The rants that made you rant, part II



We regularly invite and post guest rants, but in 2009 Susan had the great idea to devote the last couple weeks of summer to guest rants. It gives us a break and you a chance to let it all hang out. Our guest ranters have written some fearless and fascinating posts—and we love it! All the guest ranters here will receive special badges for their sidebars (as they did last year). Please click on their posts to see what all the fuss was about and link back to their blogs. Comments will be closed on these posts, but you can continue the discussion here.

10.  Guest ranter  Ginny Stibolt doesn’t mince words about P. Allen Smith’s lame tree-planting photo.

9. Tee Riddle explains why seed packets suck.  

8. The normally mild-mannered Graham Rice is mad as hell about HOA required plant lists

7. Tom Alexander is curious—why doesn’t the GWA recognize the growing of certain plants as gardening

6. Benjamin Vogt finds flagpoles and their plantings of questionable benefit in the domestic landscape.

5.  Barbara Pintozzi asks IGCs to shape up or lose her business. 

4.  Shawna Coronada maintains that the health care reform bill promotes a gardening life.

3. A city in Illinois mows down someone’s easeway garden without notice. Can they do that? Yes. Should they do that? Michelle Clay thinks not.

2.  Susan Hampshire dares to take on whimsy. You can guess the rest.

1. Robin Ripley suggests that aesthetic quality control can be applied to vegetable plantings as well as to ornamental gardens. 

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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 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. Well, the garden whimsy rant certainly brought back memories. In my comment there, I mentioned the “Flamingo Lady” whose yard I enjoy. Previously she had some 100+ plastic pink flamingos in colored boas and hats decorating her backyard. Update: This Christmas, she had the flamingos pulling a sled like reindeer. It was funny, and I’m actually happy she thinks outside the box. ‘Course she isn’t a gardener that I can tell.

  2. I remember almost all of these, great list. Who can forget the “whimsy” firestorm. It got something of a bad rap, though. After reading the post again, it wasn’t so much about having whimsy as it was people having the exact same stuff in the gardens as everyone else.

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