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Letters from the Garden

laying out a vegetable garden

Raised bed garden construction part 1: The first steps

I think it’s safe to say I may have underestimated how time intensive the process of building the new raised bed vegetable garden would be. I can say this with some authority since we are now into June and nary a vegetable has been planted at my house. Still, I’m not interested in rushing this process for the sake of time …

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Leveling for a new garden

My take on raised bed construction

The area for the new vegetable garden was finally started this week. Leveling has begun, a messy process that involves moving around a lot of dirt. The next step is building the raised beds and I thought the decision making behind the beds deserved its own post.  Gardening in raised beds is very popular, and I can see why. I …

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Hylocomen japonica

Friday Finds (and a growing to-do list)

It’s raining out and I can feel the to-do list getting longer rather than shorter. Currently the list includes: Weeding. Shocker! It’s been alternating rain and sun, heat and damn near freezing here, which means the weeds are popping up faster than I can grab them. Designing my containers for the year. I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet. …

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The new vegetable garden plan

The new vegetable garden—I’m calling it a parterre although I think that may be stretching the definition just a bit—has existed in my head for a few years and been knocked around on paper for a few months. And soon it will be a reality. The goal is to expand my growing area so I can grow things like potatoes …

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The veggie garden that started it all

I’ve now gardened in the same place long enough that there are few new places to make a garden. Something usually has to go to make way for something new. And so it is with our main raised vegetable garden, the removal of which makes me both very excited for what’s to come and just a little sad to see …

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Here comes the sun, but how much is there?

I’ve learned a lot about gardening through the years. Looking back at some of the things I did when I started gardening at this house I see where I might do things differently now. (I don’t like to think of too many things I did back then as mistakes because I just didn’t know better and many weren’t wrong, they …

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Veggie Garden Remix by Niki Jabbour

Growing different food for a different reason

The grocery store closest to our house and my office is closing in the next week or so. The shelves are mostly bare, and what’s left is deeply discounted. It will leave the city I grew up in (population 12,000) without a grocery store until at least the end of summer when a new store is supposed to move 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.

Thank you to Longfield Gardens for partnering with me on this post. I’m starting to think that old gardeners can learn new tricks. I’m not sure what else would explain that for the first time, possibly in history, I have a bulb plan. Allow me to explain: Typically my bulb-purchasing strategy is to order some […]

This post is sponsored by 3-IN-ONE® Brand, but all opinions and questionable design choices are my own. Oh the poor front door. These days it just doesn’t get a lot of use. In fact the only person who’s seen it in several months is the UPS guy. But even though we might not actually be using […]

They say the first step is to admit you have a problem. So I admit it: I have a dahlia problem. I grew about 100 dahlias this year, and I estimate there were between 25 and 30 varieties. I try not to count these things too carefully because denial is easier if you don’t have […]

Longtime readers will know that that we have a pretty clear delineation of yard duties around here. I manage the garden and Mr. Much More Patient handles the lawn. So it’s rare when he weighs in on garden-related matters.  But the other day he very carefully suggested that floppy plants were becoming an issue in […]

The facts are indisputable:  I enjoy starting interesting and different flowers from seed. Doing No. 1 is a great way to create lush borders on a dime. I grew way too many plants from seed this year. Restraint is called for. Those facts all call for a brutally honest analysis of the new flowers I […]

I’ve always been a reluctant seed saver. Even though I’ve been growing flowers, vegetables and herbs from seed for many years now, I save seeds from very few of them. In some cases I’m not willing to give up any flowers in order to allow the plant to produce seed, but most of the time […]

Mr. Much More Patient recently made an observation that painfully spot on. There was a time in this gardening journey when I used to aim to be more or less finished planting by shortly after Memorial Day. Later, when the sheer volume of plants being put in the ground here got so large that was […]

I regret to inform you that the enemy has broken the terms of the 2019 Rabbit Peace Accord. All rabbits are hereby put on notice that no further temporary treaties will be entered into no matter how cute baby bunnies are. For many years I enjoyed a gardening existence that was delightfully free of rabbits. […]

Thank you to long-time sponsor Troy-Bilt for partnering with me on this post. As usual, all words and ideas are my own. Let’s be honest, every yard and garden has its problems, and, especially at this time a lot of people are trying to solve them. We’re spending more time at home, and noticing all […]

A lot of people are ordering plants online this year, and although I’ll always suggest you check an independent garden center first, there are a lot of reasons to order online (from what are almost always also family-owned small businesses). But if you’re new to ordering online, it can be a little scary.  Fortunately, I’ve [&hell

I own very few things that anyone will be interested in when I go to the great garden in the sky, but there is one possession that is so dear to me that I’ll have to find just the right person to bequeath it to. I don’t expect that the lucky person who inherits it […]