mwillburn

About Marianne Willburn

Marianne is an author, opinion columnist and speaker. But above all, she is a gardener, located in Virginia, USA in USDA Zone 6b.

Go Foraged. And Take the Fear Out of Formal Tablescapes.

By |2023-12-07T22:10:29+00:00December 8th, 2023|

I'm into table decorating.  Always have been.  If you give me a table and an hour, and put someone else in charge of stirring the balsamic reduction, I am in my happy place. Somewhere between my twenties and now, table decorations have become 'tablescapes', and I can't disagree with the term - creating a gorgeous [...]

If it means I don’t have to water, I’m good with the deck falling down.

By |2023-09-07T15:05:39+00:00September 8th, 2023|

It’s so dry right now in my little part of Rain Shadow, Virginia that even the blades of Japanese stilt grass are curling.  When, last night, my husband decided, mid-sip, that we needed to stay off the aging deck or risk falling through it, all I could think was, “Oh good. That means I can [...]

Why I Use a Garden Auger to Plant Bulbs; And When It’s Not A Great Idea.

By |2022-12-28T21:48:51+00:00December 28th, 2022|

Yes, I know. We could have done with this post about two months ago.  But two months ago I was planting bulbs and didn’t have time to write it.  Still, there’s a good chance there are more than a few of you with boxes of bulbs that haven’t gone in yet, and very little time [...]

Three Insider Tricks to Make a Sophisticated Natural Wreath This Season

By |2022-12-01T19:46:14+00:00December 1st, 2022|

December is upon us, the spirit is in the air, and you have an itch to try the whole wreath-making thing again. Except...you've never really nailed the art of wreath making. 'Spindly' and 'amateurish' are words that figure prominently in the memories you haven't already blocked, followed by 'lop-sided,' and 'award for participation.' Perhaps you'd [...]

#HouseplantVacation is Over For the Season. Here’s What to Do. And When.

By |2022-09-28T20:30:27+00:00September 28th, 2022|

I wrote this article originally for The National Garden Bureau, of which I'm a proud member. However, the info is so important, I asked to reprint it here for the benefit of my readers too .  I hope you enjoy it and find a few tips for making the transition from garden plant to houseplant, [...]

New Trick for an Old Gardener: Planning and Designing EXACTLY what I want.

By |2022-09-22T17:32:41+00:00September 22nd, 2022|

Last weekend I started the process of becoming professionally serious about a small area west of my fenced kitchen garden. It's functioned as a mini-wildflower meadow (and then general eyesore) for the last four or so years.  With the advice and help of the talented horticulturist, designer and author Gregg Tepper, I’m diving into the [...]

Using Grow Lights for Healthier Seedlings Doesn’t Need to Break the Bank

By |2022-04-12T16:39:02+00:00February 18th, 2022|

Inevitably, the time will arrive when many gardeners will consider starting their own seeds indoors.  Perhaps it is the threat of being faced, once again, with only two tomato varieties at the big box retailers, and the shock at paying premium prices for the much greater selection available at a nursery.  Perhaps it is the [...]

On Podcasts, Conversation, and My Column with The American Gardener

By |2021-09-24T14:31:03+00:00September 24th, 2021|

From Margaret Roach to Niki Jabbour, I’ve been asked to do many podcasts and radio shows over the last few months due to the publication of Tropical Plants and How To Love them – opportunities for which I’m extremely grateful. I’ve enjoyed each one of them tremendously. My kids would say that this is because [...]

FLOODED!

By |2021-07-30T14:49:28+00:00July 30th, 2021|

I have received more than a few emails from readers wondering why I haven’t been more active on this blog over the last three months. And for some reason – guilt perhaps – the latest, thoughtful, “Is everything okay?” once answered, did succeed in provoking a painful but involuntary spasm in somewhat atrophied blogging muscles. [...]

Building Habitat Nests for Wildlife…and For Me

By |2021-04-30T12:49:49+00:00April 30th, 2021|

Over the last two winters, I’ve been engaged in a curious pursuit which has baffled some visitors but thrilled others – precisely the way I love to garden.  I’m building habitat nests – and it’s one of the most satisfying and artistically fulfilling projects I’ve worked on in some time. The newest nest (still [...]

Where’s Your Book? and Other Difficult Questions

By |2021-04-01T20:53:28+00:00April 1st, 2021|

“What’s up with your book?” I’ve fielded this question from many readers lately. If you pre-ordered Tropical Plants and How To Love Them because you either read this post, or this article, or listened to this interview, or found out the book was ranked as Amazon’s number one new release in cool-climate gardening for many [...]

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