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Many animals rely on caterpillars, such as this honey locust moth, as a food source, which makes them one of the most important components of the food web. Gardeners and nature lovers can learn about the role of native plants in sustaining healthy ecosystems during the Crosby Arboretum Lecture Series March 15. (Photo courtesy of Doug Tallamy)
March 3, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

PICAYUNE – Homeowners, gardeners and nature lovers can learn how native plants help humans thrive during the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum Lecture Series on March 15.

Doug Tallamy, a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, will discuss the results of his 32 years of research on the relationship between native plants and the health of local ecosystems.

A high-tech, multi-sensory play space designed to encourage reading is scheduled to open in 2014 at the Mississippi Children's Museum in Jackson. The literacy garden will include native plants and reflect the various habitats found in Mississippi. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Children's Museum)
December 11, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Landscape Architecture

JACKSON – Mississippi State University professor Bob Brzuszek is helping the Mississippi Children’s Museum design an innovative garden aimed at cultivating a crop of young readers.

Landscape architecture graduate students Wanrong Tan from Shanghai, China, and Amer Mahaslin from Amman, Jordan, install plants along the Pilot Club Music Trail in McKee Park on Oct. 18, 2013. The Pilot Club Music Trail consists of playground versions of musical instruments for families to enjoy. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
November 5, 2013 - Filed Under: Community, Landscape Architecture

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Office of Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A group of Mississippi State University students made a new music trail in Starkville more beautiful by improving its landscape.

MSU landscape architecture and landscape contracting and management students installed plants as part of a service-learning collaboration with the Pilot Club of Starkville’s Music Trail in McKee Park. The plants contribute to the aesthetic value of the trail and enhance the nature experience for park-goers.

Blue Mohawk rush softens the edges of this walkway and is one of the hardy plants suggested by landscape architecture associate professor Bob Brzuszek at the recent landscape design symposium at Mississippi State University. (Submitted Photo)
October 17, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Gardeners with landscape challenges walked away with wheelbarrows full of ideas after three landscape designers shared tips at the nation’s oldest symposium of its kind.

The 58th Edward C. Martin Jr. Landscape Symposium drew more than 100 garden club members, Master Gardeners, students and design professionals to Mississippi State University Oct. 16.

September 25, 2013 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People eager to learn about new plants and how to deal with challenging conditions can hear from experts at Mississippi State University’s annual landscape design event Oct. 16.

The 58th Edward C. Martin Jr. Landscape Design Symposium features three speakers, who will address practical topics:

Event cancelled due to threat of inclement weather.
September 16, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Bulldog fans in town early for the Sept. 21 game can spend the morning getting ideas for their home landscapes at a tour and open house at Mississippi State University’s new trial gardens.

Visitors to the gardens can enjoy 15 minute mini-workshops at six different stations split between the new trial gardens and the existing Veterans Memorial Rose Garden. Hay wagons will transport visitors between the two locations.

Educational topics include summer bedding plants, growing hardy hibiscus plants, soil sampling, rose planting density and more.

This ditch is an extreme example of a drainage easement that has been neglected, allowing small trees to become large problems. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
July 8, 2013 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

Mississippi landscapers often see favorite trees fall victim to lightning, strong winds and other elements, especially during tropical storm season, leaving the owners to make hard decisions on the trees’ future health.

Typical damage includes wounds, split branches, exposed roots, various degrees of leaning trunks, and broken and torn limbs. In many cases, a damaged tree must be removed and replaced.

Correctly placed trees can provide beauty and shade to houses, add value and reduce the amount of money spent each year on air conditioning. (Photo by MSU Landscape Architecture/Bob Brzuszek)
May 9, 2013 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Planting the right trees in the best locations is a good investment that can also pay dividends in energy savings for home and business owners.

Bob Brzuszek, associate professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Landscape Architecture, said planting trees that block the summer sun on the south and west sides of buildings and roofs can substantially reduce air-conditioning costs.

May 2, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University architecture students designed a sustainable home that can provide its own electricity, water supply and food for a family of four.

In the final project of a sustainable design class, the students turned theoretical principles into a practical home and landscape. They designed all aspects of a self-supporting, modern homestead, including features like solar energy use, rainwater harvesting, wastewater management, and gardens, trees and shrubs to provide a year-round food supply.

Trunk flare, or the part of the tree that meets the roots, is easily detectable on mature trees, such as this oak on the Mississippi State University campus on Feb. 6, 2013. On young trees trunk flare is less prominent but visible, and this part of the tree should always remain above the soil. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
February 7, 2013 - Filed Under: Urban and Community Forestry, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Experts at Mississippi State University recommend that those planting trees in the landscape this Arbor Day do their homework before getting started.

“Most people see a tree they like and decide that they want to have one in their yard, but that is really not the way to decide what kind of tree to plant,” said John Kushla, an associate Extension and research professor with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and the Forestry and Wildlife Research Center.

