mwillburn

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.

Growing Windflowers for Late Season Color

By |2020-09-20T00:17:26+00:00September 19th, 2020|

Effusive, late-season displays of color become harder to come by as the days become cooler, which is why I enjoy growing the bright, carefree wands of windflower in my garden, and always make room for their clumping foliage between other spring and summer flowering perennials. Paired with berried shrubs, reddening foliage, maturing tropicals, and other [...]

Review: ‘Martha Knows Best’ is not Great. It’s Not Even a Good Thing.

By |2020-09-11T04:24:03+00:00September 11th, 2020|

This post originally appeared on GardenRant. So, it’s come to this. As a nation, we are so starved for American garden programming that we are willing to accept that a woman worth over $620 million dollars, stuck for 82 days on her 153-acre estate in Bedford, NY; with her gardener, one of her housekeepers, and [...]

Control Your Response Through Organization, Schedule & Rhythm

By |2020-11-02T03:05:32+00:00August 21st, 2020|

Most of us are living in an advanced state of Stress Factor 10 right now. Between the COVID virus, economic shutdown & political unrest, we continue to experience the severe emotional stress of living without any sense of control over our own lives.  It’s in the background of every event, every trip to the store, [...]

Summer Newsletter

By |2020-08-14T16:10:31+00:00August 14th, 2020|

Subscribers to this website receive a members-only seasonal newsletter with book reviews, design ideas, industry news, event announcements and other garden related bits and pieces including a bit of behind-the-scenes here at Oldmeadow.  This season, in light of all that we’re going through, I decided to post a longer format newsletter here.  Just this [...]

Preserving the Harvest or Preserving Sanity?

By |2020-07-12T22:01:11+00:00July 24th, 2020|

For three days I haven't been fun to live with. Preserving the harvest, fulfilling my writing deadlines, managing my family’s outrageous expectations of motherhood, and doing all of this without losing my ever-living mind. Even the dogs are keeping their distance. Oh, and there’s something else…What was it?….Ah yes.  The garden.  I actually have to [...]

Gardener, Know Thyself

By |2020-05-12T16:00:55+00:00May 11th, 2020|

On the way to the chickens this morning I placed my coffee mug on the ground in order to tidy the fading blooms of a primrose. I can clearly see now that setting down the mug was the point at which I lost control of the situation. A one-handed tidy performed indifferently from the walking [...]

Vegetable Gardening on a Smaller Scale

By |2020-04-29T21:24:11+00:00March 25th, 2020|

Are you one of many people right now thinking about supplementing your grocery budget with a vegetable garden, but trying to figure out how to grow vegetables with limited space? Worldwide, gardeners and would-be gardeners are living with increasingly smaller yards, or finding themselves with only a balcony or patio at their disposal. It's easy [...]

Garden Regionally. Get Inspired Globally.

By |2020-04-18T18:28:27+00:00October 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+00:00September 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 [...]

Weed Smart: Tools and Tips

By |2019-09-20T21:10:40+00:00September 13th, 2019|

Printed directions and warnings for products that require only a modicum of common sense exhaust me. Yesterday I purchased a vanity mirror with accompanying booklet in four languages on how to a) plug it in and b) turn it on.  On page four were various line drawings in red and black depicting line people being [...]

New House. New Garden. New Choices

By |2019-09-12T17:09:25+00:00September 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, [...]