Gardening for the Common Man

September 15, 2010 | By | Comments (9)

Despite his regal demeanor and amazing ability to master all skills and realms of human knowledge, Grumpy remains a man of the people. He knows what it’s like to get his hands dirty (right before his assistant hurries over to wash them off). And he isn’t afraid to admit a mistake, even though up until this point he has never made one.

Therefore, when you ask the Grump for advice, you know it’s coming from someone who feels your pain and would be right down there in the ditches with you, if it weren’t for that all-star engagement he has tonight at the Kennedy Center with the Obamas.

Because of his natural affinity with the common man, Grumpy feels comfortable about soliciting advice from you about a matter that doesn’t even involve gardening. It involves Grumpy’s new car.


My Rolls 001

You see, my wife, the Duchess Judy of Uberville, convinced me that a luminary of my stature should seek practical and dependable transportation. So I bought a Rolls Royce, just like the ones that occupy garages where you live. Well, I wish one of you would have warned me what I was getting myself into. Do you have any idea how much an oil change costs for a Rolls? You can’t just take it to the Jiffy-Lube. What a rip-off. For what I paid, my Rolls should have permanent oil.

My Rolls 002 Parking at my house has also become an issue. My son, Brian, has a new Honda Civic, which he uses for the very vital task of driving to and from high school about two miles away, so he won’t have to debase himself by taking the bus that stops in front of our house. Naturally, he wants to park his new car in the garage space next to my new Rolls. This means we have to move our Mercedes over into the space previously occupied by our Jag, and the Jag has to be parked on the street. I don’t like this one bit. Parking our Jag on the street makes us look like trash.

So the Grump wants to know what you, his faithful readers do, when a similar situation arises in your house. Which luxury vehicle do you park on the street? Do you hire a certified driver to take your Rolls in for maintenance? Or do you trust the car to your personal assistant that you also send out for groceries and dry cleaning?

Who knew that buying such a simple thing as a Rolls would bring with it such anxiety? Please keep Grumpy in your thoughts and prayers.

Urgent Transplanting Question from Expectant Martha

Help!  I need some advice for the upcoming months.  My favorite aunt came down in April and planted a lovely garden in the yard of the rental house my husband and I moved into at the beginning of the year in Little Rock. We found out that we’re having twins in the fall, our first babies, and now our 2 bedroom rental house is feeling cramped.  We’d like to look for a bigger place after the holidays, but what about my dormant perennials?  Can I dig them up in the fall, pot them and then just move them with me?

Oh wait — I’m going to have 2 babies in the fall and apparently won’t sleep again until the spring.  Do you have any transplanting ideas for me?  Martha

Grumpy replies: You’re right — better get your sleep in now, because you won’t be getting any later. However, your plants will and that’s a positive. Once they go dormant in fall, they can stay in the ground without disturbance until the following spring and still be successfully transplanted. Maybe you’ll be sleeping by spring and ready to dig then. If you have to dig and pot them up before then, make your husband do it. After all, he got you into this mess.


  1. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    My first suggestion would be Eastern redbud (Cercis candensis). Also, consider a variety of Chinese elm (Ulmus parviflora). Since you want a tree for a narrow lot, I’d plant a narrow one called ‘Bosque.’

    September 21, 2010 at 10:35 am
  2. faye

    I would like to plant a tree on each side of my front porch for shade purposes. My house faces almost due east and in the summer it gets really really HOT! I would like something that is fast growing and that would fit onto a narrow lot. Also,a tree that doesn’t have too much of a invasive root system would be nice too. Can you recommend something that is pretty, fast growing and offers shade for the flower bed that I have? Thanks GG!

    September 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm
  3. Joy Smith

    I think you personally got ripped off. Also looking for someone to ripped you off further…do not wear your Rolex while out cruising and do not stop…just drive it around the block and back in to the garage. Really, Grumpy, you need to talk to Felder Rushing and ask his opinion…hehe…since he drives around a beat up truck with a garden in the back of it. Now that’s a real gardener!

    September 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm
  4. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    Thank you for all of your suggestions. Brian took your advice, sold the Honda, and bought a Lexus — the standard of practical transportation.

    September 18, 2010 at 11:53 am
  5. Tommy Lee

    The Rolls should stay on the street at all times – but hide the Honda (an obviously shameful car choice for the family that already has a rolls in possession).

    September 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm
  6. Jim Long

    Grumpy, the correct etiquette is to have your chauffeur rotate your cars so that the neighbors all get a good look of the car of the day. Street-view driveway one day, garage the next. For Brian? Get him a more prestigious car so his stays in the rotation, as well. (Some of us would secretly like to watch you drive that through a swampy road).

    September 16, 2010 at 9:21 pm
  7. Henry H.

    I’m gonna say that could be a reflection of you in the background taking the pic, I’ll give you that.
    I don’t think you live where raphis palms flourish as a hedge row, also seen in background(I think…) Also the light fixtures and garage doors reek of taste and style neither of which I believe you possess.
    Sorry Grump but I’m throwin the B.S. flag right through the $4000 window of that beauty.
    If it is yours, I hate you now and can no longer support whatever it is you do on this blog…..
    J.K.> love ya bro!!!!

    September 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm
  8. Donna

    Doesn’t Grumpy live in a trailer park? The Rolls would be great there.

    September 15, 2010 at 9:27 pm
  9. Jean

    It is quite apparent that you are living in a house that is beneath your greatness. You should consider buying a bigger mansion with multiple garages and a manservant to decide just where to park the Rolls.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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