The Grumpy Gardener

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


Five Great Plants For Butterflies

Let me tell you how nice butterflies are. They’re bugs and Grumpy likes them. I bet you like them too. To see more of them in your garden, you need to plant flowers that attract them. These five do the job magnificently.

Read More

I Told You Not To Do This!

Sometimes when I condemn crepe murder, people only think about the grisly carnage left immediately after the crime is committed. They forget about the disaster that’s looming when the tree starts growing back and gets ready to bloom. Here’s a photo I took this week in my neighborhood of exactly the horror each murderer can expect. People with sensitive stomachs […]

Read More

Daylily — The Easiest Perennial

When asked to suggest just one perennial for a beginning gardener to start with, my answer is always the same — daylily. No other perennial is easier to grow and comes in so many different colors, patterns, forms, and sizes. June is prime daylily time.

Read More

Chemical vs Organic Lawn Fertilizer — Which Works Better?

Environmentalists are always bashing my lawn. They say the fertilizer I use to make it thick and green is killing the world like that nuke plant in Japan. So last summer, I decided to experiment. I divided my lawn in lawn in half, used chemical fertilizer on one half, organic fertilizer on the other, to see which did the better […]

Read More

Boxwoods — Love ‘Em, Hate ‘Em

Did you know that the common boxwood is the world’s oldest cultivated ornamental plant? That’s right. The Egyptians were adorning their gardens with it as far back as 4,000 BC. And ever since then, people have been trying to decide whether they should pamper their boxwood or feed it to the camels.

Read More

What Should I Prune Now? Grumpy Cuts to the Chase

Pruning is one garden task that scares the All-Bran out of people. They’re afraid that if they prune something at the wrong time, they’ll ruin it, kill it, or look like a dolt. Relax, my children. The Grump is here to help.

Read More

Choose Your Sweetest Flowers

What is the sweetest flower of all? Answer that question and I can probably tell what’s growing in your garden. Of all our senses, I think smell is the one most closely linked to memory. A single whiff of a flower instantly transports you back to a time and place when you encountered it as a child.

Read More

Cut Your Losses — Time to Prune Winter-Damaged Plants

Hope springs eternal in the garden. Your shrub or tree should have put out leaves a month ago, yet its stems remain bare. Did it just forget spring is almost over? Did it decide to sleep in? Do plants sometimes skip a year? Nope, nope, and nope. Sorry, but it’s time to cut your losses.

Read More

Where Life Really Sucks — Cities with the Worst Mosquitoes

Life bites in Atlanta. The world sucks in Memphis. And folks in Houston are itching to leave. Why? Because Orkin, the well-known pest control company, just named these towns as three of its top 20 mosquito cities. The news has Southerners buzzing.

Read More

Tweet! Tweet! Twitter Chat With Grumpy

Grumpy realizes how frustrating it is not to be able to converse with the High Pundit of Horticulture in real-time. Well, whimper with your laptop no longer! This coming Monday, May 19, you’ll be able to chat LIVE with the Grump on Twitter for an entire hour beginning at 1 PM EDT! And there will be prizes!!

Read More