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Southern Gardening

A mostly red tomato is shaped almost like the letter “U.”
March 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Many folks have been waiting for this moment: the day it’s warm enough and past the main threat of frost to become tomato planting time.

Pea-sized redbud flowers hang from thin tree branches.
March 11, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

What a crazy late winter and early spring we’ve had so far this year: warm, cold and repeat.

A light-green, round structure is attached to a branch, surrounded by multi-colored leaves.
March 4, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

The seasons are playing tricks on us with cold temperatures following warm. While we go through this latest cold snap, which I have high hopes will be the last, I want to address a landscape issue that’s generating quite a few questions.

Dozens of dark blue-black berries hang from stems amid green leaves.
February 25, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I join the gardening world in waiting for the Southern indica azaleas to officially kick off the spring season with their gaudy show of beautiful color. But there’s one landscape shrub that tends to get lost when the azaleas start showing off, and it is actually one of my spring-flowering favorites.

This week, I want to tell you about the Indian hawthorn.

Green bushes grow in rows, holding red and black berries, along with a few white flowers, above their leaves.
February 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This week, I want to spend our time considering the last of the 2019 Mississippi Medallion selections, Sweetie Pie blackberry.

A wetlands area is full of gray trunks of trees with filtered light shining through green leaves.
February 11, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This week, we continue our look at the 2019 Mississippi Medallion plants with a fantastic Mississippi tree, the tupelo. Tupelo is known botanically as Nyssa sylvatica and is commonly called black tupelo or black gum.

Large clusters of red flowers rise above bronze-colored leaves in a pot placed on a wooden deck with a wooden fence behind.
February 4, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We survived the latest polar vortex, and I join other Mississippi gardeners in being thankful that we didn’t get the really extreme cold our friends up North experienced. But still, it was cold enough for me and my garden. 

A blooming, yellow daffodil in focus in the foreground with a large cluster of other daffodils behind it out of focus.
January 28, 2019 - Filed Under: Master Gardener

One of the signs that spring will be sprung in the near future is when the daffodils start awakening and poking up in the landscape beds.

Rich, wide, dark-green leaves with white veins rise from an unfurling center.
January 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Vegetable Gardens

If there’s one vegetable that could be considered the ultimate home-grown vegetable in Mississippi, it has to be collards.

Collards were chosen as a 2019 Mississippi Medallion winner because they are considered absolutely necessary for true Southern cuisine. As a bonus, they’re really easy for home gardeners to grow.

Dozens of blue flowers bloom above an uninterrupted sea of green leaves
January 14, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Many home gardeners look forward to this time of year to browse catalogs in search of great new plants to enjoy in their 2019 landscapes.

One cluster of pink, crinkled flowers and some seed-heads are visible with dark-green foliage in the background.
January 7, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This January’s temperatures have been drastically different from what we saw during last year’s first month.

The colorful covers of about 20 gardening catalogs are fanned out on display.
December 31, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As I'm writing this last Southern Gardening column of 2018, I'm trying to take one more look back before plunging headlong into the 2019 gardening season that's just around the corner. But I'm having trouble concentrating because the mail carrier is distracting me.

Two-tone, yellow flowers bloom on green foliage at the base of a small tree planted in a container.
December 24, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

2018 was quite a year in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes: hot and dry, humid and rainy. Every year, there are winners and losers when we garden, and such is the nature of the gardening game. 

A small pink stocking with a white fuzzy top hangs from a Christmas tree inside a house.
December 17, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

With the Christmas celebration approaching, I’ve been thinking about favorite traditions, past and present. It probably comes as no surprise that many of these traditions are food related.

A black mailbox rises above a sea of green foliage and delicate clusters of mostly orange flowers.
December 10, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

The questions being emailed to me are literally filling up my inbox. I thought I’d share a couple of these questions, along with and my answers that should help home gardeners before we head into the 2019 spring and summer gardening seasons.

Nurseries have provided thousands of Christmas poinsettias in a variety of colors to decorate homes for the holidays.
December 3, 2018 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants, Flower Gardens

It’s that time of year again for shopping, eating, delivery trucks and poinsettias. Yep—it’s the Christmas season. (Photo by Gary Bachman)

Several white flowers have a lower petal of yellow and rise above a sea of green foliage.
November 26, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Are you looking for cool-season color that’s a sure thing -- a take-it-to-the-bank garden plant? Then, do I have the plant for you. Though quite small in stature, this plant is huge in the color department. Now that I’ve got your attention, the plant I’m referring to is the beautiful viola.

A green leaf is covered with individual, geometric ice crystals.
November 19, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past week, we got a rude wakeup call from Mother Nature saying that winter has finally arrived.

I answered many phone calls and emails asking what could be done to protect landscape plants. I even shared some last-second cold weather protection tips on WLOX television. I want to point out that, except for the most tender, most plants came through the couple of days of cold weather just fine.

Blue-purple flowers on slender, upright stems stand above a mass of green foliage.
November 12, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past weekend, I started planting cool-season color in my 25-gallon citrus containers.

I like underplanting in these containers for a couple of reasons. First, I can maintain a color pop through the year. And second, these annuals act as a colorful ground cover carpet that helps keep weeds at bay. I really do hate weeding, and even plants grown in containers need help with weed control.

A cluster of ruffled pink flowers with vivid red centers is pictured on green stems.
November 5, 2018 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I love the annual color we can grow all winter in most of our Mississippi gardens and landscapes, so I'm going to spend a few weeks concentrating on cool-season color. Dianthus is my first choice for fall color.

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