The rants that made you rant, part I



Comments are not the only indication of a good post. Sometimes a great post will have no comments at all. But we do like to see readers get fired up about issues and discuss them with each other (not just agree or disagree with the post itself).

Here are the top twenty rants of 2010. All of them received at least 40 comments and some received many more than that. We’ve divided them into two sets of ten. First, those by the four resident Ranters; then (in the post below this), those by guest Ranters. Keep in mind that comments are closed on all these—but you can talk about ’em here.


10. Michele extolls the benefits of mulch in a vegetable garden; readers delve into the nuances.

9. Michele credits her garden for keeping her young and sassy. We all agree, unanimously and enthusiastically.

8.  Gazing globes—love ’em, hate ’em, or don’t understand why we’re even talking about them?

7.  The Kubler-Ross stages applied to gardening, from kid-in-a-candy-shop to older kid-in-a-candy-shop.

6. Do gardeners hunt? Turns out a lot do.

5. Why should IGCs bail out Monrovia? Or, more important, can they?

4. Legislating the size of the lawn in California. Great discussion between Michelle D. and Chris C.

3. The inevitable Scotts post—now they want to wipe out clover and dandelions. Sigh.

2.  School gardens are attacked in the Atlantic; Michele (and readers) passionately defend them.

1. Everyone loves Amy’s fabulous front yard; not all agree it’s a meadow. And not all agree about how to treat head lice.

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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 regular 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 remember the hunting one. That’s not a debate you hear every day. I liked Amy’s garden, but it is a trifle small to be classified as a “meadow.” I never understood why we have to call gardens with grasses in them “meadows” anyway. I have a lot of rhododendrons and azaleas, but I don’t call my yard a “forest understory.”

  2. re: gazing globes…never ended up getting one, even after hearing back that they indeed float. my 50 gal. mini-pond could maybe handle an xmas ornament – but in the fall, i tossed a really large, black bosu ball that i wasn’t using into the yard. i love it, especially when it moves around with the wind, sort of quasi-kinetic sculpture – roaming about, creating new visual combinations. it looks cute with a cap of snow, and i’ll be curious to see if it survives the winter inflated.

  3. Thanks for sharing these as I just recently learned of this blog. Absolutely love Amy’s meadow-esque front yard and the comments are interesting… We have the same plan in our front yard in New Orleans. No mowing, no weeding – just lots of colorful blooms, shrubs & ornamental grass.


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