself you won’t be surprised to learn that once the real gardener was gone and a regular maintenance crew took over, using power tools only, no hand-weeding or herbicides (after complaints), the garden changed for the worse. The pho..
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Returning a Town’s Perennial Border to Lawn?

Buttresses and bas-relief sculptures seen behind Knockout roses Of all the historic buildings in my town, my favorite is what’s now the Community Center, so it’s full of artists, dancers, seniors and really everyone else, every day. I love the Arc Deco buttresses on the front facade. And I wrote here about the bas-relief sculptures between them depicting the Preamble to the Constitution, with the excuse to write about it here that they illustrate “Promote the General Welfare” with someone gardening. Speaking of gardening, a few years back the City Horticulturist was a real gardener, so of course he ripped up a prominent patch of turfgrass and installed in its place a large border of perennials and roses. If you’ve started and maintained perennial beds yourself you won’t be surprised to learn that once the real gardener was gone and a regular maintenance crew took over, using power tools only, no hand-weeding or herbicides (after complaints), the garden changed for the worse. The pho..
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New Look for Gardeners Freaked out about Lyme Disease

Apparel for today’s gardener? News about the rapid spread of tick-borne diseases, especially the life-changing-if not-treated-in-time Lyme Disease, has me so freaked out that I’m now afraid to tend my garden, much less take a walk in the woods. I…New Look for Gardeners Freaked out about Lyme Disease originally appeared on Garden Rant on May 4, 2018.
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Backyard Carbon Farming

If there was a twelve step program for gardeners like me, I would begin each session of course by introducing myself to the room and then admit to my addiction: I love the look of a freshly dug and raked…Backyard Carbon Farming originally appeared on Garden Rant on May 7, 2018.
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Austin: ten years later and even better

Cecropiamoth caterpillar at the Wildflower Center More than 90 garden bloggers got together for three days of garden touring in Austin last weekend. It is a return to the first such get-together, which took place in April, 2008. I was…Austin: ten years later and even better originally appeared on Garden Rant on May 8, 2018.
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Fantasy Forest

Every neighborhood needs a microforest. The ingredients require a passionate, knowledgeable conductor, committed volunteers and a patch of land. Curious children, nurtured by good teachers and mentors, will come running. Connie May is the Fantasy Forest conductor. Connie was…Fantasy Forest originally appeared on Garden Rant on May 9, 2018.
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Perennial Fun in Raleigh This Summer

I love the Perennial Plant Association’s (PPA) summer meetings. I’ve only missed a handful over thirty-five year. The PPA will meet this summer in Raleigh, NC from July 30th—August 3rd. Fergus Garret, Head Gardener at Great Dixter will be a keynote speaker. He’s good. If you don’t believe me, read what Susan Harris wrote about Fergus, after hearing him in Baltimore a few weeks ago. Other speakers (20 +) include garden designer Richard Hartlage; Ron Gagliardo, Sr. Manager of Horticulture Services for Amazon; iris breeder Kevin Vaughn; Judith Jones, owner of Fancy Fronds Nursery; Larry Mellichamp, retired Professor of Botany & Horticulture & former Director of the Botanical Gardens at UNC-Charlotte; Christian Kress, founder of Sarastro-Stauden Nursery in Austria; George Coombs, Mt. Cuba Center; Anne Spafford, Assoc. Professor of Landscape Design at NC State Univ.; and Annabel Renwick, Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The tours include some hot spots I always enjoy visiting, including Tony Avent’..
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Obama in the Garden

Just when I thought I couldn’t miss Obama any more than I do, I see this shot of him looking soooo happy to be in the Rose Garden on a beautiful day. Here’s the other favorite shot of White House photographer Pete Souza showing Obama in his garden. Sigh. Source – CBS News Obama in the Garden originally appeared on Garden Rant on May 14, 2018.
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Gardening For Health!  by  Scott Beuerlein

I remember a day in April of 2003. It was one of those mythic, glorious spring days that sporadically show up between late freezes and tornadoes here in Ohio. And it was one to behold. Perfect. Most importantly, it was the first of such days that year. Truly “the first nice day of spring.” It was the kind of day that gets every gardener outside gardening, and I decided to cut down a rank silver maple in the backyard so I could plant something better, or, as the case is with silver maples, so I could plant anything. Safety glasses and hearing protection on, and I’m quickly in my own little succession of tasks and intermittent random thoughts as I merrily progressed through the job. The ground was soon a “pickup sticks” mess of brush and logs. I remember sorting my way across this morass. I was happy. Happy to be outside. Happy to be outside on this glorious spring day. Working in the sun. Working in the sun with a chainsaw. Making progress on my yard. Making a better garden. I remember..
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