A Better Black Friday

Whether we have fully accepted it or not, the holiday season officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. You may reject the idea of Big Box lines at 2am for [...]

Let’s Discuss, Not Demonize.

I don’t bring politics into this column as a rule.  One, we have enough of that sort of thing relentlessly bombarding us without my two cents on the subject. Two, [...]

Disconnecting to Connect: The Modern Challenge

“Is the world getting more complicated, or am I just getting older?” said my sister over the phone this week.  My junior by eight years, she is awash in toddler [...]

Plant Hoarding: When Too Much is Not Enough

A little shifting of the pot ghetto yesterday revealed one too many plants happily rooted in the soil beyond their pots. It is good soil certainly, and I do not [...]

Welcome to the award-winning Small Town Gardener® –
a collection of columns filled with humor and gentle gardening advice.

Conversations in the Garden®

An Easier Way to Overwinter Tropicals

Hopefully by now you have brought in the majority of your tender succulents and tropical evergreens for the [presumably] long winter ahead.  And hopefully by now, [...]

One Last Tomato Harvest: Three Ways of Dealing With It.

The last of the tomatoes are ripening on the vine. Many more are currently ripening on the ground after a spate of blustery weather, and it [...]

It’s Time To Bring The Houseplants In

It’s a tough season for the gardener who loves to entertain.  We know that we should bring in big healthy houseplants that have spent the summer [...]

Planning Now for a More Manageable Garden Later

Many believe wholeheartedly that the time to plan your garden is in the depths of winter. Perhaps this is true in terms of the minutiae; but [...]

Portrait of a Weed: Japanese Stilt Grass

Usually, a couple of hours outside on my hands and knees is all it takes to get the wheels of the mind careening toward a publishable, [...]

Succulents: Overwintering a Trend

No group of plants has been hotter in the last three years than succulents.  They’re on tables, in terrariums, and garnishing everything from delicate wrists to [...]

Should You Plan (and Plant) a Cutting Garden?

I have a friend who has always considered a weekly bouquet of fresh flowers a necessity.  She is French however, and they are presumably taught such [...]

Passion & pain. Perspective & purpose.

That’s what gardening brings to our lives – a sense of connection to the world around us.  And that’s what this site is all about  […]

Gardening in the Mid-Atlantic?

November’s Garden

  November starts out playing nice, but by its end, winter is unofficially upon us in the Mid-Atlantic. The grass has taken on a dreary [...]

Holiday Savings with Mason Jar Company

$30 off Sun Basket

Preserving the Harvest or Preserving My Sanity?

I have been in and out of canning jars for three days now, trying in turns to preserve the harvest, fulfil my writing deadlines, manage my family’s outrageous expectations of [...]

Order Bulbs for The Spring Garden (Before Everyone Else Has)

Few things motivate a gardener the way that getting a plant ahead of another gardener does;  and by the end of August we need motivation more than we need food [...]

  • xanthosoma lime zinger

Facing, and Enjoying, The Garden in August

Where do you and your garden stand right now?  Let me take a wild guess. The spring flush of puppy love is gone, obviously.  That was so yesterday. I’m betting [...]

Every Garden Has Its Weakness: Here’s Mine.

For all the successes I have had with our new garden at Oldmeadow, there are parts of this space that defy any attempts to create beauty.  They are so awkward, [...]

News of Interest

Small Town Gardener Wins a GWA Silver Media Award for 2017!

July 3, 2017  – Marianne Willburn received the 2017 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for newspaper columns with a circulation of over 20,000 presented by [...]

The 2017 PHS Flower Show – “Holland” is So Much More Than Bulbs

Choosing a theme like “Holland: Flowering the World” gives the Philadelphia Flower Show a great opportunity to surprise and delight the public.  After all, attendees already [...]

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