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

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 […]

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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.

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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.

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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 […]

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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?

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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!

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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 […]

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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.

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Six Flowers That Sing The Blues

It’s human nature. We disdain what is common and lust for what is rare. This is why gardeners drool over blue blossoms, because blue is the scarcest flower color of all. It also blends well with every other color. If you’re lusting in your heart and soil for blue, here are six great plants to scratch that itch.

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Daylilies Are Easy

When my friend and former Southern Living photographer, Mary Carolyn Pindar, recently posted this daylily photo on Facebook, I told her I was totally going to rip it off for my own uses. As Grumpy is a man of his word, here it is. You can see why both she and I love daylilies. You don’t have to stick to […]

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