mwillburn

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.

Garden Regionally. Get Inspired Globally.

By | 2019-10-18T15:20:22+00:00 October 18th, 2019|

I can't resist a challenge.  And neither, apparently can Scott Beuerlein of Horticulture & Garden Rant.  Thus, my rebuttal to his rebuttal to...well, you get it.  She-devil? Me? Somewhere near the bottom of every writer's artistic license, a clever wordsmith will find the following recommendation: "Comically exaggerating the position of one's opponent is encouraged in [...]

Weed Smart: Strategies to Accomplish More with The Time You Have

By | 2019-09-20T15:11:12+00:00 September 20th, 2019|

September has suddenly turned.  Last night on the deck we ate an al fresco dinner of bratwurst, sauerkraut and apples with heaps of coarse mustard on warmed plates and I found myself thinking out loud about a large fire in the hearth on the other side of the window. My husband stared at me wordlessly [...]

New House. New Garden. New Choices

By | 2019-09-12T17:09:25+00:00 September 6th, 2019|

Friends have recently moved into their This-Is-The-One.  ‘Exciting’ doesn’t seem strong enough to capture the emotions that such a move elicits.  There is excitement, certainly, and joy; but also sadness in the changing of neighborhoods, of community, and in losing the familiar daily routines that quietly build the foundations we rely upon. Two weeks ago, [...]

Dismiss British Garden Writers? Absurd.

By | 2019-07-19T13:17:03+00:00 July 19th, 2019|

This week I want to sincerely thank Scott Beuerlein, friend and columnist at Horticulture magazine, whose irreverent column about British garden writers got me out of my funk and racing for the laptop to write a rebuttal for Garden Rant.  Do you keep to regional garden advice or do you like to dip into voices [...]

The Tricky First Steps of Grief: What You Do When You Can’t

By | 2019-07-11T16:53:13+00:00 July 12th, 2019|

I have been away from my desk for several months. Certainly there has been no absence of delight in the long, cool spring that is only now beginning to turn into stifling summer; nor is it for want of topics – as the garden throws them at me faster than I can catch them.  Some [...]

Growing Daffodils for Maximum Enjoyment

By | 2019-04-12T11:24:30+00:00 April 12th, 2019|

If you had to pick one flowering plant whose appearance on the scene signals the return of spring and all her little angels, which one would it be? The plant collectors might scream “Adonis!” -- the neophytes “Forsythia!” but for me and for many others, there is no sweeter reminder of warm days ahead than [...]