The Grumpy Gardener

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Don’t Eat Dirt

No matter the hobby or avocation, all of us benefit from the guidance of mentors in order to achieve success. In that vein, Grumpy shall never forget the best gardening advice he ever received. His mother told him, “Don’t eat dirt.”

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Why Won’t My Crepe Myrtle Bloom?

Right now, no one in the South cares about the meaning of life, sea level rise, or whether Beyonce will have another baby. (Yes.) All they want to know is how come my stupid crepe myrtle isn’t blooming while all of my neighbor’s are? There, there, don’t pop an artery. Let Grumpy help.

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6 Watering Mistakes You’ve Probably Already Made

My plants demand it, but I hate watering. Every minute I spend at one end of a garden hose is like a teaspoon of my soul being sucked into Purgatory. I loathe wasting water even more, which is something I see gardeners do all the time.

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Coming Soon! The Greatest Southern Gardening Book of All Time!

Incredibly wise gardeners who bought the last Southern Living Garden Book (above) published in 2004 are always asking me: “When are you going to revise it? A lot has changed in 10 years.” Grumpy has heard your pleas. And he is delighted to announce that an all-new, completely revised edition will set the world on its ear in January 2015!!!

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Get Your Gaudy On With Persian Shield

For lasting color in your garden, don’t get hung up on flowers. Plants with brilliant foliage can add just as much impact for a much longer time. I saw a great example of this yesterday in a beautiful garden in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

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Grumpy Fesses Up

Faithful readers, I must tell you something you never expected to hear. I failed you. Yes. The outlandishly responsible Grump, who puts your interest first and foremost, misled you in a previous column.  I cannot expect forgiveness. I can only humble myself as no one else has done before and face your withering scorn.

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Wahoo! You Have Powdery Mildew

It’s a wonderful morning in a heretofore wonderful world. You walk out to your garden, only to discover to your shame and horror that some miscreant has confused it with a baby’s bottom and showered Johnson’s Baby Powder all over your plants.

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Just Try To Kill Nandina!

One of the first of many commands my wife gave me after we got married was to rip up all the nandinas in front of my house. “It makes the house look abandoned,” she stated. “If you don’t do it, I will.”

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Don’t Mow Low!

I look at lawns as I silently walk through my neighborhood each morning, exercising my hyper-critical eye. Some lawns lush and green. Others are 30 shades of brown. What is the one mistake that turns a soft, cool carpet into a weedy, scraggly plate of pebbles? It isn’t what you might think.

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Be A Patriot! Plant Poison Ivy

Faithful readers, for Independence Day I extol the virtues of a truly All-American plant. It is native, easy to grow, feeds our wildlife, and loves Amurica! Some say it even cures illnesses. I speak, of course, of your friend and mine, our beloved poison ivy.

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