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.

After many months of work, I’m excited to announce the spring launch of the new STG site, and hope that you will find it as vibrant and intuitive as I do. There are new categories for articles, cool imbedded features, the ability to share articles easily on many social platforms, and yes, many more photos.

But don’t worry, some things won’t change. To ensure you have time to actually garden, I won’t 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 and advice 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

  • F2F Frederick

Farm-to-Fork Frederick is here!

July 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

(FREDERICK, Md., June 10, 2015) —The 2015 Farm-to-Fork Frederick program, a concentrated 11-day “eat local” […]

  • flower-mix

Garden writers share top tips for summertime gardening!

June 16th, 2015|2 Comments

Sunday marks the first day of summer, and a reality check for the garden 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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The Merry Month of Mud Time

Whether Robert Frost originally coined the term or not I do not know, but ‘mud time’ must be the simplest and most accurate expression to describe the period from the last snow melt to the […]

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