Conversations in the Garden 2018-06-13T16:16:13+00:00
  • bouquets, flowers, cut flowers

Nursery Spotlight: Brews and Blooms at Thanksgiving Farms

Shopping for plants is good.  Shopping for heirloom vegetables is even better.  But when you combine those plants and veggies with a hand-crafted beer, then add a band, a food [...]

  • sensitive fern, ferns, native ferns

June – A Month for Ferns

There are very few plants that make you look like a great gardener as well as a healthy stand of ferns.  Ironically, this has little to do with the resident [...]

Weeks of Water

Last night my husband and I were awoken by yet another storm pounding on what currently passes for a roof around here.  After a few minutes of staring at the [...]

A Gardener’s Progression of Cruelty: Volunteer Seedlings

‘One must be cruel to be kind’ is a hackneyed phrase that must have originated in a garden setting. Where else do men and women of good conscience perpetuate extreme [...]

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

Conversations in the Garden®

Gokhale’s Got My Back

Over the last year, I have dealt with chronic back problems for the first time in my life. Over the last three months I have, for [...]

Getting Edgy

  May has dawned, and with it, the realization that my edges will have to be seen to.  I speak of course of garden beds. There [...]

Brown Is The New Green

    John Willis and I have been discussing camellias this month (MacGardens.org). Or rather, he has been emailing me pictures of his mature specimens, blooming [...]

  • labels, plant labels

The Case for Plant Labeling

We all believe (as Garden Geeks) that the minds we have at twenty-four will stay supple and fit, able to remember a thousand genera and ten [...]

What Are The California Spring Trials?

  For many gardeners, the new plants that we stumble upon each year at our nurseries, feed stores and big boxes are happy accidents.  We are [...]

The Patience to Wait

  Great gardeners and optimists know that a dead plant represents an opportunity to grow something new. But what of a dead tree? What of five? [...]

In The Frenzy of Spring, Remember The ‘Why’

Not satisfied with feeling overwhelmed with spring cleaning, spring wardrobe changeover, spring home repairs and spring holiday plans, I thought it might be clever to go [...]

Ashes to Ashes: The Legacy of The Emerald Ash Borer

About two years ago in the early winter months, I spied three pileated woodpeckers on an ash tree outside my office window and immediately felt like [...]

Growing a Beautiful, Not Just Edible, Vegetable Garden

Beautiful vegetables?  What is she talking about? Aren’t all vegetables beautiful?       For those who live and breathe a garden life and not just [...]

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?

Air Plants, Demystified.

Air plants are the new It Girl.  From the common grocery store checkout aisle to the upscale garden center, they’re pretty much everywhere.  They’re even turning up in the houses [...]

10 Reasons to See The Philadelphia Flower Show

It’s Flower Show week in Philly, and refreshed by the excitement of our electricity being restored after four days and the roof tarped against further storms, yesterday I decided to [...]

Houseplants and Insects: A Few Tips From a Pro

By this point in the winter, most houseplants have endured months of sub-optimal conditions, not to mention sub-optimal care, and insect levels may be higher than we think. We’ve still [...]

Garden 2.0: The Delight in Downsizing

Over the first half of this month I have been in California. Surely an insensitive way to start a column in a Mid-Atlantic newspaper, but I ask you to set [...]

NEW! Mungo’s Journal

  • go caps

They won the Stanley Cup!!!!!! Go CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Did you see that game?!?!!?!??!?!?!?!?! I can hardly dictate this to Siri. Seriously, I'm a little verklempt.  It's been a long night. He and The [...]

It Was a Bear

  When I say ‘a bear’ I mean bear-like.  Like, as big as a bear, only maybe bigger.  He wanted a piece of me and he [...]

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