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Southern Gardening from 2015

Traditional, bright-red poinsettias are a popular holiday decorative plant. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

We all knew it was going to happen sometime.

That change in the seasons is an inevitable event as we move into the later months of the year. But I’m not referring to the time of year when we start planting all of the gorgeous cool-season bedding plants like pansies, violas and dianthus. The change I’m talking about is from Halloween to Christmas; it seems like it happened overnight. Maybe it had something to do with the time change, that whole falling back that also occurred this past weekend.

Yaupon holly bushes are either male or female, and only the females produce the red berries that the plants are known for. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Let’s face it: Gardeners like to talk about their gardens, and I’m no different. We all like to brag about our garden successes and ask questions about how to improve. Through email and social media, I get many gardening questions throughout the year.

These questions concern landscape issues, plant care and plant identification. I enjoy answering questions and helping home gardeners to be successful in their gardening endeavors in Mississippi and beyond.

The hundreds of tiny, white flowers of Diamond Frost provide the perfect contrast to a favorite poinsettia color grouped together in one container. (File Photo/ MSU Extension)
November 16, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

This week, I’ve been taking what I’d like to think is a well-earned vacation. But even though I’m technically “off the clock,” I’m still finding interesting ideas to try in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes.

Since we’re heading into the much cooler winter months, I’ve come across several clever uses of unusual planting combinations we can enjoy indoors.

Citrus trees such as this Meyer lemon perform well in Mississippi, but they need protection from cold weather. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
November 30, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the chance to get back into my garden and landscape after what seemed like a horticultural marathon that began in mid-July. While I hadn’t totally neglected my chores, there was still plenty to do.I harvested the remaining fall crop of heirloom tomatoes and removed the plants growing in my self-watering patio containers. I then proceeded to my citrus grove; understand that I use the term “grove” lightly, as it consists of two Satsuma oranges, two Meyer lemons and a kumquat.

Southern Gardening TV recently featured the Savannah holly, which is outdoing itself across the state this year. Its colorful fruit load can weigh down branches. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman)
December 7, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Trees

Driving around Mississippi’s coastal counties has reminded me that we are in the middle of the red berry season. Yaupon hollies have translucent red berries that sparkle like landscape jewels, and Nellie R. Stevens have dark, glossy-green foliage that provides the perfect background for bright-red berries.

Use plastic pipe and plastic sheeting to make easy, small greenhouse structures to provide winter cold protection. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 21, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

We’ve been lucky so far to enjoy a fairly mild beginning to the cool season in the landscape.

In my coastal garden, my Rio Pink dipladenia continues to brighten my garden, growing in its half-barrel container. Other absolute stellar performers are my two large firecracker plants. They have provided nonstop bumblebee action, and the plants are actually humming as I walk by.

Flatten old spoons to use as plant markers, and use letter punches to stencil in the plant name. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 28, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Like many home gardeners, I believe I’ll always remember the name of every plant I bring home from the garden center.

Sadly, I found out early in my horticulture career that I was terribly mistaken. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in my landscape scratching my head, racking my brain and wondering just what the name of that plant is.

At the beginning of a new year, perhaps the best resolution any home gardener can make is to finally use plant tags and markers.


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