Conversations in the Garden 2018-11-24T17:33:19+00:00
  • longwood, longwood christmas, floating christmas trees

Ten Tips for a Day Trip to A Longwood Christmas

Every year around this time, I get into a car with my husband and a couple friends and make the journey over hill and dale and White Marsh Shopping center [...]

Get Your Festive On

December. Joy, Mirth, and seventeen other one word slogans on cotton dishtowels.     Are you ready? We are sent out to achieve the impossible this month.  In the midst [...]

  • circular steps, luytens, succulents, great dixter

Experimentation as Energy: Lessons from Great Dixter

Just before leaving for Great Britain three months ago, I threw an overnight case in the back of a friend’s overworked Prius and headed down to Raleigh to attend a [...]

  • thanksgiving table arrangement, natural materials, decorating, thanksgiving

Decorating The Thanksgiving Table with Natural Materials

It’s Thanksgiving morning.  What have you forgotten? You’ve thrown the turkey in the oven, the stuffing is made and on its way to being glorious, and your sister is bringing [...]

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

Conversations in the Garden®

  • gravel garden, beth chatto gardens, essex, british gardens, british tours

Right Plant, Right Place – The Wisdom of Beth Chatto

“We lost too many plants in our impatience to possess them, because we had not achieved the proper growing conditions.” - Beth Chatto, The Beth Chatto [...]

Tired of Predictions? There’s a Better Way.

Gird your loins with a bit of Under Armour and tuck in a Hot Hands pack. The forecasters have consulted the Oracle and it looks like [...]

Clean It Up or Let It Be: The Fall Garden

Well, we're square in the middle of the autumn season. I hope you’re enjoying your garden right now and not thinking too much about the end [...]

  • horticulture magazine, houseplants

Houseplant Madness

In a corner of my office under a table sporting a large philodendron and other miscellaneous greenery, there sits a large, gifted stack of ‘70’s era [...]

  • great dixter, exotic garden

What Can We Learn From British Gardens?

Fresh from an exhaustive three weeks driving 1800 miles to tour British gardens and their associated tea rooms, I am full of ideas and inspiration for [...]

  • holly, ilex, red sprite

The Berries of Autumn

Pumpkins. Cinnamon. Wood fires and Robert Frost. With familiar regularity, autumn evokes in us an emotional response and draws us back to center as winter approaches.  [...]

  • brugmansia

The Autumn Shuffle: Tips for Overwintering Those Tropicals

Peering out of the windows of my office, I see the two-story blackened, shredded tips of a hardy banana (Musa basjoo), and I am reminded of [...]

  • walking stick, giverny, nasturtium archway

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

For reasons that are at once both simple and ridiculous, I recently managed to injure my foot in the middle of a four week walking tour [...]

The Return of the Queen

There are no adventures quite as adventurous as reclaiming the garden after a long absence abroad – and during the height of the growing season no [...]

Marianne Willburn

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?

  • shade, seats, chanticleer, patio

Tips for Visiting Gardens With Heretics

By the time you read these words, I’ll be gone. I might add, “to a higher place,” but that wouldn’t sit very well with those who consider American gardens to [...]

  • foliage, flower, begonia grandis

Let’s Lose The Zealotry & Plant for Joy

“Plant for foliage!” is a term you have probably heard a great deal over the last few years.  But then you’ve probably also heard “Plant for pollinators!” and more than [...]

Planting For Pollinators? Let the Neighborhood Know!

  Gardeners are proud of their gardens for a host of different reasons. Some gardeners spend a great deal of time blending or contrasting color schemes.  Others love creating secret [...]

  • cuttings Forsythe pot

Plant Propagation: With Great Cuttings Comes Great Responsibility

When I give you a cutting, it’s more than likely I’m going to remember. It’s not that I’m obsessed, controlling or critical (that’s a different conversation held when I’m not [...]

NEW! Mungo’s Journal

  • Jack Russell Terrier, Mungo, Beach dog, dogs

Sand and Surf

I could totally be a beach bum. Sand - no problem. I've got a wire coat, nothing sticks to it. Surf - I'm faster than any [...]

  • jack russell, groundhog

A Brief History of My Summer

Short story? Tempus fugit.   Waiting for a groundhog.  It's what I do.   Yeah, I know - big words for a dog, but [...]