Welcome to the award-winning Small Town Gardener® and Conversations in the Garden® , a collection of print and web columns filled with humor and gentle gardening advice while dedicated to the passion that is gardening.

The spring launch of the new STG site was a tremendous success and I want to thank all of my many readers for the positive comments that you have taken time to send me regarding the new features.  We’re growing together in more ways than one!

To ensure that you (and I) have time to actually garden, I don’t tend to provide endless updates on the state of my mesclun, mind or marriage  (for the record – fairly spicy, fairly sound, fairly stable).  Instead, the Small Town Gardener is a collection of some of my columns mixed with tips, advice and resources for managing and enjoying your garden month-to-month.

So for the moments when you aren’t up to your calves in compost, you can read or listen to my latest articles below, check out new updates and fun links on the right, and subscribe to the Facebook page to alert you to other articles and tips that aren’t posted here.    Are you a Mid-Atlantic gardener? This Month’s Garden will give you an idea of what you should be thinking about right now.

A garden doesn’t have to be perfect.  It doesn’t have to be large.  And in the middle of August, it doesn’t even have to be green.  It just has to be yours.  Your balcony, your patio, your rented city lot or ten acre deer preserve.  Whatever you garden, wherever you garden – join me as we plunge our hands in the earth and begin to reconnect.

– Marianne

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Win two tickets to Maryland’s largest home and garden show – October 16-18th!

October 6th, 2015|0 Comments

Now that the weather is cooler, it’s time to give your garden some TLC and […]

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New Book Coming Spring 2017!

September 9th, 2015|1 Comment

Thrilled to announce that I have recently signed a contract with Skyhorse Publishing for a […]




Just Wait Until Next Year

By the beginning of September, many gardeners are thinking about next year’s garden. Whatever failures have been experienced this year – whatever insults have been suffered – all are erased by a killing frost and […]

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Urban Chickens: The bigger picture

Well, the chickens have won. Not of course the literal chickens, exiled as pets by virtue of prejudice and ignorance, but the figurative chickens – our local leaders who would rather stand obstinately on a […]

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HOA Madness – or – Just Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Now I have definitely heard everything. Whilst chatting with a friend the other night over landscaping and other related topics that make others at the table suddenly realize they need to get up and refill […]

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The Necessity of Underwear

The tricky business of staking is on the agenda chez Willburn; but with the heat, humidity and resulting malaise affecting all forms of life whether flora or fauna, it is difficult to do more than […]

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The Garden Remembers

This morning I caught my breath to find new shoots breaking through the soil on a St. John’s Wort I thought had died in transit from Oregon several weeks ago. Hypericum calycinum is not a […]

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The Gnat Hat

We’re on the Virginia side of the river now, but even so, I have read with interest the heroic efforts of a local Maryland citizen who is determined to eradicate our shared gnat problem by […]

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The Spousal Problem

My husband is frequently annoyed with me that I rarely indulge the ‘dreamer’ who lives deep inside of this pragmatic, 40-something frame. It’s one thing to remain practical over cars, electric bills and clothing budgets, […]

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Deck That Deck!

The spring reclamation of patios and decks has begun across the Mid-Atlantic and New England. And, unlike our brother gardeners in sunnier climes, this will involve something more extensive than changing the cushions to reflect […]

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Fickle April

The crocus and winter aconite have finally appeared, only to find me standing over them, tapping my watch. Everything is a little late this year, but I will take that as an omen for a […]

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