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Letters from the Garden


Spooky (but beautiful) containers + P. Diddy’s packin’ heat (and a shovel)

I am a Halloween failure. I have not put one Halloween or fall decoration in, on or near my house. You won’t find so much as a pumpkin donning our front stoop. I’m not a total scrooge (can you use that term in reference to holidays other than Christmas?), it’s just that we live in a fairly remote area. We …

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Putting plants to bed for the winter

I hope everyone had a good weekend. For anyone on the East Coast I’m sure your weekend was filled with hurricane preparation and I’m crossing my fingers for all of you that it’s not as bad as they say it’s going to be. I made these pumpkin banana muffins this weekend and they are amazing. And even better they are …

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Back to the garden

You won’t catch anyone here complaining, but two weekends ago it rained from Friday night to Sunday night almost without stopping. It was a nice, steady rain that added up to 2.5 inches over the course of the weekend and boy were gardeners, myself included, happy. Of course it put a major crimp in my plans to clean up the …

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The reason why I don’t go crazy in autumn

Let me be clear: I’m not one of those people who loves autumn. Sure, I can appreciate a beautiful autumn day when you can take a walk through the woods, admiring the sun coming through the colorful leaves and your feet shuffling through them on the ground. But those days, especially this year, are rare. And just when I’m ready …

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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.

When the world was busy panic-buying toilet paper, I was busy panic-sowing.  As it became clear that the novel coronavirus pandemic was going to change life, at least for awhile, I was in the middle of my regularly scheduled indoor seed starting. I had made a quiet promise to myself that this year, for once, […]

As you probably know, I live in the land of the delayed spring. So when I started getting questions from a couple people asking about why their tulips and other bulbs were short I didn’t think much of it. Maybe they planted them too deep or had something funky going on with the bulbs they […]

In a very random Instagram moment over the weekend—a hastily shot story made while practically running past the compost as I dashed around trying to get a few jobs done before it rained—I showed an exciting compost-related development: a second bin! OK, very few things related to compost can possibly be classified as exciting, but […]

Do I dare? Do I dare even get my hopes up that we may indeed be having an early spring and trust that we will roll right into a warm spring and a “normal” summer?  You know the answer to that. I absolutely should not do that and yet I will. I am.  This year’s […]

After you garden for awhile, you start to get a pretty good idea of what kind of gardener you are. Your style and approach to garden tasks becomes pretty clear. And after two decades of gardening in some form, I think my weak point is clear: restraint. As much as I know that restraint is […]

I don’t often talk about houseplants here, and on the rare occasion that I do, it’s done reluctantly. I’m just not all that comfortable with them, and I certainly don’t have the passion for them that I have for all the great things that grow outdoors.  I have a few houseplants that get special treatment […]

I have to admit something. I cried watching a gardening television show. Not during the reveal of some kind of makeover for a deserving family. Nope. I cried watching Monty Don talk about American gardens.  Let me back up a bit. For those who are unfamiliar, Monty Don is perhaps the most well-known gardener in […]

Well I’m predictable, that’s for sure.  Every couple years, almost without fail, I take on a really big garden project. I cannot explain what compels me to follow this arbitrary yet somehow predictable schedule, but I do. And so, since I spent much of 2018 building the dream vegetable garden, and part of last year […]

Most winters, I make it until at least January before I start ordering plants for a gardening summer that might as well be a light year away, but this year I got a head start. It wasn’t my intention to start buying when I should have been Christmas shopping for other people, but the early […]