Two Great Events You Can Attend by Susan Harris

On June 29 the Slow Flower Summit is happening in Washington, D.C.! The website tells us: Developed and produced by Debra Prinzing and Slow Flowers LLC, this one-day event is designed to celebrate American Flowers Week and bring together creatives, thought leaders and change agents with a lecture series featuring leading voices in the progressive American-grown floral community. The Summit began last year in Seattle, where GardenRant’s own Amy Stewart (author of Flower Confidential) gave this keynote address. This year the line-up of speakers looks awesome, and it includes two who are local to us in the Mid-Atlantic: Walker Marsh from Tha Flower Factory, an urban flower farm in Baltimore, and floral designer Kelly Shore, serving the DC area. I’ll be there! Then in July the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium is happening. It’s a professional development event for people who work with, or are interested in working with young people in garden settings and other outdoor env..
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Container rules are meant to follow, bend, or break by Elizabeth Licata

I love this shape for smaller pots. In a recent column, Washington Post gardening columnist Adrian Higgins addressed the long-hallowed “thriller/filler/spiller” theory of container gardening. He defended it and debunked it at the same time, which seems right to me. While it’s true that the drama of a tall plant is heightened by contrasting plants that spill over the sides and fill in the middle, there are plenty of other ways to create great containers. One big beautiful plant—papyrus, coleus, colocasia, banana—or a colorful array of dense annuals can be glorious in a good container. Ordinarily, however, I do like color contrast. My favorite contrasts are various permutations of yellow/purple/white, and green (light green). It tends to work better if the contrasting plants have different forms and textures, so you find yourself following t/f/s almost by default. There are other elements where I agree and disagree with the how-tos. Soil The recommendations are always to provide brand..
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Thornless Honeylocust — Nature’s Aberrant

Tree of the Week Thornless Honeylocust — Nature’s Aberrant By James R. Fazio | May 22, 2018 Gleditsia triacanthos form inermis One of the most startling trees to encounter on a walk in the riparian woodlands of the east and Midwest is our native honeylocust, Gleditsia triacanthos. It just can’t be missed. No other tree is guarded by such a mass of sharp, branching thorns, some of them as long as a foot in length. They are truly ferocious. Fortunately for our community forests, someone noticed that some of the trees had all the other characteristics of honeylocust — except the nasty thorns! Scientists and plant breeders found that while the thornless honeylocust is distinctly different from honeylocust in the not-so-minor matter of thorns, it is not otherwise different enough to be classified as a separate species. Moreover, offspring from the thornless trees will sometimes have thorns. This twist of genetics has led botanists to classify thornless honeylocusts as a form ..
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Kentucky’s Secret Gardens by Allen Bush

Looking for inspiration and information? Catch a glimpse of Kentucky’s Secret Gardens. Author Tavia Cathcart Brown hosts the documentary, sponsored by Kentucky Education Television (KET). I was flattered to be included in a small piece of the first round of Kentucky’s Secret Gardens, and I enjoyed the show more than I had imagined. Videographer and Co-Producer Frank Simkonis shot some beautiful footage. The drone shots of the prairie are way cool. As soon as I walk into a garden I can tell if it is loved or not. I’m partial to gardens that are tended hands on. Passionate and committed gardeners have created vastly different Kentucky Secret Gardens. See for yourselves. I’ve never been to these Kentucky secret gardens. (Where have I been?) I’m ready to pack the car for a road trip to Woodford County, Lexington, Newport, Berea, Eubanks and Louisville. I’d love to visit them all. The program held my attention from beginning to end. Rose enjoyed it, too, but thought that, clocking in a ..
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Making Gardens Safer from Ticks: No More Wildlife Gardening by Susan Harris

I recently wrote about how gardeners freaked out about Lyme Disease are supposed to dress for gardening. It’s NOT a pretty picture and to prove that I’ll be posing for a shot of me in near-hazmat attire, ready to tackle a few gardening chores in my garden. Today we explore the tick-prevention changes we’re told to make to our gardens, a subject that’s even more depressing. How Ticks get on Gardeners About 70 percent of people that contract Lyme disease catch it from ticks in their own yards. So how does it happen? Ticks do not jump, fly or drop from trees, but grasp passing hosts from the leaf litter, tips of grass, etc. Most ticks are probably picked up on the lower legs and then crawl up the body seeking a place to feed. Adult ticks will, however, seek a host (i.e., deer) in the shrub layer several feet above the ground.” Of ticks that are in our lawns, most (82%) are located within 3 yards of the lawn perimeter, particularly along woodlands, stonewalls, or ornamental plantings...
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Lawn culture is the problem, not lawns by Elizabeth Licata

And lawn culture is still very much an issue. My front “yard;” a lawn would never thrive here, even if I wanted one. Later, shade perennials will fill it in. Otherwise, why would garden centers still be selling so much weed ‘n’ feed? I know from online discussions I see regularly, with gardening a hot Facebook topic every spring and summer here, that people still have lawns and don’t feel at all guilty about having them. What they feel guilty about is that their lawns are not perfectly emerald green and weed-free. Why else would they be asking about how to get rid of clover and other “invaders?” Otherwise, why would I be able to drive through neighborhoods—and not just the suburbs either—and see green spaces dotted with multiple yellow warning signs that indicate recent chemical applications? Otherwise, why would I be able to google any combination of “weed” and “lawn” and find page after page of search results, most absolutely guilt-free about offering the perfect bag of lawn trea..
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9 Reasons to Plant a Tree

Tree Planting 9 Reasons to Plant a Tree By Arbor Day Foundation | May 17, 2018 Did you know planting a tree is one of the easiest and most powerful things you can do to have a positive impact on the environment? It’s true. Trees clean the air, prevent rainwater runoff, help you save energy and even combat global warming. And they’re a snap to plant! No horticultural degree required. From the single homeowner in Nebraska planting a maple in her backyard to the 250 Comcast employees volunteering in communities devastated by hurricanes, fires and Emerald Ash Borer infestation by planting hundreds of trees on Comcast Cares Day (the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer event), people nationwide are getting their tree on. Here are 9 reasons why you should join them. Trees fight climate change Wish you could do more than recycling and reducing your carbon footprint to combat climate change? Trees have you covered. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb harmful carbon d..
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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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A Tree with Tulips in its Hair

Tree of the Week A Tree with Tulips in its Hair By James R. Fazio | May 15, 2018 Liriodendron tulipifera “Imagine a tall tree with unearthly foliage and 5,000 tulips in its hair.” — Thomas Pakenham, Meetings with Remarkable Trees Tuliptrees seem to inspire poetic interpretation. Leaves appear snipped off at the tips by supernatural scissors, forming the silhouette of a stylized tip. The tree’s flowers, the real reason for the name tuliptree, stand singly at the tips of twigs — six large, yellowish petals that to American naturalist Donald Peattie, “hold the sunshine in their cups, setting the whole giant tree alight.” Later in the season, dry, cone-like fruits continue the picturesque parade with their resemblance of little torches held boldly aloft. The glorious tuliptree is the state tree of Indiana and Tennessee, it is the tallest of the eastern hardwoods and grows rapidly when conditions are right. In fact, writer Hugh Johnson notes that a “seedling with all its pr..
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Obama in the Garden by Susan Harris

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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