A Fond Farewell to Evelyn Hadden


After three years as a regular GardenRanter, Evelyn Hadden has retired from blogging to concentrate on her music. Her last post was in October but in hopes that she’d change her mind, none of us announced it, or thanked her for her many wonderful posts, which we know readers will miss. But it’s time.

I recently browsed through her posts for the Rant and all that great writing and photography from a nature-loving perspective just made me feel worse about her leaving. Here are some quick thoughts about what I saw in my review.

I’ll miss seeing her garden, a full year younger than my new garden and already better established (damn!). She taught me that it’s possible, after just three years in a new garden, to show off its “grandplants” and already be winnowing out the extras. My garden?  As if.

She covered nature, not just gardening.

She was serious about conveying lots of important information, and about conveying it accurately -about topics like food forests, ways to use fallen leaves, gardening practices that hurt bees, and lots more. She did the research and got her facts right.

She covered environmental topics without a hint of blaming or judging, using a positive, inviting approach instead.

She used great titles, like “A Satisfying Stack of Stones” and calling gardening a “Long Conversation with Nature.”

She encouraged introspection, reflection (on death in the garden, for instance) and the writing of garden haikus.

I know readers will miss Evelyn’s photographs, too. But what readers don’t know is what a great partner-in-Ranting Evelyn has been during her too-few years with us.

Turning momentarily to Evelyn’s departure in the context of her life, I’m happy for her song-writing and performing talents and wish her well. Of course! But back to being selfish, I still hope she’ll get the garden-writing bug again someday and come back home to the Rant. We’ll always have a spot for her.

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Susan Harris

Susan’s a garden writer, teacher and activist in the Washington, D.C. area. Co-founder of GardenRant, she also wrote for national gardening magazines and independent garden centers before retiring in 2014. Now she has time for these projects:

  • Founding and now managing the pro-science educational nonprofit GOOD GARDENING VIDEOS that finds and promotes the best videos on YouTube for teaching people to garden.
  • Creating and managing DC GARDENS, the nonprofit campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
  • Creating and editing the community website GREENBELT ONLINE to serve her adopted hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland (a “New Deal Utopia” founded in 1937).

Contact Susan via email or by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Stephen Brown.