Hottest Rants of 2008


Another New Year’s tradition here at GardenRant Headquarters is to see which posts of the hundreds from the prior year stirred the most comments from our outspoken readers.  (See the Hottest Posts of 2006 and 2007.)

So without further ado and in ascending order, the Top Rants of 2008 are:

10.  We had a tie between The nasty issue of leaf-blowers and Where the Bodies are Buried.  Amy has this to say about comments to her "bodies" post:

"Pickle, the cat who lost an argument with a car one summer," posted by one of our commenters, surely deserves to be the first line of a novel someday.  I go back and read those comments with amazement.  Especially commonweeder, who says, "When I asked if anyone had something
they would like to say, 10 year old Caitlin, solemnly took a breath and
said. "We hardly knew you, but we’ll miss you."  Oh, lord.

And, reading over the comments, can I just say?  I am totally naming my next pet Inkling.  That’s brilliant.

9.  In Gardeners for Obama, targeting gardeners by both campaign is explored in a bipartisan
way.  Our commenters, not so much.


8.  Substitutes touched a nerve with cold-climate gardeners who need winter substitutes – bad.

7.  How to talk to a blogger is a clash between new and old media, with the comments offering a great example of how NOT to respond to blogger criticism – accuse the blogger of being on the take.

6.  Attacking Kitchen Gardening on Grounds of Inefficiency is a Huge Waste of Time is Michele’s scorching rebuke to a New York Times blogger. 

5.  Gardening Without Shopping is a reader survey about the effect of economic hard times on our gardening purchases.
4.  In Anti-lawn revolutionaries, rise up and respond! our readers certainly do rise up to prove that no, they’re NOT sheep-like followers of the GardenRant agenda. 

3.  So you want to dumb us down even more? was the third post from guest Ranter Allan Armitage, in which he gave his take on the eternally contentious subject of botanical versus common names. Clearly, this is a gardening argument that will never go quietly.

2.  For Let us Lighten your Load, a Troy-Bilt garden cart giveaway, Elizabeth asked readers to load the cart with their most beloved plants. This was excruciatingly hard to judge, but there were great comments, including these two: "there is no way I could go on in a tomato-less world," from Gina/My Skinny Garden, and Kathy/Cold Climate Gardening’s useful aside that "colchicums are the source of colchicine, which is used to treat gout." Ethel

1.  And our top comment-getter was The Great Ethel Glove Giveaway, where readers submitted their glove stories and Amy gave extra credit for red stilettos and photographic evidence.  In searching the Net for photos of Ethel gloves I discovered "Ethel Glove Giveaways" all over the damn blogosphere – so somebody sure knows how to talk to bloggers (See No. 7 above).

Happy New Year to all our readers but especially to our knowledgeable and opinionated commenters!  We love ya.


  1. Thanks again for the gloves! When I received them, I was inclined to pooh-pooh a bit–they are very pretty, light, and claim to be washable. In other words, not at all like the grey $1.99 leather-and-striped-canvas workmen’s gloves I had been wearing before. But, months later, I’m still wearing the Ethel gloves, happily. They fought valiantly against the pyrocantha, which is reduced to a stump (now if I could just get the tree guys to come take care of that…), and they’ve been through the washing machine AND the dryer successfully. Overall, I was impressed enough that I bought a pair for Mom for Christmas. One suggestion for Ethel–please put the sizes somewhere on the OUTSIDE of the pretty corrugated box. It is not efficient to open each box to determine what size gloves are contained.

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