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Letters from the Garden



Quick giveaway notes: The winner of the Perfect Garden Hose is Linnae! Congratulations, Linnae. Check your email. The rest of the giveaways are still open. The next to close is the giveaway of the A.M. Leonard Deluxe Soil Knife.  There is efficient gardening and then there is the kind of gardening you do when a rainstorm is predicted that night. …

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Rarely do I have occasion to see my neighbors’ yards in daylight these days. On weekdays most dog walks happen at dusk or later and on weekends we head to the beach whenever possible. So it was a most pleasant surprise when I spotted something surprising in a neighbor’s yard when stiff winter winds forced us to walk on the …

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The readers of this blog have saved my bacon (and at least part of my sanity) more than once, and I think you’ve all done it again. I am downright impetuous when it comes to some things, and paint colors are a big trigger for me. A couple years ago I painted my front door and less than a month …

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The only time I’ve hired a painter was when I didn’t have the equipment to do the job. The ceilings in the living room required serious scaffolding and the kitchen cabinets had to be professionally sprayed. In the case of the garage, the only thing I was missing was time. I could have scraped that beast myself, but I really …

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It is predicted to rain here. All week. And hover in the 45-degree range. The optimist in me assumes this is because Mother Nature wants to make sure we get our fill of April showers so we get our May flowers.It does give me a chance to take a break from talking about gardening, to catch you up on at …

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I try not to get overly personal here and I hate to do posts that can be kind of a downer. But I would be remiss in not remembering a great friend here. Yesterday we had to say goodbye to what was certainly one of the world’s greatest dogs. At just about 10 years and 7 months old, our Newfoundland …

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The vanity that is. I did this several weeks ago, actually, but forgot to tell you about it.It is now Hale Navy (satin finish) and I’m finally satisfied. You may recall that I originally painted it Hudson Bay (satin), but felt like it was too slate blueish and just dull. Hudson Bay (sanded) on the left, Old Navy on the …

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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 […]