Close this search box.

Letters from the Garden

foxglove seed mistake

You won’t believe the big seed-saving mistake I made

A few years ago I grew ‘Dalmation Peach’ Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) for the first time. It’s a gorgeous foxglove, carrying peach to pink flowers atop 2-1/2 foot tall stems. But its best feature is that it will bloom the first year, unlike most foxgloves, which are true biennials and don’t bloom until the second year.  But finding seed for sale …

Read More
Seed starting plan

A seed starting plan for hoarders

This started as a post to share what I’m growing from seed this year. What it evolved into is a sordid tale of seed hoarding, a gardener so traumatized by a never-ending winter that she completely overestimated her ability to grow so many plants and, in the end, a way to justify it all. As I’ve said before, I find …

Read More
Onion seedlings under an LED grow light.

How to grow hundreds of plants from seed

I’m always amazed at how my fanaticism for gardening has grown exponentially, but it’s most apparent in my seed starting efforts. When I first got serious about gardening I didn’t grow anything from seed. Who has time for that, I thought. And it seemed like it would be difficult and require all kinds of equipment. Oh how things change. I …

Read More
sweet pea bouquet

Kicking off seed-buying season with Floret

Despite ample time over the holidays to figure out what seeds I want to order, I’ve not gotten my act together on an official seed order yet. I know my must haves, which include Chelsea Prize cucumbers, and ‘Gigante’ Italian parsley among many others, but I haven’t gotten around to checking if I need to buy more of those favorites or …

Read More
How a lawn mower fits into a fall gardening plan.

How to give your lawn a fall boost (and still have time to enjoy the season)

 Hi friends: I just want to tell you that this post is paid partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement, but you know how I roll on these things: You’ll always get my honest opinion. I’ll be the first to admit that I will never have a lawn that looks like a golf course. And I’m 100% OK with that. My goal …

Read More
daffodils in field

Have patience, young grasshopper

This moment—right now—is when gardeners start to get really restless, particularly those of us in the northern part of the country. Our gardening brethren in warmer zones are reporting sightings of Galanthus (aka snowdrops), hellebores and crocus, and they are starting seeds indoors. But for many of us it is just too soon. Almost anything we do in the garden …

Read More
seed organization

The (completely obvious) new tool I’m using to plan my garden

One of the lessons I’m learning the more I garden is that a little organization goes a long way. I don’t really want to embrace this concept. There is a part of me that wants to think of gardening as organic, natural and very much at one with the Earth (and the earth). Then there’s the other part of me …

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 […]