I am thoroughly thankful I made the move to coastal Mississippi a dozen years ago. One of my truly enjoyable fall pursuits happens after the temperature have gotten chilly. On bright, sunny fall days, I really like driving on Highway 90 to my office at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi along the Gulf of Mexico.
This past weekend, I had the privilege and pleasure of being an invited speaker at the Gardening for Life Symposium hosted by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. I was a member of a diverse group of speakers from across the country.
I love the autumn season because we’re starting to recover from Mississippi’s hot and humid summer with cooler weather. Not only do gardeners appreciate the season change, but so do many of our landscape plants.
If there is a showier plant in the fall than our Mississippi native Gulf muhly grass, I don’t know what it is. Since it is a native, it was not bred for any particular characteristic but struts its stuff naturally.
I had the opportunity this past weekend to speak at the Butterflies in the Pass Monarch Festival in Pass Christian. The monarch butterfly may be the most recognized and loved insect in the United States.
Fall has officially arrived, although temperatures remain summerish. But when the calendar changes, it’s time to start thinking about the cool-season annual colors to be planted and enjoyed during the winter months.
How to Build a Salad TableMost of my Southern Gardening columns share tips about great ornamental plants that should be grown in all landscapes and gardens in Mississippi and the entire Southeast. But every once in a while, I like to share ideas for being more successful in your home vegetable garden, because who doesn’t enjoy homegrown veggies?
This weekend while driving in my hometown of Ocean Springs, I looked at the crape myrtles planted in the median all along Highway 90. I noticed that most of the trees had a dark cast to them, even on a bright, sunny morning.
One of my favorite Mississippi native plants is just starting to show its true landscape value. Of course, I’m referring to our native Callicarpa americana, known commonly and affectionately as the American beautyberry.
In recent years, gardeners everywhere have seen quite a few plants that were once grown only in shady conditions come out into the sunshine. Sunpatiens were my first experience with these now sun lovers.
The late summer garden and landscape in Mississippi can be a tough place. Extreme heat and humidity result in heat index numbers that keep me, like many other gardeners, indoors enjoying the air conditioning.
But, I can take solace in knowing that, while many of my flowering summer annuals are starting to succumb to the heat, my ornamental peppers will be growing strong. What a great selection for any later summer garden!