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Horticulturist Rick Darke signs copies of his latest book for audience members after his presentation on balancing beauty and function in the home landscape March 28, 2015, in Picayune, Mississippi. Darke was the 2015 Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum Lecture Series speaker. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
April 1, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Beauty and biodiversity can coexist in the landscape, and it is not that hard to accomplish.

Rick Darke, a horticulturist, published author, lecturer and photographer, discussed balancing beauty and function in the home landscape with an emphasis on conservation during the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum’s Lecture Series March 28.

Darke offered ideas for transforming the home garden into a sanctuary for wildlife while also offering privacy and enjoyable spaces for the family.

Although most Yaupon holly berries are red, a few commercially available selections have a mutation that produces yellow berries. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 22, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

Winter is a challenging time in the landscape and garden. We’re limited in annual color options, and even my old favorites, pansies, may not be enough. That’s why we need to learn to rely on the backdrop of the summer, our landscape shrubs.

It seems these plants realize this is the season for them to step up and carry some of the load. You could call winter the berry season, as these red, colorful fruit are on display.

Shrubs, trees, bedding plants and seasonal mums are displayed at Evergreen Garden Center in Louisville on Sept. 24, 2014. Gardeners bought more landscaping products in 2014 than in recent years. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
September 26, 2014 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Landscape Architecture

RAYMOND -- Mississippi’s horticulture industry is seeing an increase in business for the first time since Hurricane Katrina swept away a large chunk of the state’s infrastructure, inventory and markets.

“The nursery, greenhouse and landscape segments are looking up right now,” said Geoff Denny, horticulture specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “People are buying more of these horticulture products. We’re seeing an increased demand for trees, and we’ve actually got a deficit of trees right now.”

September 17, 2014 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University is bringing three influential designers to campus in October to give professional and hobby gardeners new ideas about landscape design.

The 59th Edward C. Martin Landscape Design Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 15 at the MSU Bost Extension Center Auditorium. Bob Brzuszek, Extension professor of landscape architecture, is the symposium program chair.

Speakers this year are Eric Groft, John Mayronne and Sadik Artunc.

Suburban Nancy Gayle is an outstanding new daylily selection developed in Hattiesburg. It has outstanding landscape performance and is resistant to daylily rust. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
July 28, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

If you are looking for an easy landscape plant that is guaranteed to please, the daylily is the plant for you.

Daylilies come in just about any color, shape or size you could want for your landscape. The colors are a kaleidoscope of red, peach, white and yellow. Aside from the stunning array of colors, the flowers themselves are not boring. Shapes include vibrant double flowers, petite flowers, flowers with gold-edged ruffles and spidery blooms with long, linear petals.

July 1, 2014 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University experts will share the latest tips and best practices for creating healthy, beautiful and low-maintenance landscapes at an Aug. 1 short course.

Garden enthusiasts can attend the sustainable landscapes workshop at their county Extension office. Up to 20 participants can attend in Room 409 of the Bost Extension Building. The workshop will be broadcast through the distance education interactive video system.

Mississippi's diverse ecosystems take center stage in Mississippi State University landscape architecture professor Bob Brzuszek's new book about the Crosby Arboretum. (Photo courtesy of Louisiana State University Press)
April 3, 2014 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

PICAYUNE -- Mississippi's diverse ecosystems take center stage in a Mississippi State University landscape architecture expert’s new book about the Crosby Arboretum.

Bob Brzuszek, an Extension professor of landscape architecture, recently launched “The Crosby Arboretum: A Sustainable Regional Landscape,” through the Louisiana State University Press.

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: Lawn and Garden, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Community Forestry

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.

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