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Southern Gardening

A grassy garden area is topped by delicate purple blooms.
May 24, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Mabel Murphree’s Tupelo garden has an impressive variety of plants, but what really caught my attention when I visited were her purple blooms.

A black pine tree grows at an angle in a garden with a birdbath and purple blooms.
May 20, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Amid the bustle of everyday life in Tupelo, Mississippi lies a hidden gem -- Dale Smith’s backyard woodland garden. I recently had the pleasure of touring this garden where beautiful plants thrive around every corner.

Tables and chairs are on a patio in a backyard garden.
May 13, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Last week, I told you about the spring-blooming native plants I saw during a recent visit to the backyard gardens of Sarah Young in Tupelo. The benefits of this garden filled with native and non-native plants extends beyond the beauty of the plants themselves.

Gardening is a form of physical activity. Digging, planting, weeding and harvesting can contribute to improved flexibility, strength and endurance. It is a great way to stay active without feeling like you’re exercising.

Delicate orange flowers bloom in a cluster.
May 6, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I recently had the pleasure of visiting my friend Sarah Young’s gardens in Tupelo, and I enjoyed her stunning collection of plants that are perfect for Southern gardens.

During my visit, I was amazed by her spring-blooming native plants, especially the native azaleas which were in full bloom. Their white, pink, yellow and orange flowers were absolutely breathtaking.

A shrub has clusters of red flowers on stems.
April 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I recently visited with the DeSoto County Master Gardeners and had the opportunity to tour their learning garden/arboretum at the DeSoto County Extension office in Hernando. Some of the plants, trees and shrubs were starting to come out of their winter slumber, showing some beautiful spring color. I noticed that the arboretum area was adorned with a Possumhaw viburnum in full bloom.

A yellow upright bract has small white flowers.
April 22, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

During my Southern Gardening travels across Mississippi, I have observed how plants grow differently across the state. For example, several perennial plants that typically grow in some areas act as annuals in other areas due to colder winter temperatures.

Blue flowers with white spots bloom above green foliage.
April 15, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Spring is my favorite season of the year as I enjoy the return of warmer days and the colorful blooms in gardens and landscapes. Among the many flowering plants that grace the spring landscape, petunias stand out as one of my favorites.

As nature bursts into life, now is the perfect time to visit your local nurseries and garden centers to acquire bright and colorful petunias.

Dark leaves with pink centers are edged in bright green.
April 8, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I have always been amazed at the diversity of colorful coleus plants. Their foliage offers a dazzling array of impressive hues and patterns. The most remarkable aspect of coleus plants is undoubtedly their vibrant leaves.

Four containers hold small, blooming plants.
April 1, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

With their tall stems that proudly display a colorful array of flowers, calibrachoa hybrid plants are some of my favorite annual plants to use in the landscape. Their slender stems reach out gracefully, adorned with small, trumpet-shaped blooms that come in hues from fiery reds to soothing blues, and every shade in between. Each delicate flower carries its own unique pattern, adding an enchanting touch to their overall appearance.

Grassy plants grow in a container with flowers.
March 25, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Gardening, to me, is not just about planting pretty flowers or lush foliage. It’s about creating scenes, telling stories and evoking emotions. One way I like to add intrigue and drama to an outdoor space is by incorporating thriller plants. These captivating specimens serve as focal points and bring mystery and excitement to a landscape.

Ferns have white and green leaves.
March 18, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you have not picked up on it yet, I love variegated plants. Let me dive a bit deeper into why I’m so passionate about them. These beauties are like the rock stars of the plant world, and let me tell you, they know how to steal the show.

Colorful plants hang in two rows.
March 11, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you’re considering adding some vibrant color to your landscape, bougainvillea might be the perfect choice. Mississippi’s climate can be quite different from the tropical regions where bougainvillea is native, but with a little care and attention, you can successfully grow these stunning plants.

Rounded tips of green succulent leaves are edged in red.
March 4, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

In the realm of gardening, few plants offer the versatility, resilience and sheer beauty of sedums. It’s no wonder why I’ve seen the popularity of these remarkable succulents grow.
These remarkable plants, also known as stonecrops, have captivated the hearts of gardeners and plant enthusiasts around the world for centuries. If you are not familiar with these beauties, I hope you will be intrigued enough to try them yourself.

Ferns with two different leaf shapes and colors fill the frame.
February 26, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you wonder what plants can be used in shaded areas of your landscape, I suggest that hardy and low-maintenance ferns are a great choice for adding lush, green foliage. Ferns come in a variety of sizes, textures and colors that can add visual interest to darker areas of the landscape. While we can grow lots of ferns in hanging baskets and pots, picking the ones to plant in the ground is a bit trickier.

Red and yellow blooms blanket plants in a greenhouse.
February 19, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Coach’s Cedar Creek Farm in Lucedale where I was awestruck by the brightly blooming Amstel begonias growing in one of their greenhouses.
These begonias, also known as Rieger begonias, are a unique blend of tuberous and wax begonias.

A large, pink bloom resembles an open rose.
February 12, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I recently had the pleasure of exploring Mr. Jim Smelley’s impressive camellia collection with some of the Pearl River County Master Gardeners. I began thinking about how these beautiful plants with their gorgeous blooms could be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for plant lovers.

A small, rounded tree grows in a landscape.
February 5, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Did you know there is a tree that produces fruit in late winter and early spring? That tree is the loquat, and as I drive around Mississippi on these cold winter days, I have noticed many of them in gardens and landscapes. With their evergreen elegance and delectable fruit, loquat trees add a bit of subtropical charm.

A yellow branch is lined with green needles.
January 29, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I absolutely love looking for different types of plants for my landscaping. In home landscapes, the usual suspects like hollies, ligustrums, azaleas and camellias often take center stage. While these are excellent choices, there’s a world of possibilities waiting for those willing to explore the realm of conifers.

A branch with green leaves has tiny red flowers.
January 22, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

In the world of ornamental shrubs, Distyliums are a hidden gem, prized for their evergreen foliage, adaptability and understated charm.

Blue and white flowers bloom above green foliage.
January 15, 2024 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Violas are amazing annual plants that can survive our cold winters and grow well in both landscapes and containers. It’s no wonder they are a popular choice for gardeners in Mississippi.

Violas are also known as Johnny jump-ups because of their ability to produce seeds prolifically and pop up unexpectedly in gardens.

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