more about: Trees and Shrubs

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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?

Read More

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?”

Read More

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.

Read More

Growing Rhododendrons in the South

This is a rhododendron in my back yard. Her name is ‘Caroline.’ Isn’t she purty? Unfortunately, growing rhododendrons in the South can be quite a challenge, unless you follow Grumpy’s expert advice.

Read More

Let’s Ban These Stinking Trees!

Grumpy’s tireless campaign against the awful Bradford pear is finally bearing fruit. This tree is now officially banned for planting throughout the Pittsburgh, PA metropolitan area. If Pittsburgh can do it, why can’t we all?

Read More

Black Leaves, Big Problems

“My poor gardenias are suffering!” writes faithful reader, Sheri Chamblee. “The leaves are black. I tried rubbing the black off, but the black remains. What else can I do?” The answer, of course, is to ask Grumpy, your font of gardening wisdom.

Read More