I’m becoming increasingly optimistic about our 2020 Mississippi summer gardens and landscapes. COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, but an upside to the virus is that more homeowners are gardening than ever before. If you’re looking for summer color that will grow through the summer and beyond, then Profusion zinnia is the plant for you.
I’m sure Southern Gardening Nation knows that Supertunias, especially Vista Bubblegum, are among my favorite summer color because they are reliable performers in my coastal Mississippi garden and landscape.
But there’s another great group of petunias that I haven’t written much about, primarily because I haven’t been growing them lately. That group is the family of Wave petunias.
There are a few must-have plants for my summer Mississippi garden and landscape. You can count on me having Vista Bubblegum supertunia, marigolds and all kinds of zinnias to provide color for my yard. But another great plant that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention is melampodium.
Did you know that April is National Gardening Month? In my landscape, every month is gardening month, but it’s fitting to be officially celebrating as many people are gardening for the first time while they shelter in place.
As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of people are working and sheltering at home. Although no one even heard of it a year ago, social distancing is a crucial step in reducing the transmission of this very contagious and dangerous virus.
Gardening is the perfect social distancing activity.
Cabin fever can set in with everyone trying to stay home, and some people may think this cure may be worse than the disease. It is definitely not, and gardening can help make it enjoyable.
March 1 was the meteorological first day of spring, and I found my thoughts wandering to those summer annuals I love so well. One of my cool-season favorites doesn’t last long past the last days of spring, but I know I have summer replacement.
Angelonia is a close relative of snapdragon that blooms all summer and into the fall. It is hard to believe that a plant in the snapdragon family relishes our summer heat and humidity, but this one does. Angelonia is a fantastic, easy-care annual that doesn’t need deadheading, which is always a positive in my garden choices.
Zinnias are annual flowers that perform extremely well in our hot and humid Mississippi gardens and landscapes. In fact, home gardeners can have these beautiful flowers blooming from May all the way to frost in fall.
One group of zinnias that I can’t get enough of is the Zinnia elegans. These zinnias are the long-stemmed kind that are perfect for the cutting garden.
I’ve promoted the 2020 Mississippi Medallion winners Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry and Luscious lantana for the last three weeks. Now, I want to tell you about the fourth and final 2020 selection, Garden Gem tomato.
This will come as a surprise to the Southern Gardening Nation, but I think I’m starting to like eating fresh tomatoes. I’m certainly looking forward to picking fresh Garden Gem tomatoes this summer.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of introducing the 2020 Mississippi Medallion Winners at the Gulf States Hort Expo in Mobile, Alabama. This is a special group of selections, as the Mississippi Medallion program is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.
The plants selected for 2020 include Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry, Luscious Series lantana and Garden Gem tomato.
I don’t think you can go wrong with some dianthus in your landscape in 2020.
I love the flower colors that include pink, red, lavenders, white, and bicolors. The foliage of these plants ranges from being grass-like to broader strap-like linear leaves. Plus, the foliage provides contrast with colors ranging from bright green to steely blue-gray.
There are some great selections that will do a fantastic job in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes especially in the cooler months of the year.