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

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest — The People Who Top Trees

The season is upon us, so watch out. Any day now, some unemployed, middle-school graduate with a borrowed chainsaw and a mud-caked pickup is going to knock on your door and say¬†you have a problem that needs fixing. Those big trees of yours need shortening bad. If you say yes, not only will you be fleeced of a couple of […]

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Winter’s Prettiest Holly

In the midst of gloomy winter, my eye searches for color. Usually it comes from flashing blue lights on the police cars behind me, but not today. On a visit to Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Alabama, I spotted a blaze of red at the edge of a pond. The source is a very special holly. Winterberry.

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Don’t Let Cold Kill Your Plants

The TV weather people are giddy right now, because after a boring year with hardly any hurricanes or tornadoes to terrify us with, now an Arctic blast is poised to freeze America’s hiney off. And not just in Minnesota, where thousands of folks lose their hinies every winter. In Mobile, the temp dropped to 20 degrees this morning, sufficiently frigid […]

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Who Wants to Kill Violets?

Violets are such sweet, little wildflowers that it’s hard to believe that anyone other than Dear Leader would want them dead. But believe it or not, Grumpy regularly receives requests for advice on how to eradicate these gentle plants. Has the world gone over to the dark side?

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Five Fearless Predictions For 2015

  Over the years, we have established that Grumpy knows all — not just about the present, but the future too. Powered by several glasses of high-octane eggnog, he turns his Jaundiced Eye of Prognostication towards 2015 and issues five shocking predictions for the coming year.

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I Give You the Christmas Rose!

One of the great things about living in the South is that you can find something blooming in your yard almost every day of the year — including Christmas. And that’s just what Grumpy did this Christmas morning.

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How to Care for Holiday Plants

Grumpy hopes this is the most wonderful Christmas of all! So instead of loading you down with expensive jewelry, silverware, sports cars, and Napoleon brandy, your family gives you what you really wanted — blooming holiday plants. Here’s what you need to know to avoid killing these cherished gifts by the weekend.

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OMG! Look What They Did to This Amaryllis!

Do you think that plants have feelings? Then you might not want to read any further. On the other hand, if watching a bulb bloom its heart out for you shortly before it breathes its last makes your day, do I have the perfect holiday present for you! An amaryllis bulb coated in colorful wax!

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Christmas Gifts From My Heart

With only two weeks to go until your favorite day to shower Grumpy with gifts, Grumpy has more outstanding garden gift ideas for you to bestow on your loved ones. Get your credit card ready!

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Bye Bye, Bubba — An Era Ends

Grumpy was going to offer more Christmas present ideas today, but he’s not feeling very festive. He just learned that his friend and colleague, Gene “Bubba” Bussell, will be leaving Southern Living at the end of this month.

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