more about: Trees and Shrubs

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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6 Trees You Should Never, Ever Plant

Fall is the best time of the year to plant a tree, but look before you leap. Some trees are nice. Others are monsters. Here are six monsters you should never, ever plant in a residential neighborhood, lest you earn your neighbor’s hatred and Grumpy’s scorn.

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What’s That Black Gunk On My Plant?

Just when it’s nice to go out and explore the garden again, you discover that your gardenia, crepe myrtle, and other plants have this ugly, black gunk plastered all over the leaves and stems. Did some maniac get loose with the roofing tar?

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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.┬áThe answer is…….perhaps. But before deciding which product to use or whether to use […]

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