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Letters from the Garden


Unexpected beauty

I have so many blog posts to finish up and run, but it’s deadline week in the real world and unlike past years when I’ve worked over Memorial Day weekend because of that deadline, this year I decided to take the whole weekend off. It was a great decision and an absolutely stellar weekend but now I have to buckle …

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That’s a lot of plants!

It’s been a busy, busy, busy week so some of my planned posts didn’t come to fruition. I spent almost all day helping to set up our master gardener plant sale. It is our major (only?) fund-raiser for the organization and it is a huge production but I enjoy it (and I get the majority of my required master gardener …

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Killing weeds organically: sometimes you just need a little elbow grease

I thought it might be time to check in on my little weed-killing project. If you recall, this was an area of the yard that we are trying to reclaim for a bit of grass. It was overrun by weeds, primarily creeping Charlie, dame’s rocket and garlic mustard weed. If you look back at this post from a couple weeks …

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Garden gadget geekery

Some women have a thing for shoes. Not me; I have about four pairs of shoes plus a few speciality pairs. Other women  have a thing for purses. That’s not me either. I have one purse that rarely leaves the car. My weakness is gadgets. And gardening gadgets? Forgettaaboutit. Here are a few of the new gardening gadgets I picked …

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A demanding mistress

The garden is a demanding mistress this time of year. Despite our early spring when I thought I had a head start on gardening projects, I feel I’m behind again. The beds still need to be edged, plants moved, plants planted and, of course, weeding, weeding, weeding. Daffodils are fading and need to be tied into little packages so I …

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Daffodils: Spring's unsung heroes

The relationship I have with daffodils is one that has evolved over the last decade. For a time, I thought of daffodils as the ugly stepsister to the showier and more varied queen of spring bulbs, the tulip. They were something I merely tolerated because I wanted something blooming but knew that tulips would be ravaged by critters in most …

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Killing weeds organically

We’re coming up on a decade of living in this house during which I’ve added or rejuvenated more than a few garden beds. I seem to work in cycles of creating a new area to garden in about every other year. But never, in all that time have I tried to create more grass. We have a standing rule around …

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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.

Last time I focused on some of the great annuals that are new. This time we’re talking perennials. The first one on my list HAS be this beauty which I cannot find anywhere but if I do find one (at a nursery) I’ll snatch it right up and figure out where to put it later. […]

So very excited to be participating in my first Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Things are pretty slow in my zone 5 garden. Because of our proximity to Lake Michigan we’re a good week to two weeks behind any zone 5ers to the west of us. I expect the Serviceberry will bloom next week (and then […]

There are a couple nurseries I shop at regularly where the staff are extremely well versed in plant care and selection. I know when I go to these places that the plants I’m buying have been well cared for and provided I don’t do anything stupid, they should be fine in my garden. But there […]

I love finding new cultivars of plants. It’s just interesting to see what plant breeders are coming up with. I hope to have some of these in my garden this summer but often they are in limited supply when they are first released. If I don’t get them this year, I’ll grab them next year. […]

The past couple of weeks have been great for bird watching. It really is the best time of year to keep an eye on the feeders, as the migratory birds make their way through. Most of the year we fill the feeders once a week, but this time of the year it’s about every two […]

We’re very lucky to have a woods full of wildflowers and I love walking around looking for them each year. They come back and it’s like seeing an old friend again. I adore the Mayapples and of course the trilliums, but I think my favorite is the marsh marigolds. They have such great foliage and […]

My husband is almost finished with the new vegetable garden. Today we put up most of the deer screening. We just need to put the door on. But after all that work, imagine my surprise when a whole new kind of critter ended up in the garden.That’s me wrangling Newfoundland #2 out of the bed. […]

This is my plumeria. While at the Philadelphia Flower Show this year, my mom, sister-in-law and I saw these for sale. Three for $20. So we bought them and decided to have a competition. First one to get a bloom wins. Now we’re starting to think the first one to see a leaf wins. We […]

I just got the Wisconsin Master Gardener newsletter. One of the articles in it was an admonishment by … um … someone that we should be calling our Master Gardener organizations “associations” rather than “clubs.” The author felt that calling them clubs made it seem as though such organizations are social rather t

I am not one of those people who insists on using Latin names for plants, but I understand there is value to knowing them (since there are a lot of plants with similar common names). But this weekend, as I was in the nursery butchering the pronunciation of “Hakonechloa macra Aureola,” I was thinking it […]

Friday I posted a long list of weekend gardening chores. The weather this weekend was stellar, which we deserved after the previous weekend’s 2.5 inches of rain. Here’s how I did: • Edge all beds – DONE. They look great. I don’t like edging, but nothing cleans up a garden like fresh edges. (Note: I’m […]

My co-op buying has reached epic proportions this year. Through the co-op I have access to oodles of great perennials at great prices. The only catch is that they are plugs—what most local nurseries buy from wholesalers, then pot up and grow before selling them to the public, for up to four times what they […]

Since last weekend was pretty much rained out, I have a long list of things to do in the garden this weekend. Here’s just a few: • Edge all beds• Finish weeding beds (groan)• Plant tree peonies• Divide daylilies• Determine if the Disneyland rose made it through the winter. It’s not looking good.• Deal with […]

Aren’t these just the cutest little flowers? They are bloodroot, and I wish they were in my garden. These are actually from my mom’s garden, and I’m thinking that once they are done blooming I might just have to steal a few! Just try to look at these and not smile. I dare ya!