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Southern Gardening from 1998

January 1, 1998 - Filed Under: Houseplants

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Growing flowers outdoors is a common practice most gardeners enjoy, but growing plants to bloom indoors is a pleasure many are reluctant to try except for African violets.

The pineapple, our symbol of hospitality in the South, comes from a plant group that we not only overlook but view with trepidation. This group is the bromeliads.

January 8, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many new exciting plants are coming our way in 1998, but one new impatient really has growers chomping at the bit to start planting.

Victorian Rose isn't an antique or heirloom rose, but it is the new All-American winning impatient. Hopefully, we will find Victorian Rose is the best semi-double flowering impatient.

January 15, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The winter weather has not been so cold, but it certainly has been dreary. The bulbs are starting to show their first green signs letting us know spring is coming. But if we simply cannot wait, which I can't, then primulas are the easy solution to the winter doldrums.

Europeans adore primulas, or primrose, but most Mississippi gardeners overlook them as a source of late winter and early spring color.

January 22, 1998 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If your landscape looks a little desolate, barren or Siberia- like, it probably needs some evergreens. Of all landscape plants in the South, conifers are some of our most beautiful.

Conifers are important to our timber industry, but their usefulness doesn't stop there. A conifer is a cone-bearing tree or shrub. Familiar ones are the loblolly, slash pine, long and shortleaf pine, and others.

January 29, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Remember the love that went with those flowers -- roots and all -- you as a child gave your mother. That same spirit can be captured this Valentine's Day with gifts of rose bushes.

February 5, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

MillionBells is the name for an exciting new group of petunias making their debut this year. They may be the most beautiful of all the new petunia family from the past five years.

February 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Sweet Potatoes

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Sweet potato vines are becoming all the rage as landscape plants. It is not too hard to believe when you realize that many of us grow their close relatives, the morning glories or moon flowers.

February 19, 1998 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Redbuds are not the only flowering trees that herald the arrival of spring. One different looking, but gorgeous tree you may have noticed is the Taiwan cherry.

February 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Herb Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many people seem determined to associate herbs with a 1970's hippie adventure in the garden. But the truth is, herb gardening is a new tide rising on a wave of popularity, and I hope you consider planting an herb garden this year.

March 5, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This spring you have got to look for the hot, new verbenas called Temari. Temari, which means "a handful of flowers," is being brought to us by Suntory, the same firm who gave us Surfinias and Tapien verbenas.

Temari verbenas are available in bright red coming from the orange and yellow hues, violet and bright pink. These flowers' colors are very bold and bright. They are trailing type verbenas that actually live up to their claim of having baseball-sized flower clusters.

March 12, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Few plants are as tough and more deserving a place in the Mississippi flower border than the Ruellia (Ruellia brittoniana). Not only does it endure high heat and humidity, but it is also a performer in drought-like conditions. This may be very important if the second half of the El Nino prediction comes through. That prediction calls for very little rain this summer.

March 19, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many homeowners are asking me what they can plant as a screen to increase privacy. The Leyland Cypress certainly is a good choice, as is the Eastern red cedar, but there are several other great choices for screens.

March 26, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Before the National Bureau designated 1998 as the Year of the Geranium, I couldn't remember the last time I planted geraniums or even paid them any attention. Now guess what I have in my landscape and in mixed containers?

April 2, 1998 - Filed Under: Tomato Pepper and Eggplant, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

An audience gathered at the courthouse in New Jersey to watch Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson die from eating a basketful of tomatoes. Colonel Johnson's physician warned he would, "Foam and froth at the mouth ...double over with appendicitis ... and expose himself to brain fever." Johnson didn't die that day in 1820, and a new era for tomatoes slowly began.

April 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Temperatures are fairly moderate now as are utility bills, but we all know what is ahead. We can take decisive action today which will pay great dividends in subsequent years.

April 16, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Mississippi Medallion winners are proven, season-long performers in climates where summers are tough with heat and humidity. The three 1998 winners are Zinnia angustifolia, Salvia farinacea Victoria Blue and the Natchez crape myrtle.

April 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The buddleia has fragrant blossoms, attracts butterflies and excels as a cut flower. It is referred to as the butterfly bush in the United States, while in its native China they call it the Summer Lilac.

April 30, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

For years I have been hooked on growing salvias like this year's Mississippi Medallion winner Victoria Blue, as well as the Mexican bush sage and others. But this is the first year I have grown Salvia elegans, or pineapple sage, which is a must in your garden or on your patio.

May 7, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

There was something about the recent Garden and Patio Show in Jackson that really surprised me. Gardener after gardener was walking out of the show carrying a trellis, tower and even arbors. Climbing plants are back in business.

May 14, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Now that Mother's Day is over, I would like to pose a question. What is the perfect rose?

When I was executive director of the American Rose Society, I loved to ask that in a group because it was almost certain to start a skirmish. If there were a few more rose growers in the world, we could probably start a small war with the question.

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