This weekend while driving in my hometown of Ocean Springs, I looked at the crape myrtles planted in the median all along Highway 90. I noticed that most of the trees had a dark cast to them, even on a bright, sunny morning.
One of my favorite Mississippi native plants is just starting to show its true landscape value. Of course, I’m referring to our native Callicarpa americana, known commonly and affectionately as the American beautyberry.
In recent years, gardeners everywhere have seen quite a few plants that were once grown only in shady conditions come out into the sunshine. Sunpatiens were my first experience with these now sun lovers.
The late summer garden and landscape in Mississippi can be a tough place. Extreme heat and humidity result in heat index numbers that keep me, like many other gardeners, indoors enjoying the air conditioning.
But, I can take solace in knowing that, while many of my flowering summer annuals are starting to succumb to the heat, my ornamental peppers will be growing strong. What a great selection for any later summer garden!
This past week, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Washington, D.C., while I stayed in Alexandria, Virginia. I was in town because the American Horticultural Society selected me, the Southern Gardener, to receive the Great American Gardener B.Y. Morrison Communication Award.
I grew up horticulturally deficient, so being named a Great American Gardener is extremely humbling. I truly enjoy promoting plants and ways to find gardening success to Mississippi and beyond.
In my role as the Southern Gardener, I get to share many great plants all across Mississippi and beyond. Some are new and some are old reliables, but all get to be called my favorite landscape plants from time to time.
One thing is for sure: All of these plants are Southern Gardening Approved.
Week three of the Southern Gardening tour of hibiscus brings the spotlight on the hardy hibiscus. This easy-to-grow ornamental is largely unknown to many home gardeners, but with the impact they can have in any landscape, I think every garden should have at least one hardy hibiscus.
This is week two of the "Tour de Hibiscus," featuring great choices for our Mississippi gardens and landscapes. I don't know any home gardener who can resist the colorful flowers of Cajun hibiscus plants, with equally colorful names like Hoochie Papa, Peppermint Patty and Crawfish Pie.
One of the plant groups I love to grow in my home landscape is the hibiscus. To that end, I'm going to dedicate the next several columns to different options of these beautiful flowering shrubs that are available for the home gardener
Last week, I had the pleasure of being the kick-starter speaker for the Mississippi Master Gardener State Conference. My wide-ranging presentation included some of my recommendations of sure-fire, must-have plants for your landscape and garden, all Mississippi Medallion plants.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve found myself joining home gardeners everywhere in planting more plants to attract pollinators.
In fact, along with being a stop on the Rosalyn Carter Butterfly Trail, my home landscape is also registered with the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, which has the goal of registering 1 million pollinator gardens. If you’d like to register your garden, go to http://millionpollinatorgardens.org for more information.