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Letters from the Garden

allium millennium standing for fall

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

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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more plants in a pot

How to choose the best plant

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 first plant I picked up …

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Practical gifts for real gardeners

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 list.  If you have a …

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Don’t give hand pruners as a gift. Here’s why.

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 them underwear as a gift, …

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romaine seed tape

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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tomato hornworm

How to find and deal with tomato hornworms

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 days earlier I’d been tidying …

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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 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 […]

Nothing stops me in my tracks more than when I’m looking at a garden jam-packed with color and texture and come across a spot of bare soil. It puts a screeching halt to well-planned flow.  Gaps in the garden happen because the plant that was supposed to be growing there didn’t, or perhaps because other […]

What more can we ask from a gardening book than to be inspirational and education? Two new books with more than a little in common manage to strike the right balance of both, complimenting each other, much as the personalities of these enthusiastic and generally delightful gardeners do. Claus Dalby, the Danish gardener known for […]

If there is a support group for planter addicts, let me know, because I need it. I love a good container, but finding one is a different matter.  I have two non-negotiable requirements for most planters: they need to be big and they need to look good. Weight, style and even cost are all things […]

Is there any task that has so many rules and yet so many people tackling it in different methods more than growing plants from seeds? It can make the whole process even more confusing. Each way to start seeds has its pros and cons, and although some are better than others for starting particular seeds, […]

There’s a well-established garden-making process around here: Every other year I make a new garden space. It is a lot of work, puts me behind in other areas of my arguably already too-large garden and takes a bit bite out of the plant budget. By the end of the project I swear I’m all done […]

What can I say about the 2021 garden? I have been putting off thinking about it too much because well, I have regrets, and when we are only given so many summers in this lifetime, it stinks to use one on a garden that you don’t love. Don’t get me wrong, I am way more […]

No matter how much I’d like to be one of those people who makes notes throughout the year of gift ideas for family and friends, I am but a mere mortal who, in the throes of a panicked gift-buying season, ends up scouring online gift guides that claim to know the innermost desires of the […]

At a time of year when there’s no shortage of faux decor—faux trees, faux berries, faux garlands, faux mistletoe, for starters—it’s nice to have a few real plants around. The plants we typically think of as “holiday” plants don’t usually bloom at this time of year. Rather, they are forced (although perhaps “t

Growing oddball plants—those plants that aren’t commonly grown in the area—is almost always rewarding. Since there is no real way to measure success, any sign of a plant doing what it’s supposed to do is chalked up in the win column. In other words, I keep my expectations low and hope to be pleasantly surprised. […]

Thank you to Inside Outside House & Garden for partnering with me on my post. As usual, all words and thoughts are mine. Check out the promo code at the end for a free trial. “No new gardens.” Perhaps you’ve heard me say this a few times before, but it turns out no matter how […]

I’ll admit it: My gardener brain switched into fall to-do list mode awhile ago. But somewhere along the line in between planning where bulbs will go and remembering which plants need to be moved, I looked up and found some great plants showing off in the garden. It was, once again, a good reminder to […]

This time of year is all about soaking in the garden and making mental (or more likely, photographic) notes about what worked and what didn’t. Some things are as simple as a plant that just didn’t perform or as complicated as being happy with how a design sketched on paper came to fruition. But somewhere […]