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Environment Blog Posts

Frayed Daffodils

March 17, 2023

For a few short weeks, daffodils grace the planet with their beauty and remind us of warm weather right around the corner.

Blue phlox.

March 10, 2023

Native plants are talked about quite a lot in the gardening world. Everyone talks about what great plants they are to have in your landscape, but what exactly are they? 

Orange milkweed.

March 3, 2023

I woke up to a dusting of yellow pollen on my car this week, the true sign that spring is on its way! Several flowers are blooming, making the world a little more vibrant after a cold, gray winter.

A blue jay on a branch.

February 28, 2023

Blue jays are easy to recognize by both their noisy call and bold blue feathers. Also known as jaybirds, blue jays are members of the crow family and native to the United States.

Bradford pear tree blooms

February 24, 2023

If you have Bradford pear trees on your property, you are quite familiar with the odor they release. How could such a beautiful tree smell like rotting fish? The odor isn’t the only thing that makes this tree undesirable.  

A Mole and a Vole.

February 17, 2023

Moles and voles are often confused with one another. They both can cause damage to your lawn and their names sound very similar. You can use the beginning letter of their name to help you remember the difference! 

Yellow, purple, and blue pansies.

February 3, 2023

The weather has been brutal lately. Cold and dreary one day, warm the next. Nevertheless, signs of spring are starting to pop up. Yellow daffodils have already started to bloom, providing everyone with a reminder that the cold weather will soon be moving out of the area. 

House Finch.

January 31, 2023

We’re on month two of learning about the different types of birds in Mississippi. For February, we’re discussing the house finch.

A crape myrtle in the landscape

January 26, 2023

Crape myrtles are popular for their low-maintenance beauty, but they can benefit from some light pruning this time of year.

A bee sits on a flower

January 12, 2023

Pssst…You know you don’t have to be a beekeeper to help support honey bees, right?

A variety of high-quality, nectar plants that bloom in your yard throughout the year can attract an abundance of bees and other pollinators like butterflies and moths. Winter is a great time to plan for the addition of more pollinator plants to your landscape this spring or to grow an entire pollinator garden this spring. These are the elements you need if you want to bring more bees to your yard.

Person with teal gloves planting tree.

January 6, 2023

Curb appeal is what everyone aims for, but how do you get that great looking yard? We all want a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine, and 2023 is the year to make it happen! Each month, we’ll put out a quick checklist of tasks to stay on top of yard maintenance. Here’s January’s list:

  • January is a great time to plan, audit, and assess what’s going on in your landscape. What do you want to plant in your landscape? What did you plant in the past that didn’t grow as planned? Think about what you’ve accomplished and what you want to see get done. You can
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Red northern cardinal.

January 3, 2023

Northern cardinals are a commonly spotted bird during winter months. If you’re like me, you’ve seen cardinals featured on various holiday décor items. It’s almost like they’re the official bird of winter.

Red Nandina berries.

December 16, 2022

Heavenly bamboo, commonly referred to as nandina, is a popular, evergreen landscape plant that produces vibrant red berries and resembles hollies. 

Green garland on a table.

December 9, 2022

I love Christmas decorations. There’s just something about the twinkly lights and greenery that makes my heart flutter. Over the years, I’ve experimented with making my own garland and arrangements from evergreens and other plants.

Gardening tools.

December 2, 2022

The holiday season is officially upon us, and Christmas shopping is probably at the top of your to-do list. To me, it’s important to gift people with something thoughtful, meaningful, and that they will enjoy.

Lush green plants.

November 22, 2022

If you have an area in your yard where you want to create a border between property lines, reduce noise from busy streets, or soften a fence line, we have a solution

collage of cornucopia designs

October 31, 2022

The cornucopia, or horn of plenty, is most often associated with Thanksgiving. It is generally depicted with the fruits of harvest overflowing its horn-shaped form and serves as a reminder to be thankful and grateful. If you like do-it-yourself projects, making your own cornucopia is an easy project.

Bats on a tree limb

October 25, 2022

Bats have long been associated with Halloween, and this has fostered many myths about them. They may look spooky to some, but they perform critical tasks in the environment that help humans. The 1,400 species that are spread across six different continents serve an important purpose in our ecosystem. They pollinate plants, distribute seeds, and control insect pests, including mosquitoes. Fifteen different species of these small mammals live in Mississippi.

A bouquet of flowers.

October 21, 2022

I love filling my home with fresh flowers. I always have to browse the floral section at my local grocery store to see if there is a bouquet that must come home with me.

Turban Squash

October 17, 2022

Pumpkins, gourds, and squash, oh my! With fall in full effect, I’m buying fall décor all the time. Do I already have several pumpkins on my porch? Yes. Will I be buying more? Also, yes. 





About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu

Recent Posts

Canned goods at a farmers market.
(Photo by MSU Extension)
What to Know About Selling at a Farmers Market
A woman stands in a kitchen and holds a jar of red wine vinaigrette.
This homemade Red Wine Vinaigrette is quick to whip up and great as a salad dressing or marinade.
The Food Factor: Red Wine Vinaigrette
Frayed Daffodils
Daffodils can be pulled up when the leaves turn completely yellow by tugging on the foliage. (Photo by MSU Extension)
Don’t Touch the Daffodils!