Conversations in the Garden 2019-02-07T13:51:07+00:00

Electric Scooters: Efficient Transport. Ridiculous Fun.

February 10th, 2019|

Three weeks ago while attending the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in Baltimore and walking the streets of that city in between meetings and meet-ups, I noticed that teenagers were being careless and leaving electric [...]

National Seed Swap Day: A Chance to Organize

January 31st, 2019|

Organizing, Sorting and Preparing your seeds and yourself for National Seed Swap Day.

  • flooding, garden

Flexibility in the Midst of Uncertainty: A Chat with Scott Aker

January 25th, 2019|

In the last days of 2018, there was one email I looked forward to each morning in amongst the coupons and the Groupons and the chaff and the wheat that now passes for correspondence in the 21st century. It was from Agrible, Inc.® - an [...]

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

Conversations in the Garden®

Coping with Snow in Your Landscape

A winter scene has been setting up all night as we slept, and as I write these words, the snow has covered all.  I will save [...]

Staying On Top of Cool-Season Weeds

How should one weed in the winter? Those with a strong attachment to their recliners might say ‘one shouldn’t,’ and leave it at that. I completely [...]

  • miscanthus sinensis, canna pretoria, baby lace hydrangea

Ignored but Glorious: My Favorite Plants of 2018

I did a great deal of traveling this year touring gardens, attending conferences and visiting plant trials.  I do not say this to inspire envy in [...]

  • amaryllis, holiday flowers

Saving Your Holiday Amaryllis

The New Year is beckoning, and the human condition being what it is, the decorations that made your home festive and exciting a few short days [...]

  • christmas wreath, holiday wreath making, natural wreath

Nail It! Three Tricks to Make a Gorgeous Natural Wreath This Season

It's the weekend before Christmas, and even though you've tried to ignore it, the spirit is in the air and you have an itch to undertake [...]

  • 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 [...]

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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

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  […]

Are you gardening in the Mid-Atlantic?

Carex Tours Chelsea
111, 2018

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 next year’s planting schemes. The British know how to do it. The hype is real. But what exactly is that ‘it’ comprised of? Cottagey color? Architectural hedging? Jam covered scones and cups of milky sweet tea sipped in salvia scented patios? Or are they just dazzling us with their accents and that gentle Gulf Stream? To answer that question for myself, I’ve combed through thousands of photos, dozens of wow moments, and a ratty notebook that smells vaguely of real ale to boil ‘it’ down to ten garden concepts I have seen illustrated throughout the United Kingdom - both when I lived and worked there and during subsequent trips over the last fifteen [...]

  • 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 Handbook _______________________________ If ever [...]

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 those of us in [...]

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 of it.  These last [...]

  • 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 Horticulture magazines waiting quietly [...]

NEW! Mungo’s Journal

All You Need to Know About the Super Bowl in One Photo

Yep. Big snore fest. Shots of Gisele Bündchen were worth opening my eyes for every once and awhile. Even Frisco thinks she's fine and he has [...]

His Piano

It's difficult to describe this guy. On the one hand, He's hard. He's a former Gulf War infantry marine. Gruff. Pretty high tolerance for pain. He [...]