What I’m Thankful For: Dirt

Last week I posted a survey on GardenRant asking gardeners if the economic downturn had put a dent in their horticultural shopping habits. Of the 85 people who voted, a third are going to the garden center a lot less than they used to in order to avoid temptation, and another twenty percent have brought spending to a complete halt. Not good news for garden centers. But there were some bright spots among the comments people posted: Several...

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The Obama Garden

I wrote this on the morning after the election, as I was trying to tame my hangover in time for more champagne at another victory party that night. During his acceptance speech last night, President-Elect Obama laid out many challenges that Americans face, but he overlooked our most pressing problem: what to do with all those hours that we have been devoting to obsessively checking the polls and monitoring YouTube for Sarah Palin snafus that we...

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BATS!

It was just another typical evening in the Stewart-Brown household. ME: Honey, would you like to hear some fun facts about bats? SCOTT: Actually, I was just wondering if there were any fun facts about bats I hadn’t heard already, so your timing is perfect. ME: Did you know that there’s a guy at HSU who has developed software to record the sounds that bats make and then analyze the data to identify which species are...

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Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

Those of us who garden on California’s North Coast tend to live in a state of denial about the fact that we are actually gardening in the Pacific Northwest. We like to think of ourselves as California gardeners. You know, California. Santa Barbara. Monterey. That sort of thing. But the fact is that we have much more in common, climate-wise, with our horticultural compatriots in Portland and Seattle. So when Timber Press sent me a copy...

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The Garden Writers Discussion Board

So this weekend at the Garden Writers Association conference, the association’s new website was ‘unveiled’ after 18 months of planning and design by the website committee.  It’s not live yet, but we’ve already heard about one thing it doesn’t have:  a discussion board for members.  This news resulted in groans from members who want some other way to communicate besides the (paper!) newsletters...

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The Straw Bale Affair

As the Summer That Never Quite Was draws to a close, I submit to you my final report on the state of my straw bale garden. Thanks to all of you who keep inquiring about it – actually, I’m surprised that the idea has sparked so much interest. In the last few weeks several people have emailed me to say that they might like to try something like this next year. It is a very simple and ecologically friendly idea, and it solves a lot of the...

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