The most popular of the flowering magnolias is the saucer magnolia. Huge white, pink or purple flowers bloom after the risk of late-spring frosts has passed. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
February 4, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

Even though fall is the ideal time, it’s still not too late to plant nice trees into our Mississippi gardens and landscapes. Of course I can’t list every tree in this column, but I want to draw your attention to a few I’m sure you won’t be disappointed to have in your yard.

The first is the bald cypress. You may think it has to be planted in soggy locations, but this tree is very adaptable. Some of the best specimens I have seen were being grown in very high and dry locations such as islands in parking lots and planting wells in sidewalks.

Design Week 2013 participants at Mississippi State University created plans for an undeveloped courtyard at the university's landscape architecture facility in a learning competition. Department head Sadik Artunc, third from left, stands with members of the winning team. From left are Emily Overbey, Jerry Hill, Nathan Locke, Nicholas Stengel and Jason Treloar. (Photo by MSU Landscape Architecture/Elizabeth Payne Tofte)
January 31, 2013 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An undeveloped courtyard at Mississippi State University’s landscape architecture facility provided the challenge for student teams in Design Week 2013.

The theme of the annual learning competition was Art into Nature. The teams, composed of landscape architecture and landscape contracting students and a faculty advisor, competed to design the best courtyard based on the space and needs. The challenge was to create an artistic and ecologically integrated design for the landscape architecture facilities, then present it to the judges in a compelling fashion.

The Savannah holly has a natural pyramidal growth habit that is loose and open. It can be used as a screen or a single specimen. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
January 28, 2013 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

January and February are good times to see where landscapes need evergreen color to break out of the drab grays and browns of winter. When you find a spot that needs a pick-me-up, Savannah holly is a superb evergreen plant to grow in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes.

It has a natural pyramidal growth habit that is loose and open. This holly is versatile in the landscape and can be used for screening or strategically placed as single specimens.

Satsuma oranges grow well in Mississippi and produce very juicy fruits with deep-orange rinds. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 24, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

There’s nothing like reaching into the toe of a Christmas stocking under your tree and finding a fresh and tasty satsuma orange that came right from your own garden.

I’d like to say I’ve done that, but so far, all the fresh satsumas I’ve enjoyed have come from my friend Terry’s house. Let me just say that I don’t have to worry about scurvy for a while.

The South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville recently won first place in the All-America Selections' Landscape Design Contest. (Submitted Photo)
October 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

POPLARVILLE -- A Mississippi State University experiment station recently won first place in a North American landscape design competition.

The South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville took top honors in the first annual All-America Selections’ Landscape Design Contest.

October 3, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Landscape and garden enthusiasts can get help planning for next spring from nationally acclaimed designers at a Mississippi State University landscape design event.

The 57th annual Edward C. Martin Jr. Landscape Design Symposium will be Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bost Conference Center on MSU’s Starkville campus. Attendees can preregister by Oct. 12 for $20 or register at the door for $25.

Mississippi State University students and professors designed and built this pavilion with a "green roof" at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. The structure marks the last in a series of sustainable storm water management strategies developed for the site. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Landscape Architecture

STARKVILLE – A Mississippi museum is conserving the past inside and embracing the future outside with its modern, sustainable landscape.

Visitors to the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum will enjoy a new pavilion’s shade but may not realize they are surrounded by environmentally friendly solutions to a challenging landscape using environmentally friendly solutions.

August 23, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Gardeners may be getting ready to put away their gloves for the year, but now is the perfect time to get a head start on environmentally friendly landscaping projects.

Planning ahead can make yard maintenance easier, save money and conserve natural resources.

The Sweet Caroline ornamental sweet potato has two leaf shapes, cut-leaf and heart-shaped. Colors include bronze, green-yellow, light green, purple, red and black. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
July 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Crops, Sweet Potatoes, Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

If you’re looking for a vigorous and unique ground cover for your landscape, consider a popular ornamental that I really enjoy, the colorful sweet potato vine.

Longtime favorites include Margarita, which is lime green with large leaves; Blackie, a cut-leaf variety with dark purple to black foliage; and Tricolor, which has leaves of green, pink and white.

New selections have introduced amazing color selections and leaf shapes.

June 28, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment, Landscape Architecture

JACKSON – Mississippians can see footage of the West’s wildfires nearly every day, but many could be surprised to learn that their own state averages more than 600 wildfires a year. With urban sprawl infringing on the state’s forests, the fire risk is growing.

“Wildfires don’t get much attention here because we aren’t impacted like people who live in the West,” said Bob Brzuszek, associate professor of landscape architecture at Mississippi State University. “Our climate is more humid, we have a great fire service, and our wildfires tend to happen in more rural areas.”

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