Steve Bender
Steve Bender grew up in Lutherville, MD and was exiled to Alabama in 1983 for reasons that remain secret to this day. He loves fried okra and often selects dinner wine based on whether it goes well with fried okra. His mission is to make gardening uplifting, accessible, and inspirational to all. He will no doubt succeed. Follow him on Twitter: @grumpy-gardener. Also on Facebook: facebook.com/SLGrumpyGardener.

Recent Posts By Steve Bender

Morning Glory Turns Brown Thumbs Green

Does your tree-of-heaven consider your yard hell? Does your resurrection fern refuse to rise? Does your prayer plant even have one? In other words, are you a horribly incompetent gardener who most plants rightly fear? Well, let’s turn around that sad situation by growing a lovely vine that’s simple as can be. 

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Three Great Flowers To Plant Right Now

I don’t care what’s atop your docket of things to do today — perform brain surgery, bury your dead cat, or track down who’s been texting your husband at 2 AM — blow off all of that stuff and do something much more important. Plant these three flowers now. That other junk can wait.

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Prune Out Your Dead!

Readers are besieging Grumpy with frantic questions about trees and shrubs that don’t look right. Some have branches that haven’t leafed out. Some have bare branches and are sprouting only from the base. And some show no signs of life at all. “Why is this happening and what should I do?” they ask.

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What We Eat — It Didn’t Start With Winn-Dixie

Greetings once again from the beach, faithful readers! Yes, to your great delight, Grumpy is having a wonderful time. During his idyll, he has been reading a fascinating book called The American Plate that traces the origins and histories of the things we eat. And if you’re a staunch purist who only likes stuff made in Amurica, you ain’t gonna […]

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Happy Grumpy Mother’s Day! Surf’s Up!

Yes, it’s Mother’s Day, that special period of 24 hours when all the people of the world stop to consider just how much their mothers mean to them. Judy and I have gone all out for Mother’s Day this year. We’re spending it at the beach!

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Why It’s Dumb to Chuck Your Amaryllis

As I’ve said before, if you toss out your amaryllis bulb after Christmas because the blooms have fallen off, you’re throwing away a very good thing. Want proof? Just look at the amaryllises now in bloom on Grumpy’s front steps. They all started out as Christmas plants.

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Growing Rhododendrons in the South

This is a rhododendron in my back yard. Her name is ‘Caroline.’ Isn’t she purty? Unfortunately, growing rhododendrons in the South can be quite a challenge, unless you follow Grumpy’s expert advice.

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Let’s Ban These Stinking Trees!

Grumpy’s tireless campaign against the awful Bradford pear is finally bearing fruit. This tree is now officially banned for planting throughout the Pittsburgh, PA metropolitan area. If Pittsburgh can do it, why can’t we all?

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Hooray! Time For World Naked Gardening Day!

If you think the only point of gardening is to bare your soul, you are sadly mistaken. Saturday, May 2, is World Naked Gardening Day, and I know you’ll want to participate!

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Black Leaves, Big Problems

“My poor gardenias are suffering!” writes faithful reader, Sheri Chamblee. “The leaves are black. I tried rubbing the black off, but the black remains. What else can I do?” The answer, of course, is to ask Grumpy, your font of gardening wisdom.

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