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Southern Gardening

A clump of plants has trimmed tops and exposed roots.
April 19, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Many of Mississippi’s perennial landscape plants will start to decline after several years. That means they will have smaller foliage and won’t flower as much, even though they’ve been well cared for with regular fertilizer and irrigation.

Tiny pink blooms emerge along a green spike.
April 12, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

It’s no secret that I’m a real fan of salvia. A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed highlighting sage, which is a great culinary salvia. This week I’m going talk about perennial salvia, another group of these great plants.

A single, green cucumber hangs on a vine.
April 5, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

If you read this Southern Gardening column frequently, you realize that I grow much more than pretty flowers in my home garden. Besides ornamental plants, I love to grow vegetables that my wife and I can enjoy for dinner.

Four images of sage are pictured in a grid.
March 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Salvia is one of the groups of plants that everyone should have in their landscape. This plant group has flowers with a wide-ranging color palette and different sizes. Salvias are loved -- by me especially -- because of their ability to attract pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Clusters of round, red fruit and black fruit are held above black leaves.
March 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Some of my favorite late-summer annuals are the ornamental peppers. These tough plants have to survive the heat and humidity of our Mississippi summers before they become the stars of my summer landscape.

Yellow and purple flowers bloom from a green plant.
March 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We had another great weather weekend in the garden, and  I spent a couple of days catching up on getting my Urban Nano Farm ready for spring. I’m almost finished repairing my fence after it was redesigned by Hurricane Zeta last year

A tall, thick layer of mulch around the base of a tree.
March 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases

The glorious gardening weekend we just enjoyed was certainly welcome after the recent cold weather that kept us out of the landscape.

I took advantage of the perfect weather and started on garden chores I’ve been putting off. My main accomplishment, which has been on my list for a while, was putting down fresh layers of mulch. It felt good because I have been accumulating bags of mulch, and the neatly stacked pile was pretty big.

A plant has purple leaves.
March 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

After going through that recent cold snap, the glorious weather this past weekend has me wanting spring to get here as fast as possible. Visiting garden centers and seeing all the herb transplants means I just may get my spring wish.

A small clump of hairy-type plant material grows on a tree trunk.
February 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape Plants and Trees Diseases

The great winter storm of 2021 is finally over, and now we can finally get out into our gardens to survey the damage. And my goodness: I am getting so many questions about whether this plant or that plant is going to make it.

A container of plants droop under a coating of frost.
February 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I have to admit that I can’t even remember the groundhog’s prediction when he was dragged out of his burrow in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Feb. 2. It seems we have experienced an entire year’s worth of weather conditions since that day.

A variety of different sized and colored containers rest on a bed of gravel.
February 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

You may have figured out by now that I am passionate growing plants in containers. Everything in my coastal Mississippi landscape and garden grows in some form of container. Growing in containers gives me the sense of control I want in the garden.

A small tree has numerous, light brown branches.
February 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Regardless of what that darn groundhog predicts on Feb. 2, Mississippi gardeners are not going to enjoy an early spring because those prospects have already been dashed by the off and on cold weather.
Another garden disappointment is upon us, as February also marks crape murder season.

Three red tomatoes grow on a plant with green tomatoes.
January 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

For the last few weeks, I’ve been encouraging home gardeners to be intentional with their garden and landscape activities this year. Like many others, I’ve spent these last weeks considering what I’m going to plant and grow in my own landscape this year.Among the plants I will definitely grow are my favorite Mississippi Medallion winners.

A cat sits on a bench in front of flowering, potted plants.
January 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Garden and landscape planning for the 2021 season continues to move forward as we get closer to the day we can get back out into the garden full time.

If 2020 showed us one good thing, it’s that huge numbers of people discovered the joys and benefits of gardening. As the calendar moves into better gardening weather, I hope most of the new gardeners from 2020 will continue their gardening practices.

Six garden catalogs are displayed.
January 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I’m in my 2021 garden planning mode right now, and along with many other intentional gardeners, I have my mind on seeds.

Purple flowers bloom in front of a wall of green with yellow flowers.
January 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Happy New Year! Boy, oh boy, what a number COVID laid on us in 2020. It was clearly demonstrated how ill-prepared we are for disruptions in many supply chains. Who can forget the short supplies of toilet paper, and who has not put away a couple of extra rolls just in case?

Upright, green leaves rise above mounding red flowers.
December 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

For at least 10 years, I’ve been actively wondering what direction our landscape and gardening practices are headed. Being a horticulturist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, I’ve had the opportunity to ask this question of gardeners and nongardeners alike, as well as commercial horticulture growers.

A branch has green leaves and clusters of red berries along its length.
December 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Poinsettias are being bought, Christmas trees with ornaments are going up, and lights and inflatable figures are on display around our homes as people get ready for the holidays.
While most of these holiday displays are quite stunning, some of the most beautiful are those designed by Mother Nature.

 A pink and white poinsettia is surrounded by small, decorative Christmas trees.
December 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

“’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the yard, not a plant was left standing, and the ground was hard.” So begins Karen Geisler’s gardener adaptation of Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas classic “The Night Before Christmas.” We’re just days away from the big day, and I know there are still folks trying to decide on that perfect Christmas gift for their favorite gardener.

A Christmas tree is hung with red and white ornaments.
December 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We are fully into the holiday season, and most people are getting into the holiday spirit. But this year is very different, thanks to COVID-19.

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