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.

How To Weed: Tips & Tools for Working Smart

By | 2019-09-13T18:59:32+00:00 September 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+00:00 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 [...]

First, Do No Harm

By | 2019-03-14T19:21:48+00:00 March 15th, 2019|

I intended yesterday to have a little walk around the place, observing what was and what wasn’t coming up. And I did. But these things always evolve (some would argue, devolve) into a large scale something or other, and before I knew it, I had taken the serpentine bed almightily in hand.  A strong, sexy [...]