more about: Trees and Shrubs

Why Red-Tips Die in the South

Jeremy, a faithful reader from Nashville, writes, “When we moved into our house two years ago, our driveway was lined with 6 enormous red-tip photinias. Since they were taking up driveway space, we had them pruned in the early spring of 2015. That summer they were covered by their signature red leaves and looked healthy. However, this summer has been […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The Only Good Place For A Weeping Willow

Courtesy of my friend, Seattle garden blogger and garden designer, Christina Salwitz, you are looking at the only kind of place a weeping willow should be planted. On the banks of a pond or lake. Nothing else around. With the owner’s house, driveway, sidewalk, pool, water lines, septic tank, pet cemetery, and all the neighbor’s houses a zip code away. […]

Read More

Why Your Tree Fell Down

I remember the first time I noticed that tree in our neighborhood. A rotten strip of flaking bark ran straight up one side for 15 to 20 feet. “That tree could snap in half and fall on their house at any second,” I grumbled grimly to Mrs. Grumpy. “If it were mine, I’d have it taken down right now.”

Read More

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 […]

Read More

6 Small Trees For Small Yards

One of the dumbest things that homeowners do is planting a tree without first determining how big that sucker’ll get. Before long, it’s hiding the windows, blocking the driveway, cracking the sidewalk, killing the lawn, and falling down during a storm and smashing the house. The following smaller trees will do none of these annoying things. Instead, they’ll beautify your […]

Read More

Six Flowers That Sing The Blues

It’s human nature. We disdain what is common and lust for what is rare. This is why gardeners drool over blue blossoms, because blue is the scarcest flower color of all. It also blends well with every other color. If you’re lusting in your heart and soil for blue, here are six great plants to scratch that itch.

Read More

Kill Those Root Suckers!

You’ve done the right thing. You’ve cut down that stinking Bradford pear. But you didn’t remove the stump and roots. So now a million suckers are sprouting from the spot. Lord-a-mighty, what’s a homeowner to do? Let Grumpy explain. When you cut down trees, some grow back and others don’t. Needle-leaf conifers, such as pines and spruces, almost never grow […]

Read More

One Messy Son Of A Birch

Faithful reader Penny asks, “Is there anything more messy than a river birch? I’m constantly raking leaves and picking up branches. Any suggestions for this devil?”

Read More

Why Your French Hydrangea Never Blooms

Like a lot of Grumpy’s faithful readers, Heather in Raleigh wants to know why her French hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla — the one with blue or pink flowers) always looks green and healthy, but never blooms, even though it gets plenty of sun and water. Our email exchange reveals the probable cause.

Read More