Close this search box.

Letters from the Garden

caladiums in pot

How I overwinter all the plants

Fall cleanup used to be more about making sure the tools were put away, the leaves were off the lawn and the pots were cleared out of the way to make sure they won’t get in the way of the snowblower.  I’m not sure when it happened but somewhere along the line I started collecting an awful lot of plants …

Read More

The new plants I’ll grow again, and the ones I won’t

There are gardeners who eschew new plants, and although they may have some valid arguments (among them that they are hybridized to a point where they are no longer of use to pollinators and the species is just fine), I’ll never get sick of trying new plants in the garden.  I enjoy the challenge of getting to know new plants: …

Read More
verbena bonariensis withstands frost in fall.

The autumn garden: Beautifully alive and definitely dead

We’ve had several frosts now (Indian Summer, where are you?) so the garden is a mishmosh of dead and alive right now. Some things are looking great and so much else is looking terrible. I’ve been trying to take some mental notes for the future. I went heavier on the annuals this year than I would have liked, in part …

Read More
Serkan dahlias and Nicotiana
Friday Finds

Friday Finds: Moments in the garden

Well here we are, on the eve of Labor Day weekend in the U.S., the date many people think of as the end of summer. Well there will be none of that here! The garden is still going strong (although everything is a little beat up after our heavy rains) and I have a lot of “real” gardening left to …

Read More
dahlia bloom

Dahlias are the stars of summer

It has been a great year for dahlias in my garden and after talking to several dahlia-loving friends, I’m counting myself very lucky. Few flowers bring me as much joy as dahlias, and I like them every which way: big and blousy, perky singles, pokey cactus types, perfect little balls. I want them all. What follows is mostly just a …

Read More
Serkan dahlia with tree frog

How to select the right dahlias for your garden

Few plants pack as much punch in to a flower as dahlias do. Colorful, free blooming and often structurally interesting, just about the only thing that dahlias lack is scent. And the secret is out. In recent years dahlias have surged in popularity, which is good for gardeners because never before has it been so easy to find so many …

Read More
How to overwinter dahlias

The how-to of storing dahlias

Dahlias have become quite the favorite flower. Dare I say they’ve even become a bit trendy? I hate the idea of a flower being a fad. I prefer to chalk up the interest in dahlias to a combination of access to lovely new varieties, more information available on how to grow them and social media nudge from floral designers and …

Read More

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 […]