more about: Annuals and Perennials

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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August’s Orange Torch

August is a time when most people treat their air-conditioned homes like chipmunk burrows — scurry outside for 10 seconds, then scurry right back in. When Alabama humidity runs like the Amazon down my windows, I need a good excuse to venture to the garden. Fortunately, I have it — this brilliant orange ginger lily.

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Say Hi To Joe-Pye

  Confess. One look at this plant makes you desperately desire it for your garden. Would you still lust for it if you knew its true common name ends with the word “weed?” The mere possibility of that made Grumpy erase the word from the headline. That’s because you need a stately, native plant that butterflies crave and makes onlookers […]

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10 Finicky Plants That Ain’t Worth The Trouble

We all lead busy lives (except for you, you bum, and you know who I mean), so we can’t afford to waste a single minute on something that just doesn’t work. This applies to gardening. How many times have you toiled and fretted over a plant that wasn’t worth a Ramen noodle? You and everyone else need to stop that […]

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Blanket Flower Has Summer Covered

Every garden I care to own must contain flowers that supply dazzling, nonstop color from spring to fall with very little effort from me. This summer’s star is a carefree perennial that does all of the above without impinging on my sacrosanct cocktail hour. It’s called blanket flower.

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Feel The Burn! Five Fiery Flowers For The Fourth!

This first week of July is a cherished time for all of us, when we celebrate our independence from those scoundrels in England, consume mass quantities of barbecue and beer, and enjoy hilarious videos of idiots blowing their brains out by setting off fireworks from atop their heads, thus purifying the gene pool. In between, it is still prime time […]

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Sweet Potato Vines — The Best “Spillers” Ever

Anyone who’s gardened in containers for long knows the magic formula — for an effective container, you need a “thriller” (upright, showy plant), “fillers” (mounding plants on the sides), and “spillers” (trailing plants that cascade over the sides). And there can be no doubt that the most popular thrillers of all are the many selections of sweet potato vine.

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Go Bold With Elephant’s Ear

Are you one of demure people who always hides in the back and hopes not to be noticed? Then stop it. Right now. In order to get anywhere in life, you need to attract attention. You can start with your garden. Plant elephant’s ear. There is nothing subtle or shy about it.

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5 Great Flowers For Brown Thumbs & Butterflies

You desperately want beautiful flowers in front of your house all summer long and yet you haven’t acted. You’re not an expert, after all, and what if you pick the wrong flowers and they die pathetically and the neighbors snicker and you feel like a total loser? Fear not, faithful reader! Once again, Grumpy will save you. Here are five […]

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Show Off Your Purple Heart

The recent Memorial Day holiday got Grumpy thinking about a plant to fit the occasion. What better candidate could there be than one called “purple heart?” It’s tough as nails and handles the worst abuse summer dishes out. Plus, if you’re one of those people who craves purple in the garden, nothing does purple like the foliage of purple heart.

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