Southern Gardening from 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.