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Southern Gardening

Long, narrow orange and red leaves dangle from branches.
November 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Plants and Wildlife

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.

A close-up photo of a green cucumber growing on a vine with another visible in the background.
November 11, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

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.

A single, delicate yellow bloom is centered in a frame filled with other yellow blooms and green foliage.
November 4, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Earlier this year, we were enjoying a cool and wet spring, and then one day, WHAM! We were thrown into a full-blown hot and dry summer that seemed never-ending.

Several spidery, red blooms rise on slender stems above a grassy background.
October 28, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Flowery grasses glow pink as they are backlit by the sun.
October 21, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

More than a dozen purple blooms stand above feathery green foliage.
October 14, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We have finally gotten some cool, fall weather, and it’s time to start planting our cool-season color, but sometimes we need to enjoy the summer color that’s getting its second wind.

A white flower with a red center blooms among green leaves on red stems.
October 7, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of my favorite flowering landscape and garden plants has to be hibiscus, but hibiscus doesn’t refer to only one plant.

A black butterfly with red and white spots stands on top of a single orange bloom.
September 30, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Yellow and orange flowers bloom above green leaves.
September 23, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

A shallow, red, wooden box rises at waist level above a green lawn and is full of orange blooms and lush, green plants.
September 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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?

White spots line all sides of a narrow branch seen in the foreground of a tree beside the road.
September 9, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

A round cluster of red, tubular flowers rises above a sea of lime green leaves.
September 3, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

About 10 years ago while attending a meeting in Miami, I had the opportunity to tour around south Florida, sightseeing and enjoying the horticulture.

Clusters of small, reddish-purple berries line branches among a sea of green leaves.
August 26, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

A clump of large caladium leaves with green edges and pink centers growing out of a bed of pine straw.
August 19, 2019 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

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.

Plants with mostly yellow peppers and some orange and red peppers perched on a bed of pine straw.
August 12, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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!

Five red radishes with green shoots rest on a black mat.
August 5, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of the most fun things to do in the garden is to share stories. One of the best ones I have heard and shared is about my search for the long-lost Long Beach Red radish.

A cluster of orange flowers with red stamens.
July 29, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

While Pride of Barbados thrives in deserts and the tropics, I believe we could also appreciate its beauty in Mississippi landscapes.

Five tall, bright-green banana plants with large leaves stand prominently in a flower bed.
July 22, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I’m getting more questions about growing bananas, which means Mississippi gardeners are interested in creating a tropical feeling in our landscapes.

A bed of yellow flowers with green leaves.
July 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Let’s face it: We’re in the middle of the dog days of summer, and it’s not even August yet!

This is the time of year when my favorite Supertunias -- even my beloved Vista Bubblegum -- are starting to fade. 

A single, large bloom in orange, red and brown commands the center of this photo, with others of similar color in the background.
July 8, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Summer has hit us with a vengeance this year.

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