Best. Hort site. Ever.


We’ve talked about The Garden Professors blog before, but I have to admit I had
never visited this group effort, run by Jeff Gillman (University of Minnesota),
Linda Chalker-Scott (Washington State University), Bert Cragg (Michigan State),
and Holly Scoggins (Virginia Tech), until recently. So here's an advisory for those of you who also haven't checked it out—do!

For plant geekery, this blog simply can’t be beat. It’s
fascinating. I read it mainly just for fun, to discover why people used
to fill trees with concrete
, to learn why
water droplets do not burn leaves
, and to find out why certain weeds thrive in
inhospitable summer conditions. (To name three recent topics.)

Now that I’ve been turned on to the professors, I’m planning
on reading it regularly. When you think that there’s a knowledge base like this
available on the web, it’s sad to consider that many gardeners rely on boring
generic advice from questionable “expert” sites. Even if the topic has no
relevance for me, all of the GPs are lively, funny writers, especially when
they take up fun topics like natives and invasives or the worthiness of compost

The blog does not seem to have its own “home” button so I
browsed it by month. It could also use a feed link. C’mon, professors. 

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. I adore this site and can’t wait to meet Dr. Chalker-Scott at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show next month. Plus, I’ll get a chance to have her sign my copy of her book, The Informed Gardener!!

  2. OMG!

    What an honor!

    And we all love Garden Rant. You’ll note that our top link on the right-hand menu is to Garden Rant.

    (I am truly sorry there is no feed button. WSU is pretty new at the blog business, and unfortunately blog support is far down the list. But we’re hoping that with increasing visibility that maybe we will inch up that list…)

  3. As Teri Garr’s character Inga exclaimed in Young Frankenstein – “The feeling is mootual!”

    Thank you Elizabeth! We’re trying… BTW I own not one but TWO Garden Rant t-shirts.

  4. Oh, they are the BEST! Doing important work! And the only people whose advice I’ll take.

    The Professors told me to chuck my poinsettia after Christmas and I did.

  5. My main beef with the profs is the lack of a home button for the blog–unless I am missing something, home goes to the WSU site, which is all well and good, but not if you just want the blog.

    M, I tend to think poinsettias should be tossed immediately! 🙂

  6. I have turned all my volunteer friends at our local public garden on to this site. Very expert, informative, and fun to read at the same time. I love the “quizzes” – how professorial!

  7. P.S. and Update–I’ve tried using the RSS feed that Dan posted above, but for some reason it wouldn’t work on my Blogger platform. However, I just tried the feedburner link provided by Clare and I’m finally in! Woot.

  8. I have been reading the Professors of late and the site is informative and enjoyable. Their writing is not near as dry as one would expect. It is actually quite good. It is annoying however that there is no home link. Normally the blog title will link to the home page. Surely one of the professors could snag a tech savvy student for a five second fix.

    As long as we are on the subject of annoying GardenRant has been freezing up my IE browser for the last week forcing me to close down the browser and start fresh. The best I can tell the cause is googlead.g.doubleclick loading ads to the page. The google part is not the problem, it is the rotating ads they place in. It seems advertising folks may not be as concerned about tech compatibility issues and bad ads with bugs in them get through often enough causing problems like this.

    Advertising could well be the death of the internet just like it has killed television. Hear that you damn marketing people. I so look forward to a post consumer economy on many levels.

  9. I just gave this site address to a URI Professor. I use this information all the time on The Garden Guys Radio Show! Very informative and always accurate. Right from the researchers keyboard!

  10. I love the Garden Professors blog. I’ve been following their feed in my Google Reader for months now and always enjoy the topics. I especially enjoy the quizzes. It’s fun to test my knowledge on hort related problems.

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