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Letters from the Garden



I love a good to-do list. For the most part, April is the first real opportunity to get back in the garden in this area and although this week is cold and wet, soon it’ll be time to clean up the yard. So in honor of tomorrow being April and my love of to-do lists, here’s a list of some …

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Friday Finds


It’s Friday Finds time, but first I wanted to share a couple pictures from my trip to Austin with Troy-Bilt’s Saturday6 gang last week. Troy-Bilt sent the Saturday6, a group of bloggers who work with them, on a shindig to find out about some new products, explore Austin and do a little good. (Disclaimer: They paid for this trip as …

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This weekend was one of those amazing gifts that Mother Nature throws our way every once in a while that revive the sleeping soul of a gardener. Saturday was in the 50s and we set a record on Sunday with temps in the low 60s. This is pretty much unheard of for Wisconsin in February. Check it out: Signs of …

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It might have been 15 degrees last weekend but I was bound and determined to garden, and garden I did. I actually had a very legitimate reason to garden: hydrangea pruning time. I love hydrangeas and have a lot of them, but the only kind I’ve added in the last seven years or so are either so-called smooth hydrangeas (Hydrangea …

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Yesterday, in the first part of My Favorite Tools, I covered what I consider to be my four essential tools; the ones I reach for almost every time I garden. Today I’m going to get a bit more specific and show you what I use for specific jobs. The first is pruning and cutting. Yesterday I showed you the most …

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It’s time to prune! Oh wait, maybe not.

Don’t forget, dear readers, that late winter is the best time to prune many shrubs (but not anything that blooms in spring). I can’t wait to do a bit of pruning for health, shape and size in my yard. First off, that is not a black and white photo. Isn’t that sad? The whole world is still shades of gray …

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Garden tasks to pass the time

First of all, if you’re finding this blog from Young House Love, welcome! I’m thrilled you popped over to see the blog and I hope you enjoy it. I tend to jump around topic-wise, ranging from renovations (currently we’re working on our kitchen) to gardening to DIY projects. If you like what you see, you might want to consider getting …

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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 […]