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Letters from the Garden


Darling dots: How to recover a chair

I’m absolutely delighted to be bringing you this tutorial today. I have to say this is one of my favorite projects ever and  I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. This wasn’t even a project I had planned, but I fell in love with the fabric and after giving it some thought, I realized that jumping into my first …

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Everyone’s dirty little secret: the junk drawer

Busy, busy, busy. That’s the theme around here lately. The weather took at decided turn towards downright chilly over the past week reminding me of all the things that need to get finished outside before the snow flies. But you know how you can be flying along checking things off the to-do list and then everything comes to a screeching …

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Changing up the chairs + a chalk paint review

A prudent DIYer does some testing when they work with a new product before jumping right into the real deal. I bet that would be really boring to read about. So, as a favor to you, when I decided to use chalk paint to redo my kitchen chairs I jumped right in with both feet and in the process I …

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A temporary, but pretty, tabletop

Here are a few things I’ve learned in the last week: 1. Living near a large, damn near freezing lake (seriously the water temperature off our house is 56 degrees today), has its benefits when it’s amazing hot outside (but it’s still plenty hot). 2. Detroit is not a good place to get stuck overnight whilst flying (in hindsight, I …

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A garage goes from grubby to great

I’m not an overly organized person, but I aspire to be. That aspiration is perpetuated by my affinity for organizing systems. I could never go to The Container Store because I’d  top my credit card limit in a matter of hours. I’ve organized a few spaces that needed it pretty badly in this house, but the most successful efforts have …

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More spray paint magic: This time on hinges

Having successfully spray painted a handful of odd things including a lamp (including the shade) and our wall-mounted stereo speakers, I’m far more inclined to at least give spray paint a chance to improve a situation before buying something new. And once again, spray paint has come through! As I’ve said from the beginning, it was crucial to keep the …

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How-to: A beautiful pinboard

I have great news: progress is being made on the office redo (mentioned here, here, here and here). I stopped updating you guys on it because it got downright depressing when I was having so many problems with the counters (sadly mentioned here, here and here). Rather than wait until it’s all finished and show you it all at once, …

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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 […]