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.

A Place for Peace – A Garden Restored

By | 2018-07-20T11:27:26+00:00 July 20th, 2018|

  As a rule, young girls do not tend to frequent my lectures on gardening.  For one, they are about gardening.  And, as my heretical 16-year old daughter takes great pains to point out when she is not within arm’s reach, young girls have many distractions in this life, and listening to someone talk about [...]

When Renovation Meets Landscape: Top Ten Tips for Dealing With It

By | 2018-07-06T21:44:51+00:00 July 6th, 2018|

In the first few days of March, a freak windstorm used a dying ash tree to create mayhem in our lives. The roof came out of that attack with over twenty holes, some of which came right through the ceiling. The chimney was cracked. The deck lost railings. Supporting beams were split and the seals [...]

Nursery Spotlight: What’s Old Is New Again at Mar-Lu View

By | 2018-07-06T20:07:00+00:00 July 6th, 2018|

There’s something new on Frederick County’s plant scene. Perhaps you’ve seen signs in your neighborhood, pointing you in the direction of a garden center that you’ve heard about, but never visited.  Perhaps you’ve been driving along a country road in Jefferson only to screech to a halt in front of a wild and wonderful assortment [...]

Nursery Spotlight: Lilypons Offers a Cooling Start to The Summer

By | 2018-07-06T21:55:16+00:00 July 6th, 2018|

  As hot days and warm nights begin to color the pages of July, there are very few nurseries with display gardens that can boast of peak season. But then, there are very few that have devoted their businesses to the pleasures of the water garden – and July is National Water Gardening Month for [...]

Nursery Spotlight: Music, Inspiration and Retail Therapy at Surreybrooke

By | 2018-06-22T13:19:23+00:00 June 22nd, 2018|

Join me in this series as I visit some of Frederick County, Maryland’s finest independent garden centers to find out what makes them unique. Finding and buying plants that you love is often much more pleasurable than figuring out how to successfully incorporate them into your landscape once you get home.  We all struggle with [...]

In Defense of Bad Taste: The Story of Toad Hall

By | 2018-06-22T11:04:39+00:00 June 22nd, 2018|

I spent a quiet afternoon two weeks ago working in a small garden outside my guest room windows.  The room is built into a sloping bank and partially surrounded by a deck, and therefore the garden is not only visible on an intimate level from below, but from a larger, birds-eye view above – a [...]

Nursery Spotlight: Brews and Blooms at Thanksgiving Farms

By | 2018-06-15T15:15:37+00:00 June 15th, 2018|

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 truck and a lot of loungeable patio furniture on a weekend in the summer, you have the makings of Heaven on earth. That’s the vibe [...]