The Grumpy Gardener

Get your garden growing with the humor and wisdom of editor Steve Bender. Ask a Question


How To Kill A Jade Plant

Faithful Texas reader, Marie, asks, “My jade plant is several years old. It is thinning and dropping leaves. It gets water twice a week from the edge spray of the sprinkler system. What are your suggestions?” As always, Grumpy is the font of knowledge.

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Butterflies On The Move

  Among the most famous migrations on Earth is the amazing journey millions of monarch butterflies from all parts of the U.S. make to a tiny winter sanctuary in Mexico every fall. But they’re not the only butterflies that migrate. Grumpy was granted the privilege of observing this first-hard during a recent holiday of sand, surf, and suds on the […]

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Still Too Early To Transplant

Lots of readers are peppering Grumpy these days with questions about transplanting. A common thread is people have a tree or bush that’s too big for the spot it’s in, so is it OK to move it now? Grumpy’s answer — a big, fat noooooo.

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Blowing in the Wind

How many times must a man rake his yard Before his lawn sees the sun? Yes’n, how many leaves can one tree drop Before he knows it is done? Yes’n, how many years must he labor in vain Before the battle is won? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind The answer is blowing in the wind.

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These Palms Take the Cold Hands-Down

Admit it. Every time you visit the beach, you envy the bevy of graceful palm trees along streets and in yards. You wish you could grow palms in your home garden, but think where you live is just too cold in winter. Maybe you’re right, but you could be wrong.

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My Crepe Myrtle Leaves Are Falling!

Your college football team won its opening day game last weekend. A big earthquake hit Oklahoma, but you live in Georgia and didn’t feel a thing. So what’s not to love about this September? Then you walk outside a discover your beloved crepe myrtle is dropping all its leaves. Sacre bleu! Is the End of Days upon us?

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Seduced By Sweet Autumn Clematis

Sweet autumn clematis is a seductress. You know this vine can engulf shrubs to the point of killing them and if allowed to seed will populate the neighborhood with equally rampant babies. You promised yourself you will not plant her, but then the sweet perfume from her clouds of starlike blossoms reaches your nostrils and you’re doomed. You must have […]

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Pampas Grass Is For Swingers

If you live in the burbs, chances are that at one time or another, you’ve been tempted to plant pampas grass. Count yourself lucky if you refrained. Because almost every place you could have put it would have looked downright awful.

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Surround Yourself With Naked Ladies

  You’ve all seen them — front yards of neighbors surreptitiously adorned during the night with flamingos, crows, cows, and mules to mark to arrival of an auspicious day. But as for Grumpy, you can save those things. When I open my eyes on birthday morning and look out from my window to the dawn’s early light, I want to […]

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Mum’s The Word!

OK, I’m sorry. I promised myself that if I ever did a post about garden mums, I would not insult you by using the most cliched title of all time. Then I remembered I promised myself that I would lose 10 pounds by giving up beer. I broke that promise. So a precedent has been set.

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