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Letters from the Garden

Clematis growing over arbor gate
Plants

A repotting project illuminates good and bad container ideas

There is remarkable satisfaction in seeing how a garden project plays out down the road. I recently revisited a pair of Clematis ‘Little Bas’ that I planted in large 24-inch square containers in 2020 and what I found was illuminating. The Clematis have been living their best lives in two container flanking the vegetable garden gate and grow over an …

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Silver foliage plants
Plants

2024 garden color of the year: Super silver

At this time of year a lot of people who like to pretend to be experts armed with crystal balls predict trends with a concerning degree of confidence. Pantone’s Color of the Year is selected in a process the company says is “the culmination of macro-level color trend forecasting and research.” I think that means they pick colors that they …

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seed packets
Edibles

Planting now for a quick fall harvest

Thanks to Park Seed for partnering with me on this post. As always, all words, thoughts and vegetable opinions are my own. There are gardeners who have spreadsheets and schedules that tell them exactly what seeds they should be starting when. Those same gardeners undoubtedly started seeds for fall sowing under lights probably a few weeks ago. I am not …

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easy wave petunias
Garden

The all-purpose annual that carries the garden

Thank you to Wave Petunias for partnering with me on this post.  I’m often asked a question that is perplexing to me: “Do you grow annuals or perennials?” I don’t fault the people asking the question as I think there are some people who grow one or the other, and perhaps that was more typical in the past. But the …

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allium millennium standing for fall
Garden

4 reasons to hold off on fall garden cleanup

For no good reason at all, there is still an annual debate about when you should clean up your garden. Well debate no more, because as far as I’m concerned, the answer is that you should do what’s best for you. But there are some compelling reasons to sit tight until spring to clean up your garden. 1.SUPPORT YOUR GARDEN’S …

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leather garden tool belt
Garden

Gifts for gardeners: Something for everyone

If you have a gardener on your holiday gift list you are a lucky person indeed. Not only do you probably share an interest, you also have an excellent starting point to give them a gift they will absolutely love. And then there’s the benefit of being able to do a little shopping for yourself at the same time. This …

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Plants

Seed abuse in the name of cool plants

There is a tendency to think of plants as delicate things that require coddling, but some demand the opposite treatment. That’s how I found myself in a full-on assault a couple weeks ago as I engaged in the abuse of Brazilian fern tree seeds. The three-quarter-inch long, flat seeds were hard as a rock and the package they came in …

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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.

There is remarkable satisfaction in seeing how a garden project plays out down the road. I recently revisited a pair of Clematis ‘Little Bas’ that I planted in large 24-inch square containers in 2020 and what I found was illuminating. The Clematis have been living their best lives in two container flanking the vegetable garden […

At this time of year a lot of people who like to pretend to be experts armed with crystal balls predict trends with a concerning degree of confidence. Pantone’s Color of the Year is selected in a process the company says is “the culmination of macro-level color trend forecasting and research.” I think that means […]

Thanks to Park Seed for partnering with me on this post. As always, all words, thoughts and vegetable opinions are my own. There are gardeners who have spreadsheets and schedules that tell them exactly what seeds they should be starting when. Those same gardeners undoubtedly started seeds for fall sowing under lights probably a few […]

If you have a gardener on your holiday gift list you are a lucky person indeed. Not only do you probably share an interest, you also have an excellent starting point to give them a gift they will absolutely love. And then there’s the benefit of being able to do a little shopping for yourself […]

For no good reason at all, there is still an annual debate about when you should clean up your garden. Well debate no more, because as far as I’m concerned, the answer is that you should do what’s best for you. But there are some compelling reasons to sit tight until spring to clean up […]

There is a tendency to think of plants as delicate things that require coddling, but some demand the opposite treatment. That’s how I found myself in a full-on assault a couple weeks ago as I engaged in the abuse of Brazilian fern tree seeds. The three-quarter-inch long, flat seeds were hard as a rock and […]

Thank you to Park Seed for partnering with me on this post. As always, all words and thoughts are my own. You might be asking yourself what begonias and peppers have in common that they’d end up in the same article. A lot actually, at least when it comes to starting them from seed, which […]

There are two types of plant shoppers: the kind who spots the variety they are looking for and they grab the first one they see and the kind who will look through a minimum of a dozen plants before choosing the one. It’s pretty clear what category I fall into. I have never purchased the […]

I’m thinking about starting my holiday shopping soon. It appears that I’ve been having a bit too much fun planning for next gardening season and forgot about things like Christmas shopping. If you’re like me and you have, well, all your shopping to do I can at least help out with any gardeners on your […]

I have a long list of gifts that make excellent gifts for gardeners, but I have a short list of things that are poor gifts for gardeners. At the top of that list are hand pruners. My rule for hand pruner gifting: If you don’t know the recipient well enough that you’d be comfortable buying […]

Thanks to Park Seed for partnering with me on this post. As always, all words, thoughts and vegetable opinions are my own. There are gardeners who have spreadsheets and schedules that tell them exactly what seeds they should be starting when. Those same gardeners undoubtedly started seeds for fall sowing under lights probably a few […]

I’m not much for nighttime gardening, preferring to spend such hours sitting on the deck watching the fireflies, but last week you would have found me in the vegetable garden peering under leaves with a blacklight. I was on the hunt for an enemy I’ve not done battle with before: tomato hornworm. Just a few […]