Gardening Philosophy

Tired of Spraying? You Might Just Need a Dose of CTFD

June 26, 2014 4 comments
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New gardeners, like new parents, tend to be a bit overprotective of their charges. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking a fancy new shrub from the garden store, or our firstborn little darling – too much hovering can lead to, well, not-so-great results. There’s a new parenting trend floating around the internet called “Calm the […]

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Redefining “Low-Maintenance” Landscapes

April 15, 2014 9 comments
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In my landscape design practice, it is rare to find a client who does not ask for a low-maintenance garden. However, the way people define low-maintenance varies so wildly that the term has almost lost its meaning. While the generally accepted definition of a low maintenance plant would be something that you do not need […]

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Fall Leaf Raking: Finding the Middle Ground

November 6, 2010 17 comments
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All gardeners evolve. There is something about being outside and working hard in nature that inspires learning and growth. The issue of fall leaves is one I’ve been struggling with lately. Last year I wrote about why you shouldn’t let your fall leaves stay, and all of those reasons are still true, but… This year […]

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Why Gardening Matters

October 25, 2010 1 comment
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When I was in my late teens, I ended up in the hospital for over a month with lungs that kept collapsing. The glare of the fluorescent lights and the constant beeping and thrumming of the various machines invaded my consciousness, and seeing the great outdoors again after a month of sterility was overwhelming – […]

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The Evolution of a Gardener: Finding the Middle Ground Between Neat and Natural

October 20, 2010 24 comments
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Debbie’s post over at Garden of Possibilities was a catalyst for me to really think over an issue I’ve been having a lot lately – the Neat VS Natural debate. It’s not a debate I’ve been having with anyone else, it’s more been an internal struggle. You see, the more I learn about gardening, the […]

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When Your Garden Isn’t Going Right…

September 24, 2010 10 comments
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The most common reason I’m called in as a garden coach is that the person I’m meeting with needs an outside perspective. It’s really, really hard to evaluate our homes and gardens from a logical, clear place in our minds and hearts. Sometimes, we’ve had arguments with our spouse or kids about what we’ll do […]

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How Fabulous, Interesting and Unusual Plants Keep People From Becoming Gardeners

August 30, 2010 7 comments
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Was reading a post over at The Blogging Nurseryman where Trey discusses what gardeners really want to see in independent garden centers. (Go read it, I’ll wait. You don’t want to miss Amy Stewart‘s rant on the topic.) She brought up that Garden Rant’s reader survey indicated overwhelmingly that passionate gardeners want to see more […]

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Should Plant Nurseries Offer a Guarantee on Plants?

June 3, 2010 9 comments
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I read an interesting post from my friend Debbie Roberts in Connecticut about her experience with a nursery that did not offer a guarantee on perennials, and it really made me think about the business of plant selling, how much responsibility us gardeners should take when we buy a plant, and whether offering guarantees on […]

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Organic Gardening 101: Learning to Love What You’ve Got (How to Stop Spraying and Start Seeing Beauty Everywhere)

July 25, 2009 18 comments
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We’ve been talking about how to prevent pests on roses and flowers, and how to treat them organically if you do end up with problems. Today I want to talk about one of the biggest things that keeps us from gardening organically – our expectations and attachments to a specific kind of garden or plant. […]

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An Old Stereotype, or a Shining Example? My Tribute to Older Gardeners

February 9, 2009 13 comments
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I keep hearing it around the internet – an indignant exhaustion with the stereotype of gardeners as elderly ladies, puttering about their rose gardens with flowered gloves on. Maybe the sensitivity comes from the fact that most gardeners are in the over-40 crowd, and don’t want to be prematurely aged by their passion. I can […]

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