Here’s a little ditty ‘bout Joey and Lila: two cold-hardy avocados growing up in the heartland. Lila was doing OK in my Ocean Springs yard, but I introduced Joey to bring the thrill of living. With apologies to John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane,” avocados have been one of the most interesting additions I’ve made over the past few years to my Heritage Cottage Urban Nano Farm.
I enjoy the last part of May in my home landscape and garden.
My small rose garden -- which I’ve started to expand -- is in its full glory. I’ll share my latest rose story in a future Southern Gardening, but I’m also really loving the various hibiscuses I have growing in my landscape.
One of my favorite summer color annuals is the old-fashioned red geranium.
This is one of the plants that could be considered an old timey flower whose time has passed, but I don’t think so. They are just as useful and beautiful in our modern gardens and landscapes as they were once upon a time.
As I write this, I find it ironic that I’m calling the geranium one of my favorites.
With the summer season fast approaching, I’ve been getting questions about fertilizing, primarily concerning the types of fertilizer and how much to use.I’m glad to get these questions because garden and landscape plants need fertilizer to keep them healthy and growing. Fertilizing at planting helps trees, shrubs and flowering plants get established. It also promotes shoot and root growth, flowering, and optimum fruit and vegetable harvest.
When looking at all the plants growing in landscapes, I’m reminded that each plant has a role in the story of that garden. And most garden stories have plants with sidekicks that you always find side by side.
A garden story that I recently enjoyed was the British TV show, “Rosemary & Thyme.” Rosemary Boxer (a university lecturer) and Laura Thyme (a former police officer) were a dynamic duo in the garden. They solved mysteries -- mostly murders -- while working as gardeners in beautiful landscapes all across Europe.
Many of Mississippi’s perennial landscape plants will start to decline after several years. That means they will have smaller foliage and won’t flower as much, even though they’ve been well cared for with regular fertilizer and irrigation.
It’s no secret that I’m a real fan of salvia. A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed highlighting sage, which is a great culinary salvia. This week I’m going talk about perennial salvia, another group of these great plants.
If you read this Southern Gardening column frequently, you realize that I grow much more than pretty flowers in my home garden. Besides ornamental plants, I love to grow vegetables that my wife and I can enjoy for dinner.
Salvia is one of the groups of plants that everyone should have in their landscape. This plant group has flowers with a wide-ranging color palette and different sizes. Salvias are loved -- by me especially -- because of their ability to attract pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Some of my favorite late-summer annuals are the ornamental peppers. These tough plants have to survive the heat and humidity of our Mississippi summers before they become the stars of my summer landscape.
We had another great weather weekend in the garden, and I spent a couple of days catching up on getting my Urban Nano Farm ready for spring. I’m almost finished repairing my fence after it was redesigned by Hurricane Zeta last year
The glorious gardening weekend we just enjoyed was certainly welcome after the recent cold weather that kept us out of the landscape.
I took advantage of the perfect weather and started on garden chores I’ve been putting off. My main accomplishment, which has been on my list for a while, was putting down fresh layers of mulch. It felt good because I have been accumulating bags of mulch, and the neatly stacked pile was pretty big.
After going through that recent cold snap, the glorious weather this past weekend has me wanting spring to get here as fast as possible. Visiting garden centers and seeing all the herb transplants means I just may get my spring wish.
The great winter storm of 2021 is finally over, and now we can finally get out into our gardens to survey the damage. And my goodness: I am getting so many questions about whether this plant or that plant is going to make it.
I have to admit that I can’t even remember the groundhog’s prediction when he was dragged out of his burrow in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Feb. 2. It seems we have experienced an entire year’s worth of weather conditions since that day.
You may have figured out by now that I am passionate growing plants in containers. Everything in my coastal Mississippi landscape and garden grows in some form of container. Growing in containers gives me the sense of control I want in the garden.
Regardless of what that darn groundhog predicts on Feb. 2, Mississippi gardeners are not going to enjoy an early spring because those prospects have already been dashed by the off and on cold weather.
Another garden disappointment is upon us, as February also marks crape murder season.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been encouraging home gardeners to be intentional with their garden and landscape activities this year. Like many others, I’ve spent these last weeks considering what I’m going to plant and grow in my own landscape this year.Among the plants I will definitely grow are my favorite Mississippi Medallion winners.
Garden and landscape planning for the 2021 season continues to move forward as we get closer to the day we can get back out into the garden full time.
If 2020 showed us one good thing, it’s that huge numbers of people discovered the joys and benefits of gardening. As the calendar moves into better gardening weather, I hope most of the new gardeners from 2020 will continue their gardening practices.