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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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urn in garden

Well, that’s hideous. Have faith it will get better.

Sometimes what we picture in our heads for our garden is not how reality works out. That’s the case with a little project I’ve been working on but I have faith it will improve. This spot in the main garden off the patio is the closest thing I have to controversial area. Some of you feel very strongly about this …

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David Austen 'Crown Princess Margareta' rose

Friday Finds

I always wonder how weeks in the middle of winter still manage to get away from me once in a while. The mental countdown to gardening season has begun, but usually this is the time of year when time seems to pass slowly. Not this week. A death in the family (expected) and deadlines at work blew several blog posts …

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wine rack with a secret

A wine rack with a secret

The first DIY project of the year is in the books. It wasn’t a big one, but it’s been awhile since we’ve done a project so it’s nice to ease into it.  This is one of many small projects within the ongoing and rather slow renovation of the finished half of the basement. (Let’s not dwell on the part where …

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I knew the floor would be the single biggest change in our basement renovation. The old floor was just so terrible that it absolutely could not stay, not to mention we needed a floor to not just change the look of the space, but add warmth, sound dampening and be durable. I can’t tell you how happy I am with …

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Ah yes, Week 3 of the One Room Challenge. I remember this week from when I did this last year. It is when the panicking properly starts. Because right now it does not feel like I’m even remotely halfway through this basement project. You can catch up on Week 1 and 2, but most of the work is happening on …

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Welcome to Week 2 of the One Room Challenge. I’m “playing along” as a guest participant in the blogging event that has people making over a room in six weeks and linking up via Calling it Home. In Week 1 (which I just published a couple days ago) I laid out the room, the issues, the challenges and a very …

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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 […]