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

Go Bold With Elephant’s Ear

Are you one of demure people who always hides in the back and hopes not to be noticed? Then stop it. Right now. In order to get anywhere in life, you need to attract attention. You can start with your garden. Plant elephant’s ear. There is nothing subtle or shy about it.

Read More

5 Great Flowers For Brown Thumbs & Butterflies

You desperately want beautiful flowers in front of your house all summer long and yet you haven’t acted. You’re not an expert, after all, and what if you pick the wrong flowers and they die pathetically and the neighbors snicker and you feel like a total loser? Fear not, faithful reader! Once again, Grumpy will save you. Here are five […]

Read More

Controlling Fire Ants — What Works, What Doesn’t

It’s a rule here in the South. Following a heavy rain on Sunday, on Monday your yard becomes a death zone dotted with little red clay volcanoes — fire ant mounds teeming with satanic assassins just itching to sting you and any other animal they can find. I truly believe this is why Karen Carpenter sang, “Rainy days and Mondays […]

Read More

Don’t Ignore Your Lawn

People elsewhere in the country rail against lawns, but here in the rainy, humid South, we like them. They cool the air, cover up the mud, reduce run-off, stop erosion, and are tender on the tootsies. This is why you must provide them with a modicum of care, lest yours end up looking like this.

Read More

Not Tonight, Deer! Garden Plants Bambi Won’t Eat

Delicious, walking venison (also known as deer) plague legions of American gardens. Grumpy’s previous post revealed those garden plants that sit atop their menu. Today, the ever-benevolent Grump lists dozens of plants deer do not like. Plant them and send herds of frustrated, ravenous walking venison over to savage your neighbor’s garden.

Read More

13 Garden Plants Deer Will Utterly Destroy

I’m gonna save you some money. I’m gonna save you some time. I’m gonna save you a LOT of heartache, anger, acid reflux, and embarrassing eye twitches. Because if you live where deer cruise the neighborhood at night, there are certain plants you should NEVER stick in the ground lest you find them the next morning on a pleasant little […]

Read More

When Your Crepe Myrtle Doesn’t Leaf Out

You’ve waited and waited and waited. Still no leaves on the trunks of your crepe myrtle. All of the neighbors’ crepes are leafed out and getting ready to bloom. Is yours doomed? Are you cursed? What the heck happened?

Read More

Miracle Cure For Chigger Bites!

Grumpy’s readers have confirmed it! Well, at least two of them have! When chigger bites torture you, stop the itch immediately by wetting them with blue Listerine! And all you thought it was good for was gingivitis and bad breath!

Read More

6 Small Trees For Small Yards

One of the dumbest things that homeowners do is planting a tree without first determining how big that sucker’ll get. Before long, it’s hiding the windows, blocking the driveway, cracking the sidewalk, killing the lawn, and falling down during a storm and smashing the house. The following smaller trees will do none of these annoying things. Instead, they’ll beautify your […]

Read More

Show Off Your Purple Heart

The recent Memorial Day holiday got Grumpy thinking about a plant to fit the occasion. What better candidate could there be than one called “purple heart?” It’s tough as nails and handles the worst abuse summer dishes out. Plus, if you’re one of those people who craves purple in the garden, nothing does purple like the foliage of purple heart.

Read More