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

Attract Fireflies To Your Garden

Faithful reader Ginny writes, “I love fireflies. How can I encourage them to come to my yard? Are they harmful to my garden?” Let Grumpy shed light on the matter.

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More Horror! More Ugliness! Crepe Murder 2016!

If last week’s crepe murders gave you garden variety nightmares, this week’s will seem like a sleepover at Freddy Krueger’s. Why do people do things like this? Some because of ignorance. Some because of hostility. And some because they believe that making it into the Grumpy Gardener gives their little lives meaning. They are correct.

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Why Your French Hydrangea Never Blooms

Like a lot of Grumpy’s faithful readers, Heather in Raleigh wants to know why her French hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla — the one with blue or pink flowers) always looks green and healthy, but never blooms, even though it gets plenty of sun and water. Our email exchange reveals the probable cause.

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Meet The Winners! Crepe Murder 2016

Not since the Alabama Powerball Jackpot surpassed a record $6 has an announcement been so eagerly anticipated. Here they are — the first batch of winners in Crepe Murder 2016! You’ll scream! You’ll faint! You’ll guzzle MD 20/20 Coco Loco by the case as you stare with disbelieving eyes at what people do to innocent crepe myrtles.

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Faithful readers, in preparation for the unveiling of the winners of Crepe Murder 2016 this Sunday, March 13, I thought you’d enjoy this extremely stupid episode that occurred in Grumpy’s own neighborhood last weekend.

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New Blueberries For Everyone!

Few people grow fruit in their gardens these days, because most think it’s too much trouble. And if they’re talking about peaches, plums, cherries, or grapes, they may be right. But blueberries are different. They’re easy to grow, highly productive, and make wonderful ornamental plants. And the good news is these great plants have just gotten better.

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Reclaiming An Overgrown Yard — Part 2

Last weekend, Mrs. Grumpy and I took a first crack at clearing the jungle in the front yard of first-time homeowners, Tom and Ashley. They bought the house from a little old lady who hadn’t done any yard work for about 10 years. If we thought the front was a nightmare, the back yard was worse. Yet so unselfish and […]

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Reclaiming An Overgrown Yard

My stepson, Tom, and his fiancee, Ashley, just bought their first house. They were excited, but also intimidated by the overwhelming tasks that awaited. For 10 years, the little old lady who sold the house hadn’t cleaned inside (she had pets in there — hazmat suits required) nor trimmed anything outside. What plants should Tom and Ashley remove? What should […]

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Are Epsom Salts Really Good For Plants?

Of all of the old wives’ tales swirling around the gardensphere, the magical ability of Epsom salts to goose your plants into a Nirvana of health and vigor ranks as #1. Plant not blooming? Give it Epsom salts. Plant not growing? Epsom salts. Plant singing off-key? Epsom salts.

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Which Plants Can Kill Your Dog or Cat?

A recent email from a reader telling of the tragic death of her dog after consuming the seed of a sago palm set me to thinking: “How many garden plants out there are toxic to dogs and cats?” A simple Google search revealed an astonishing answer — literally hundreds and hundreds. In fact, looking through my garden, it was hard […]

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