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Letters from the Garden


The white house with the blue door

S o far, we’ve changed very little about our house in the seven years we’ve owned it. But the first thing I did was paint the brown front door. I can’t fathom how this cool door (certainly original to the house, which is now 70 years old) ended up brown, but that’s OK, because after two days of stripping, sanding …

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Past project: Refinishing the floors

When we moved in, the wood floors were in pretty good shape, other than the fact that they were pink. Yep … pink. They are red oak and had been “pickled” which gave them a decidedly pink appearance. Add in two enormous and often wet Newfoundlands and the fact that our house, which had previously been a rarely-used second home, …

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The Impatient Gardener blog was started in 2009 and its library of posts includes practical how-tos, plant guides, favorite garden gear, successes and failures and much more. If you’re looking for something specific, the search function at the top of the page can help.

Well, it’s December and suddenly weekends are full of checking items off a far-too-long to-do list. The main item on mine is doing all the outdoor decorations on Saturday. It’s going to be in the mid-30s all weekend, but it’s going to rain most of Sunday, so Saturday is the day for outdoor work. I […]

Another sign that I’m getting a little older is that I think getting a vintage gift would be lovely. When you’re a kid you want shiny and new (ew … it’s used?). But the idea of someone hunting for a perfect, unique gift is a lovely sentiment to me now. So I bring you my […]

One of my favorite projects to do this time of year is decorate outside with winter containers. In the past I’ve used a combination of found and purchased materials. I always cut my own red twig dogwood because the even though the dogwood you can buy is brighter, straighter and, by all accounts, prettier, it’s […]

I’ve never done the Black Friday shopping thing, but I’m not opposed to picking up a good deal online. Sad as it is, I tend to pick up a lot of things for myself on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because the deals are so good that it’s a great time to stock up on […]

Well it had to come eventually. The frost that miraculously held off until after mid-November finally came, more than a month after our first frost last year. I knew it was coming, but somehow in my gardener’s brain I had blocked out how dramatically a hard frost changes the garden overnight. I woke up Saturday […]

So, I’m not entirely sure what happened, but apparently Thanksgiving is next week. I am rather shocked. So I guess that means I better spend some time this weekend figuring out what kind of pie (or pies) I’m going to make. That’s my contribution to the meal. One year I made the turkey. It was […]

I held off as long as I could on holiday posts but I think it’s time to get the show on the road. I’m planning to do a handful of gift guides (I’m sort of obsessed with them) this year and I thought I’d kick it off with one that you really have to get […]

Work on the oval circle garden continued this weekend and by the end of the day on Sunday I let out  a sigh of relief. If a blizzard came tomorrow (unlikely as we’ve not yet had a frost), I’d be OK with how far this project got this season. On Saturday I reset the outer […]

Thank you all so much for your nice comments on Wednesday’s post of beautiful gardens. Few places can bring peace like a garden. Maybe I need to do that more often on the blog. But for now it’s Friday and a weekend in the garden will be an excellent thing indeed. Now, on the other […]

I spent many, many hours dealing with leaves last weekend. I say “dealing with” because removing the leaves from the lawn and getting them to their final resting place involves a series of machines and every once in awhile an actual human-powered rake. My method mostly involves using our lawn tractor to mulch and bag […]

I had a post ready for today that offers some tips on using a chipper shredder (knowledge gained after a long weekend of quality time with one). Upon further review, it seems like a very bad idea to be talking about a somewhat dangerous machine today. So whether you are shocked and disappointed or cautiously […]

Well folks, I’ve just set a new personal record. I just ordered plants. For next year. Certainly this is the earliest I’ve ever done such a thing, but I needed to just make a decision and move on. So I did. Someone should remind me in spring that I ordered these because I’m sure I […]

There’s been no sign of frost here and none in the forecast through the weekend. Surely it will happen next week. The delayed onset of cold weather is just fine with me (although I fear having to wrap up so much in the garden in very cold weather, because when it does come I think […]