more about: Trees and Shrubs

Pruning Big Boxwoods — When & How

Faithful reader, Gail, asks, “What is the best way to cut back or prune two very large boxwoods that are on each side of our church entrance steps? They are at least 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. They are very old and we don’t want to get rid of them.” Other readers want to know how to prune […]

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Get Ready for Crepe Murder 2016!

That Most Wonderful Time of the Year is nearly upon us! That time when mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cats, dogs, and hermit crabs sneak around the neighborhood, smart phone in hand, to record egregious and embarrassing acts of crepe murder committed by those ignorant, benighted folks down the street! Why? To post photos like this one to humiliate them before […]

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Don’t Feed Azaleas With Poopy Water!

Faithful reader Carol Dowd in San Augustine County, Texas, is annoyed with her Encore azaleas.  “Not only are they blooming, they’ve grown five inches straight up since I gave them a haircut in June. They were supposed to be only 4 to 5 feet tall, but now they’re acting like they want to grow over the house. My husband is […]

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Grumpy’s Crystal Ball Reveals New Gardening Trends for 2016

Grumpy’s gift for prognostication never fails to awe his faithful readers. As Fanny Aster of Hoppy Toad, Kentucky puts it, “He can see into the future with both eyes closed.” Once again, the Oracle of Opelika graciously shares his gift of augury with the legion of curious Fannies who depend on his foresight with the following bold predictions for Gardening […]

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What Record Winter Warmth Means For Your Plants

Grumpy loves eating dinner in the fresh air on his screened porch. But in late December? In shirt sleeves? 77 degrees? This weather is weirder than Donald Trump donning a sombrero and singing “Feliz Navidad” with a mariachi band. And though your plants are smiling now, there could be dire consequences ahead.

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December Is The New Spring

I know I shouldn’t complain. It’s the middle of December. It should be windy, raining, cold, and altogether miserable. This is how we spend the holidays in central Alabama. Instead, we’re dining al fresco and walking barefoot. And as you can see from the photo of my rhododendron above, plants are partying like it’s spring break at South Beach.

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Stop Torturing Me With Maples, Sharon Bailey Nelson!

Everyone who knows how much Grumpy loves fall color knows how miserably depressed he is right now. Fall color here in Central Alabama was awful. Call it “Fifty Shades of Mud.” Yet one person in Tyler, Texas shows him no mercy. Every 15 minutes, she posts a picture on Facebook of yet another glorious Japanese maple in her yard, like […]

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Never Leave Your Wife With The Leaf Blower

Dear readers, you know that for years Grumpy has railed against the senseless and short-sighted act of raking or blowing fall leaves to the curb to be hauled off by the city to landfills. He has championed the environmentally friendly alternative of chopping them up with the lawn mower and turning them into compost to enrich your garden’s soil. Yet […]

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Mow, Don’t Rake, Those Leaves!

“The debate is raging at my house,” writes a faithful reader, “what to do with all those leaves? The teenager favors a) leaving them or b) blowing them into the shrub beds. Hubby says we have to rake and bag. I took out my New Southern Living Garden Book but couldn’t find any advice other than to compost, which hubby […]

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No, These Weird Things Called Lichens Don’t Kill Your Trees

Here’s a question Grumpy gets all the time. “My tree is dying! It has all of these greenish-gray patches on the trunks and branches. What is this disease and how can I get rid of it?” Well, I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is your tree really is dying. The good news is those […]

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