The Grumpy Gardener

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Crepe Murder 2014 — California Screaming

With apologies to the Beach Boys: “Well, the West Coast peeps are hip, they wouldn’t murder all their trees. They wouldn’t take a saw to a crepe myrtle row and cut them all off at the knees.” Whoops! It appears crepe murder is alive and well on the Left Coast. From Elk Grove, California, here’s winner #6!

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Crepe Murder 2014 — All Flags At Half Mast

Crepe Murder 2014 is a national tragedy not only for the innocent trees so brutally attacked, but also for the many people who suffer permanent psychological scarring from witnessing these crimes. In honor of these victims, both wooden and flesh, Grumpy asks that all Americans lower Old Glory to half mast today.

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Crepe Murder 2014 — Oh, the Humanity!

The person responsible for this mass crepe murder in McComb, Mississippi obviously believes any crime worth committing is worth committing 50 times. Imagine the joy he must have torturing one innocent crepe myrtle a day for nearly two months! And so we present you with winner #4 in Crepe Murder 2014.

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Crepe Myrtle 2014 — Now That’s Bad Hair!

I don’t know what kind of building that is in the background, but I hope it doesn’t hold a beauty salon. Because if they do to your hair what they did to this poor crepe myrtle, you’ll look like you were standing in the middle of a bathtub when someone tossed in a toaster.

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Crepe Murder 2014 — How to Curb Your Appeal

Your local power company knows all about curb appeal. How else could it do exactly what it takes to completely eliminate it time after time? In this case, it took a chainsaw to a double row of crepe myrtles planted to beautify a street in Jacksonville, Florida. For sending Grumpy this excellent example of suburban uglification, Linda Burns is our […]

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Crepe Murder 2014 — A Model of Hideousness

Welcome to Crepe Murder 2014, our celebration of the most boneheaded attempts at pruning crepe myrtles from the past year! This year, the competition was so fierce and the entries so bizarre that we couldn’t have just 10 winners. We had to have 13. So it is with great pride for the reporting and great sadness for the plant that […]

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Are My Fried Plants Dead?

The longer this cold winter goes on, the more plants (particularly evergreens) take it on the chin. Many look brown and dead, like a grilled squirrel (yum!). So people keep asking me if they should they prune off the brown stuff now or wait to see if the plant recovers.

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Wow, What A Strawberry!

Grumpy sees so many new plants each year that they tend to fade into a blur of ennui. I mean, does the world really need another new heuchera or coneflower? But there is one plant that has me itching out of my normally baby-soft skin to try it. A fantabulous new strawberry called ‘Tristan.’

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Mole Control — What Works?

Faithful reader Brandy Bumpus says moles fighting moles in her yard is turning into trench warfare. She begs Grumpy for advice on the best way to get rid of these tunneling terrorists. As always, the ever-generous Grump is delighted to help.

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Cold Winter = Fewer Bugs?

Colder than justice in North Korea — that’s how cold winter has been this year in the eastern half of the country. Cities paralyzed by ice and snow. The Great Lakes frozen over. Pitiful dogs stuck to fire hydrants. So doesn’t it follow that we’ll have a lot fewer bugs to worry about this spring and summer?

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