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Southern Gardening

Large, flat seeds are visible inside a paper packet.
December 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Besides this being the multiple holiday season with Christmas and then New Year’s back-to-back, it’s also the time when many gardeners start planning their landscapes and plantings for the coming year. One of my favorite things to do in past years was to gather all the seed catalogs and start dreaming.

Individual yellow blooms stand upright from green foliage.
December 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We’re in the season when social media is lit up with gorgeous images of flowering shrubs. The sasanqua camellias are particularly beautiful this fall, and how about the reblooming azaleas like Encore and newer Perfecto Mundo from Proven Winners?

Pink poinsettias.
December 6, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This is one of my favorite seasons -- but aren’t they all? -- for enjoying my membership in the horticulture community. Last week, Mississippi State University hosted the first of what we hope will be an annual Poinsettia Open House at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.

A head of cabbage grows in a garden.
November 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Even though I still have tomatoes and peppers producing in my home garden, I know these summer vegetables are on borrowed time. While I like being able to harvest tomatoes on Thanksgiving, it’s the time of year to appreciate the great cool-season vegetables we can grow.

A yellow bloom.
November 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This Thanksgiving week, I’m recovering from a particularly nasty infection in my leg. I’m not looking for sympathy, but it has given me the opportunity to think about what I’m thankful for in the garden and landscape.

This past weekend, the weather was glorious on the Coast, and I hobbled through my garden, which I hadn’t seen for a week.

Red, yellow and red flowers bloom in a raised bed.
November 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

When leaves fall and landscapes begin to look bare for winter, it can be easy to think it’s time to stay indoors. But fall is the ideal time for a variety of landscape chores. One job for chilly weather is planting and preparing for spring-flowering bulbs. This is an optimistic chore, as you get to prepare for blooms and beauty months away.

Fuzzy green patches grow on a branch.
November 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I usually don’t need a calendar to tell where we’re at in the four gardening seasons of the year. Each season fills my email inbox and social media channels with the current landscape and garden problems and concerns.

Round, red fruit grows on a branch.
November 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of the fun gardening activities I enjoy living on the Gulf Coast is collecting and growing interesting tropical and subtropical fruit trees. Earlier this year, I wrote about my cold-hardy avocados, and I’ve added new citrus trees to my “grove” that I will discuss in the future. But this week, I want to talk about a really interesting new addition to my collection, the Barbados cherry.

Red, orange and purple peppers rise from green foliage.
October 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As an ornamental horticulture guy, I’m always thinking about how to expand or extend the usefulness of our landscape and garden plants. I’ve been toying with a nontraditional use for ornamental peppers.

Purple blooms have small, yellow centers.
October 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I’m enjoying the changing weather that has finally arrived across Mississippi, and many of my summer annuals growing in planters and containers are getting a second wind. But, unfortunately for them, it’s time to get cool-season color planted. A popular cool-season flowering annual that I always count on are pansies.

A single pink bloom is surrounded by green leaves.
October 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Gardening in October brings many opportunities to change up the landscape for the cool season. But before we focus on pansies, violas and snapdragons, one of my favorite flowering landscape shrubs is just starting to show off.

Large, spiky, purple leaves fill the frame.
October 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I can’t deny that I love really, really dark landscape plant foliage. Any plant sporting burgundy- or maroon-colored leaves gets my attention. If you feel the same way, consider some of these plants to add to your home landscape.

A bright-yellow bush has red flowers stalks.
September 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

When we get into the fall of the year, many gardeners get tunnel vision and only look for cool-season color. I will soon write about some of my favorite annual color for the season, but today I want to remind home gardeners that fall is for planting. Fall is a great time to plan for and then plant colorful shrubs for next year and beyond. I’ve already seen a variety of flowering shrubs in garden centers.

These red and green leaves have ruffled edges.
September 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I took time to just enjoy my home landscape this last weekend. I put off chores just to take a look at some of my solid garden performers. Here’s what I observed. Coleus has become one of my go-to plants for looking great all summer and still going deep into the fall. Nobody can get bored with its kaleidoscope of colors and various leaf shapes.

Clumps of purple berries line a green branch.
September 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Lately, I’ve been browsing through gardening social media pages, and I’ve noticed lots of questions about this shrub that seems to have appeared out of nowhere with its beautiful purple berries. I love when people notice our native Callicarpa americana for the first time. Its common name,  American beautyberry, makes sense once you have seen the plant.

Green leaves are decorated with yellow or pink splotches.
September 3, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

My favorite plants for the fall season are crotons. These beauties have some of the boldest and brightest foliage found in garden centers. Their warm foliage colors of bright yellow, red and orange shades are perfect for autumnal decorations and displays

Round, yellow and green peppers grow on a bush.
August 30, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As I wrote this column, I also was watching the weather as Hurricane Ida aimed for the northern Gulf of Mexico. As such, I spent time in the garden picking and harvesting various crops that I don’t want to lose. One group of plants I harvested were my specialty peppers that I’ve been babying all through this hot and humid summer. I brought in both biquinho and aji charapita peppers.

Maroon and white flowers cover a carpet of green foliage.
August 23, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As we’re marching through the gardening year, I just knew it was going to happen. I’m not ready for it; it’s still too hot and humid, and I’m behind on the summer projects still on my to-do list. But when I visited a big box store garden center this weekend, I saw them out on full endcap display. Of course, I’m referring to fall mums.

A moth feeds from a purple bloom.
August 16, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the zinnias I’m growing in the hell strip planting bed out by the street. It is gorgeous; judging by the response we’ve had on social media, an awful lot of other gardeners agree.

After mowing my lawn yesterday and cooling off in the shade, I admired the colorful show from the various zinnias.

Lime green, ruffled leaves have reddish centers.
August 9, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

All the gardeners I know try really hard to keep their landscapes colorful even when the summer temperatures and humidity are keeping them inside. Smart gardeners use a secret weapon for color in the heat of the summer: colorful foliage.

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