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About Marianne Willburn

Marianne is the mother of two, wife of one and the voice of The Small Town Gardener. She gardens and writes from her home in the scenic (and exceptionally convenient) heart of Virginia's wine country.

Urban Chickens: The bigger picture

By | 2018-02-20T20:41:10+00:00 August 18th, 2015|

Urban chickens a nuisance? I had four in this coop and no one ever knew... 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 disintegrating platform than [...]

HOA Madness – or – Just Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

By | 2018-02-20T20:41:10+00:00 August 6th, 2015|

Yeah. This'll get the clipboards out. 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 their glasses, I was told that a local subdivision homeowners’ association board [...]

Farm-to-Fork Frederick is here!

By | 2018-02-20T20:41:11+00:00 July 2nd, 2015|

(FREDERICK, Md., June 10, 2015) —The 2015 Farm-to-Fork Frederick program, a concentrated 11-day “eat local” culinary initiative that brings together independently-owned restaurants with family-owned farms and wineries from in and around Frederick County, Md., promises yet another exciting program. Restaurants from two new county jurisdictions – Emmitsburg's Carriage House Inn and New Market's Vintage – [...]

Garden writers share top tips for summertime gardening!

By | 2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00 June 16th, 2015|

Sunday marks the first day of summer, and a reality check for the garden and gardeners. If you're having trouble motivating yourself, check out this UK landscaping site, Mainland Aggregates, where I and others give our number one bit of advice for summertime gardening. And yes, there's a gin and tonic involved.

The Gnat Hat

By | 2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00 June 15th, 2015|

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 enlisting the big [spray] guns of the government. I must say, when we moved to this area near the Potomac [...]

Come learn about “The Recycled Garden” on Saturday, June 20th!

By | 2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00 May 14th, 2015|

On Saturday June 20th at 10:00am, I 'll be at the Brunswick Community Center Building at Railroad Park giving a free seminar on "The Recycled Garden" as part of the Town of Brunswick's Sustainable Saturdays series. Gardening doesn't have to be about the latest gadget, the latest plant or the latest set of matching patio [...]