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Southern Gardening from 2010

Gulf coast muhly grass is covered with a pink cloud of wispy flower heads held high above the wiry foliage and the effect is amplified when planted in large masses.
October 21, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

The 2010 Mississippi Medallion Award Winners are Fireworks Gomphrena, Electric Lime Coleus, Purple Flash pepper and Gulf Coast muhly grass. Mississippi Medallion Award Winners are selected each year based on their ability to thrive in Mississippi’s hot, humid summers and cool winters.

These window boxes placed on a stepladder-type stand allow gardeners to water and harvest without bending over. This model is one example of an accessible garden design. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
October 27, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Gardening is consistently listed as one of this country’s most popular hobbies and can give joy and satisfaction to the gardener in return for the work involved. But gardening can be frustrating for gardeners who have physical limitations.

Today, gardeners with mobility issues have more alternatives and tools than ever before, and their options increase every day. The Fall Flower and Garden Fest at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Station in Crystal Springs this past weekend featured an exhibit that highlighted ways to make the garden more accessible.

Pansies come in a virtual rainbow of colors, ranging from yellow and purple to blue and white.
November 3, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Winter is right around the corner, and many Mississippians are starting to put their gardens to bed, waiting for the warm days of early spring. But just because it is getting colder doesn’t mean we must have drab landscapes. Now is the perfect time to put some winter color in gardens, and I’m not talking about ornamental cabbage and kale.

I am sure you have seen brightly colored pansies while visiting your favorite garden center, and those pansies are a great way to add color to your winter garden. They are tough, cold tolerant, and flower almost nonstop.

Violas come in gorgeous colors and last from Thanksgiving through Easter. The Sorbet series has a seemingly limitless selection of colors, such as Sorbet Orange Duet, a beautiful orange and purple bicolor.
November 10, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

When you consider that violas tolerate winter weather and can thrive in both the landscape and containers, it is no wonder they are a favorite bedding plant for Mississippi gardeners.

The viola, which is related to the pansy, will grow from Thanksgiving to Easter and beyond. In fact, violas are often more hardy than pansies.

Violas are known botanically as Viola cornuta but are commonly called Johnny Jump Ups. They are prolific seed producers, and it is quite common for viola to act as a perennial in the home garden.

Dianthus Telstar Carmine Rose is an excellent cool-season plant that adds color to landscapes through the fall and winter. The flowers have a fringed margin and a dainty, floral fragrance.
November 17, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Some of my favorite spring flowers are annual and perennial dianthus, with their wide variety of pinks, whites, and purples, but you don’t have to wait for warmer temperatures to enjoy colorful dianthus.

Annual landscape dianthus hybrids, such as Telstar dianthus, will add color and interest to your landscape right through fall and winter.

Winter lettuce can be grown in almost any container. This Encore Mix is portable as it is planted in a large, plastic tray. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
November 23, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

When the cooler months arrive, many home gardeners think it is time to put away thoughts of fresh vegetables on the table and settle for the local grocery store’s offerings. If this describes you, I hope to change your mind by giving you tips on growing fresh lettuce during the winter months.

The cool months of winter are the perfect time to grow lettuce as it can tolerate frost and light freezing temperatures. It doesn’t get bitter from the heat of summer. You don’t even have to grow it in your normal vegetable garden.

Golden Thryallis has bright, cheery clusters of yellow flowers that bloom from early June through the fall. Rusty reddish-brown branches provide a nice background for the flowers. The plant performs best in full sun. (Photo by Gary Bachman)
December 2, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

A plant I first saw early this year that has continued to amaze me through summer and fall is Galphimia glauca, commonly known as Golden Thryallis. It started flowering early in the summer, and the stand-out yellow flowers caught my full attention.

The flowers are a bright and cheery yellow and occur in clusters that are up to 6 inches long. Flowering begins in early June and continues through the fall. If warm temperatures linger, the flowering period will extend to the fall.

Use PVC pipe and plastic sheeting to make a simple greenhouse structure to provide cold-weather protection for landscape plants.
December 8, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

The freezing temperatures we are experiencing this week are a stark reminder of the need to provide winter protection for some landscape and garden plants.

Here are some tips to help ward off some of old man winter’s chill. One of the best things you can do for evergreen landscape plants is to give them a good layer of mulch and water them thoroughly. The mulch acts as a blanket, insulating the root system from cold temperatures.

A poinsettia combined with the Mississippi Medallion winner Diamond Frost euphorbia looks like it is growing on a bed of frost. (Photo by Norman Winter)
December 15, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

With their brightly colored bracts full of holiday cheer, poinsettias are truly the quintessential Christmas plant.

The range of available poinsettia colors is truly phenomenal. Red, white, pink, maroon, speckled and marbled are just the tip of the iceberg. Recently, you may have noticed orange and even blue poinsettias with sparkles. Growers use plant dyes to change the bract colors and expand the variety of colors available to consumers.

When it's cold outside, it's easy to make elaborate garden plans for the spring. These gardens of our dreams may be too big to properly maintain, so start small and add more garden as time allows. (MSU Extension Service photo)
December 23, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Gardening, be it vegetables or flowers, is a popular pursuit. But as enjoyable as gardens can be, there are times when gardeners have problems. Here are some of the traps that gardeners fall into from time to time, and tips to help you avoid them.

Harold Rone of Starkville uses a hose to water his garden when rainfall is not adequate. If the idea of a hose doesn't appeal to you, consider installing an irrigation system. (Photo by Scott Corey)
December 30, 2010 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

The brand-new year is the perfect time to make gardening resolutions.

My job at Mississippi State University’s Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi gives me the opportunity to answer a lot of questions and solve many garden problems. Based on this experience, here’s my list of resolutions Mississippi gardeners can make to be more successful in the new year.


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