Back to Basics – GardenRant

Back to Basics – GardenRant
Sequestering has brought my focus back to life’s basics.  Deprived of my usual distractions, suddenly I am keenly aware of and grateful for just the mere facts of comfortable shelter, enough food, and the good company of a compatible partner.   At the same time, this self-imposed isolation has also returned my attention to the fundamentals of gardening.  Shocked by vistas of empty grocery shelves, I, like so many other Americans, am concentrating on kitchen gardening this spring.  My plan is to keep the garden producing a succession of crops from mid spring through mid-fall.  To be so productive, the garden’s soil will require a lot of nutrition.  I’m going to supply this in the most basic way.  Today I drove to a nearby dairy farm and picked up a load of last year’s manure. My wife and I actually own a share in that farm’s micro herd.  The farmer, whose... Read More

The Truth, Nothing Butt the Truth?  Forget About It.

The Truth, Nothing Butt the Truth?  Forget About It.
  Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) on the High Line in New York City last month. I have a soft spot for forsaken plants. The Allegheny spurge quickly comes to mind. Pachysandra procumbens should, without hesitation, be planted in more shady gardens. Do not spurn this spurge. There are hundreds of worthy plants and seeds, hidden in the shadows, of dozens of 2020 garden catalogs. These shy introverts may be lacking only a little sizzle. Here’s your chance for an award-winning plant description. All you have to do is write a short, I-must-have-this-plant description about your favorite nowhere-near-loved-enough perennial, tree, shrub or edible plant. Leave your description in the reply box below. I will judge entries and recognize the best two descriptions here on this post, next Wednesday. The winning entrant will have their choice of one of two grand prizes. The first option is a piece of Pachysandra procumbens ‘Angola’... Read More

Home Décor, Inside & Accessories

Home Décor, Inside & Accessories
Home Improvement Ideas Create the right entrance yard and yard landscapes with our gardening suggestions. Her arms had been bent and twisted over the breast, and had been stiff to the touch. Her right hand was bloodied and clenched; the left was lacking as much as the elbow. Claw marks confirmed deep gashes on her again and down the size of each arms. Her shoulder blades bore deep lacerations, allowing sticky gore to partially seal and fill the wounds. The flesh of her body was puffed due to the prolonged exposure and absorption of bay water. Whatever the puffiness, the remaining body components appeared entire although battered and bruised. It appeared as if it had been thrown about and slammed multiple instances. It was like that of a child bashing, slamming, and throwing a rag doll of the trouncing of a Teddy Bear. A bit of lace was found tightly... Read More

On the Persistence of Sheared Shrubs

On the Persistence of Sheared Shrubs
Azaleas as Mother Nature intended. I’ve held off ranting about the examples of sheared shrubs that I see in my town, but no more. Hey, I’m just agreeing with the experts. I Googled “shearing shrubs” and found: Both the Arizona Water Authority and the AZ Plant Lady agree that it’s bad, and Maureen Gilmer in the Seattle Times declares “Sheered Shrubs a Travesty:” If Mother Nature had intended shrubs to be square, she would have created them that way. Yet humans persist in trying to render a free-growing plant into geometric perfection. So there’s the obvious aesthetic objection – the plants don’t LOOK as good, at least in the eyes of most plant-lovers. Correct pruning not only looks better but is much less work. Maureen’s mentor taught her that “The shrub should never look as though it’s been pruned….And if done properly, you rarely have to prune at all,” adding … Read More

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed for Square Foot Gardening and More

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed for Square Foot Gardening and More
Your knees and back are tired of you gardening on the ground! That’s why Cassity and I, designed and built a DIY raised garden bed that you can stand next to, to do all your gardening at counter height.  Your back will thank you later. 🙂 This post contains affiliate links. Learn more and read our full disclosure policy here.  This raised garden bed is: 37 1/2″ tall. 48″  x 48″ wide in the center opening. 58″ x 58″ from outside top trim edge to edge. Depth of soil can be between 6″ to 16″ deep, depending on what you decide you need for depth. The estimated cost to build one garden box is around $250.   The thing about this project is that it will last for 30+ years if you use cedar and/or redwood lumber.  I plan on having mine for over 50 years, maybe even 100!… Read More

HiEnd Accents celebrating 15th anniversary in 2020

HiEnd Accents celebrating 15th anniversary in 2020
Camille Buffalo Check bedding set from HiEnd Accents. HiEnd Accents, a producer of luxury top of bed and home accessories, is kicking off a yearlong celebration of its 15th anniversary at the January markets in Dallas and Las Vegas. The company began in 2005 as a small home textile manufacturer in Dallas. Its rustic designs quickly propelled HiEnd Accents to a leading position in the rustic bedding market. In 2012, with the success of our Lifestyle Rustic Collection, HiEnd Accents expanded into transitional and traditional beddings and accessories with the addition of its Landmark Home Collection. In 2013, HiEnd Accents launched its home décor line to respond to the growing demand of the market. “We feel very blessed and fortunate to see our company grow through the years. HiEnd Accents is committed to providing quality and inspired designs to our customers with a focus on creating products that enrich and... Read More

Eco-Friendly, Low-Maintenance Gardening with Roy Diblik

Eco-Friendly, Low-Maintenance Gardening with Roy Diblik
During the lunch break Roy answered questions from gardeners, like Carole Galati here. Photo by Kathy Jentz. Way back (it seems) in February, I attended a popular winter event for DC-area gardeners – the Green Matters Symposium of Brookside Gardens. The highlight for me was the keynote address by Wisconsin plantsman Roy Diblik – “Design Strategies for Low Maintenance and Ecologically Beneficial Landscapes.” What’s striking about this eco-gardening approach is its focus on low-maintenance, so it’s good for the environment AND the gardener. Roy started by showing examples of bad public landscapes, in a corporate/civic style we unfortunately all recognize. So much mulch! So few plants! Roy imagines the plants saying “What the hell happened? Why are we so far apart?” Here the wood mulch is so thick, rain can’t get through it. Above, again too few plants and too much mulch, and we were told that it takes regular... Read More

January Pairings: Plates + Flatware

January Pairings: Plates + Flatware
With products from Bamboo Table, Villeroy & Boch, Rosanna, Alessi, Fornasetti, Michael Aram, Crow Canyon Home, Fortessa, Fiesta, Jean Dubost, Lenox and Dôme Deco Lauren Roses is Home Accents Today’s product editor, responsible for selecting and compiling product and trend stories, and for overseeing product submissions and coverage of intros and market debuts. Lauren studied at the University of Arizona and has lived in San Diego, California and New York City. Prior to joining Home Accents Today, she worked in marketing and project management for several prominent interior design and real estate professionals. In early 2018 Lauren moved back to her home state of North Carolina where she enjoys reading, animals, hiking and spending time with family. … Read More

Marketing to gardening ignorance – GardenRant

Marketing to gardening ignorance – GardenRant
I always have books around and these are good ones. I’ll be giving these to the beginning gardeners I know, except for Tom’s, which I’ll keep. Beginning gardeners in the US are the focus of a variety of persuasive techniques. Last April, I posted about how dubious websites and silly memes try to convince people that they’re not just endangering their plants, they might be killing the world. Unfortunately, these often become viral, as people who have grown up depending on digital information spread this stuff without questioning it too much. Gardeners who aren’t sure about mulching, garden clean-up, and other interventions would be well advised to put their devices down and go talk to a green industry professional. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been trying to attend the yearly education days put on by our industry group, PlantWNY. Other than some master gardeners and a few... Read More