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magnolia budWelcome to the award-winning Small Town Gardener® and Conversations in the Garden® , a collection of columns filled with humor and gentle gardening advice; published by The Frederick News Post, The Citizen Newspapers, The Emmitsburg News-Journal, and other websites and magazines dedicated to the passion that is gardening.

We have recently moved house a few miles from our Maryland garden of eleven years to another small town across the Potomac River in Virginia.  More land means more garden challenges, and I certainly hope that you will follow our progress as we battle deer, finally install [legal] chickens, and learn what our new microclimates are going to do to all of our precious transplants.

This is not a blog in the traditional sense (if I can use the word ‘traditional’ to refer to a blog), so you won’t find endless updates on the state of my green beans – nor the state of my mind, marriage or dress size (the last of which can only be maintained by spending less time at my computer).  Instead, it is a posting of some of the columns to which I still own the rights, mixed with tips and advice for managing your garden month-to-month.

I’ve made it easier than ever – you can read or listen to my latest published articles from the list on the left, search by month or season, and subscribe to the RSS feed or Facebook page to alert you when articles change or allow you to access other articles 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.

So please, take some time to potter around my garden just as you might potter through your own.  Get disciplined with Gardening by Habit or free yourself from unrealistic expectations in I’m Okay, You’re Okay.  If you find your pets at odds with your garden, stop crying and laugh about it instead with Puppy Madness.  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.

Join me as we plunge our hands in the earth and begin to reconnect.


– Marianne Willburn