more about: Trees and Shrubs

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.”

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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?”

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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.

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Reclaiming An Overgrown Yard — Part 2

Last weekend, Mrs. Grumpy and I took a first crack at clearing the jungle in the front yard of first-time homeowners, Tom and Ashley. They bought the house from a little old lady who hadn’t done any yard work for about 10 years. If we thought the front was a nightmare, the back yard was worse. Yet so unselfish and […]

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Reclaiming An Overgrown Yard

My stepson, Tom, and his fiancee, Ashley, just bought their first house. They were excited, but also intimidated by the overwhelming tasks that awaited. For 10 years, the little old lady who sold the house hadn’t cleaned inside (she had pets in there — hazmat suits required) nor trimmed anything outside. What plants should Tom and Ashley remove? What should […]

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5 Great Trees For Small Spaces

People love planting trees in their yards, but often forget how big many trees grow. Soon what began as a sweet, little yard ends up looking like the Black Forest. But not if you follow Grumpy’s advice and plant smaller trees for small spaces. Here are five excellent candidates that won’t swallow your property or your dog. Small Tree #1 […]

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