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

Make This Awesome Petunia Planter!

Always on the lookout for great plants and ideas for YOU, Grumpy recently attended Ball Horticultural Company‘s plant trials in lovely Ventura, California. And out of all the wondrous visions my eagle eyes did hit upon, here is my favorite — a tower of velvety red petunias. Now get this — there are only three petunia plants in here. That’s […]

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When Is It Safe To Transplant Nandina?

Faithful reader┬áMelissa Barnhill asks, “Is it possible to relocate small nandina bushes? I know they have millions of shoots, and I didn’t know if cutting away some of those shoots while taking them out would cause a life-or-death issue.”

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This Wildflower Sings The Blues

Blue is the rarest color in the garden, so it only makes sense that we treasure it wherever we find it. Today, I want to sing the praises of a favorite, easy to grow wildflower that gives us a sea of blue every spring. Blue phlox.

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How To Fix Crepe Murder

Southerners are fixated on crepe myrtles — mainly because they butchered so many this winter and now want them fixed. Following Crepe Murder 2015, scores of pitiful emails from crepe criminals needing their consciences scrubbed flooded Grumpy’s email box. “Have I killed my crepe myrtle?” they ask. “Is there any way to fix what I did?” No, you probably haven’t […]

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Vines To Purty Up Your House

Everybody (except for those trashy neighbors across the street) wants the front of their house to look purty to folks that pass by. This is called curb appeal. Grumpy spied this excellent example a few days ago. The homeowners had framed their front porch with a lovely, native vine called Carolina jessamine. Now ain’t that purty?

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Are Native Plants Always Better? A Grumpy Verdict

People love native plants. They praise their beauty, ease of care, and how gentle and loving they are to the environment. As opposed to evil plants from Europe and Asia, native plants are always well-behaved and a better choice. Or are they?

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Four Salvias To Make You Salivate

If you’ve ever drooled over a plant, you know how embarrassing that can be. You’re a grown adult, for crying out loud, and you’re looking like you need a bib. Nevertheless, certain plants cause me to profusely salivate, like these muy delicioso salvias recently added to our Southern Living Plant Collection. (Dang, I just drooled on the keyboard. What a […]

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Pruning ‘Knock Out’ Rose — When, Why, and How

Faithful reader Mandi Villa writes, “I love my ‘Knock Out’ rose, but it’s getting too big. Can I prune it without killing it?”

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Where Have All The Dogwoods Gone?

If you live in the Southeast, you probably remember all the “dogwood trails” that people followed when our native flowering dogwoods bloomed each spring. Thirty years ago, dogwood was the #1 flowering tree. Sadly, no longer. The trails have steadily eroded until now we see only remnants. Where have all the dogwoods gone?

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Crepe Murder Or Death Wish? It’s Stupid Either Way

OK, I promised you the most idiotic example of crepe murder I’ve ever seen and here it is. This guy is standing high in the air atop the stumps of a crepe myrtle he’s already cut and finishing off the rest. With a chain saw!

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