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

How To Mend A Broken Branch

Faithful reader, Karen, writes, “The recent snow split one of the main branches of my crepe myrtle. Do I need to cut off that branch or can I repair it somehow? Cutting it will ruin the tree’s symmetry.”

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Toto, We’re Not In Bama Anymore

Grumpy has put his nose to the grindstone for the last several months, addressing all of your gardening concerns in a prompt and other-worldly manner. Now it is time for a break. This week, I’m enjoying a vacation of skiing, beer, snowshoeing, beer, canoeing, beer, hiking, and beer. Guess where I am.

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Crepe Murder 2016 Is Now Underway!

Crepe Murder 2016 officially kicks off TODAY, January 31, 2016! ¬†Entries will be accepted from now until Tuesday, February 16. This gives you plenty of time, including a long weekend, to creep silently around your neighborhood, smart phone in hand, and take photos of horribly butchered trees like the ones above. Email your photos to gardens@southernliving.com with “Crepe Murder 2016” […]

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7 Things You Must Know About Stupid Squirrels

Squirrels are the bane of human existence. Everyone accepts this. Yet many are unaware of crucial issues related to dealing with these insufferable fluff-rats that can hopefully one day lead to their total annihilation. Therefore, Grumpy answers seven critical questions that millions of squirrel-haters are asking today.

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Pruning Big Boxwoods — When & How

Faithful reader, Gail, asks, “What is the best way to cut back or prune two very large boxwoods that are on each side of our church entrance steps? They are at least 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. They are very old and we don’t want to get rid of them.” Other readers want to know how to prune […]

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Get Ready for Crepe Murder 2016!

That Most Wonderful Time of the Year is nearly upon us! That time when mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cats, dogs, and hermit crabs sneak around the neighborhood, smart phone in hand, to record egregious and embarrassing acts of crepe murder committed by those ignorant, benighted folks down the street! Why? To post photos like this one to humiliate them before […]

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Can Your Paperwhites Be Saved?

A faithful reader, Cathy, wants to know what she should do with her paperwhite narcissus. She writes, “I grew paperwhites in water for Christmas and they were beautiful. They are still in the tall vase with their leaves turning yellow. What can I do with them until I plant them outside this spring?”

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25 Years of Nonstop Blooms — Thank You, Crown Of Thorns

Lots of plants are called “everblooming,” but when you get them home you find out the story is a bit different. Some skip a week, some skip a month, and you get ticked off. Today, I present a truly everblooming plant — one that has never missed a single day in the 25 years I’ve had it. It’s called crown […]

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Don’t Feed Azaleas With Poopy Water!

Faithful reader Carol Dowd in San Augustine County, Texas, is annoyed with her Encore azaleas. ¬†“Not only are they blooming, they’ve grown five inches straight up since I gave them a haircut in June. They were supposed to be only 4 to 5 feet tall, but now they’re acting like they want to grow over the house. My husband is […]

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Grumpy’s Crystal Ball Reveals New Gardening Trends for 2016

Grumpy’s gift for prognostication never fails to awe his faithful readers. As Fanny Aster of Hoppy Toad, Kentucky puts it, “He can see into the future with both eyes closed.” Once again, the Oracle of Opelika graciously shares his gift of augury with the legion of curious Fannies who depend on his foresight with the following bold predictions for Gardening […]

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