more about: Trees and Shrubs

When It Rains, It Blooms — Texas Ranger

Grumpy delights in bringing to your attention little-known plants worthy of your garden. Here is one such character that needs little care, thrives in heat and drought, and blooms off and on all summer.

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Control Those Dang Tree Suckers!

Faithful Texas reader Carolyn White planted live oaks 39 years ago. Her trees are very big now and suckers keep coming up from the roots. She wants to know if there is any product she can use to keep the suckers from sprouting without harming her trees. The answer is…….perhaps. But before deciding which product to use or whether to use […]

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5 Dumb and Smart Ways to Deal With Stumps

If you have big trees, sooner or later one is going to croak, forcing you to cut it down to a stump. What should you do with this stump? Leave it, remove it, donate it to charity? Here are five options. Some make good sense, some make little sense, and some show whoever tries them has no sense at all.

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Grumpy’s 32 Tips For 32 Years

Today marks the start of Grumpy’s 33rd year of not being fired from Southern Living. I know, I know — how could any organization overlook more than three decades of sarcasm, bad taste, poor judgment, and blatant snarkiness? I still remember my first day on the job. I was 10 and had to sit on what was called a “telephone […]

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Not Your Mama’s Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush has been a Grumpy favorite for many years, because it blooms for months, offers many different colors, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and sings “My Way” when I’ve had four or more beers. Lately, though, plant breeders have been making a good plant even better in three important respects.

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Too Late to Prune Azaleas and Rhododendrons?

Peggy in Georgia has a problem. The rhododendron in front of her dining room window is taking over and blocking the view. It needs “a hard cut-back,” she says. She wants to know if she can do that now. The answer: it depends. 

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5 Nice Shrubs For Summer Blooms

Summer is a time when you want lots of color in your garden, but you don’t want to work at it. You need plants that bloom when it’s stinking hot that fool your neighbors into thinking you’re a much more active gardener than you really are. These five shrubs are your ticket to a summer of glorious lethargy. Let the […]

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Does This Look Good To You?

Ask someone why they just chopped their crepe myrtle into stumps and they’ll usually say, “They bloom better when you prune.” OK, then. This one was pruned. Do you like the way it looks?

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Prune Crepe Myrtle Like Your Dogwood

A reader writes asking a familiar question: “My crepe myrtle grows so huge on the top and blooms like crazy, but the bottom doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the top. It really looks top-heavy. Am I doing something wrong? What should I do?”

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Prune Out Your Dead!

Readers are besieging Grumpy with frantic questions about trees and shrubs that don’t look right. Some have branches that haven’t leafed out. Some have bare branches and are sprouting only from the base. And some show no signs of life at all. “Why is this happening and what should I do?” they ask.

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