Marianne Willburn

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.

The Garden Remembers

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

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 difficult plant, nor as rare as the nursery finds that shared its cramped suitcase on the flight home; but as [...]

The Gnat Hat

By |2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00June 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 [...]

The Spousal Problem

By |2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00May 21st, 2015|

Father Ted said it best. 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, he muses. But to apply such dull and dusty thinking to a garden [...]

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

By |2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00May 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 [...]

Deck That Deck!

By |2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00April 26th, 2015|

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 a seasonal change from warm to warmer. Our outside rooms – be they patio, deck, balcony or front porch stoop [...]

Fickle April

By |2018-02-20T20:41:22+00:00April 5th, 2015|

Convalaria shoots are just as fascinating to my Jack Russell as they are to me 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 long spring and [...]

Small Town Gardener is a FINALIST in the Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Awards

By |2018-02-20T20:41:23+00:00March 13th, 2015|

Very excited to be notified that STG has been selected as a top ten finalist in the Gardening category for the second annual Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Awards! Finalists were chosen by Better Homes and Gardens from over 3,000 reader entries! Thank you for all the voting you did last week.  Though STG didn't [...]

Find me in the NEW Spring issue of GreenPrints Magazine!

By |2018-02-20T20:41:23+00:00March 9th, 2015|

It's a privilege to be a contributor during GreenPrints' 25th year of publication, and I encourage you to subscribe to this very worthy magazine described by editor Pat Stone as "the most unusual, humorous, moving, entertaining, inspiring, simply special garden magazine in the country!" My article in this issue, "My Tulip Turnaround" is a story [...]

Nature Wants It Back

By |2018-02-20T20:41:23+00:00February 6th, 2015|

Brush clearing has been the order of the day for the last few weeks, spurred on by the annual exchange of power tools at Christmas, and a desire for a bit of exercise that doesn't involve a perky Zumba instructor with thighs like a nutcracker. It is an exhilarating job once the blood [...]

June’s Garden

By |2019-07-11T17:53:01+00:00January 25th, 2015|

The gardener will be busy this month, and find that his available hours to work bear no relation to the amount of work that needs to be done. That is the hallmark of June. So far, it's taking over where May left off and almost as wet this year as it was last. However, when [...]

July’s Garden

By |2019-08-14T17:39:22+00:00January 24th, 2015|

A shift is happening in the garden with the onset of July. The exuberance of spring is over, and gardeners are left looking at the remains of a pretty good party. Whether your garden looks hungover or not depends on the planting you did in the spring. Let's hope it included some flowering heat survivors [...]

August’s Garden

By |2019-09-04T21:35:39+00:00January 23rd, 2015|

August is deep summer.  Fireflies are at their peak, and the sun is only just starting to wane.  My water barrels run dry a little more frequently this month - and so does my patience - but when I'm feeling snarky, I can always call my sister in California and hear how she's had to [...]

September’s Garden

By |2019-11-14T16:01:42+00:00January 22nd, 2015|

The best of both worlds is present in the garden during the month of September. There is the last of the summer harvest to be gathered, but with the reddening of dogwoods, and the cooler evenings, we will find it difficult to mutter too loudly under our breaths as we gather it. Now we can [...]

October’s Garden

By |2019-10-18T16:03:28+00:00January 21st, 2015|

Gardeners or not, human beings scuttle around during the month of October crossing their 't's and dotting their 'i's before winter. Thankfully we've got an extraordinary backdrop to reflect upon in between jobs. Wood must be stacked or fuel tanks filled. The outside spigots must be turned off, and many a home owner starts to [...]