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Southern Gardening

Ruffled edges of lichen cover the top of a wooden birdhouse.
October 26, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

Lots has changed during this year of the COVID-19 pandemic. For one thing, there has been a dramatic increase in interest in the home landscape and garden. People are spending more time in the garden and actually taking a look at what’s going on. In fact, gardeners are taking very close looks, which can result in them finding things that some think can only occur in the crazy COVID year. And believe me, I gets calls and emails about them all.

One thing that causes the most landscape consternation is lichen.

Small, leafy greens grow in a blue container.
October 19, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Flower Gardens

Last week, I sang the praises of my favorite cool-season vegetable and explained how it is both edible and ornamental. Kale is a multitasking super food that is really easy to grow from seed. But there are other great cool-season vegetables like lettuce and collards. I consider these must-haves for my garden, and they also are easy to grow from seed, especially in containers.

Plants with ruffled, purple leaves and ruffled, green leaves.
October 12, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This weekend, I was excited to see that one of my favorite fall/winter vegetables is beginning to play a prominent role -- if not center stage -- in my ornamental landscape and culinary garden. Of course, I’m referring to kale.

An individual red bloom is in focus in front of other, scattered red blooms.
October 5, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of the attributes I look for when choosing annual color plants is how hardworking they will be in my home landscape.
While I know garden chores are an integral part of the landscape game, I like my garden and landscape to be relaxing. I don’t like to change out color every month. If you do, that’s fine, and you might not be interested in what I have to say next. But I personally like easy.

Orange flowers are arranged in rows on vertical stems.
September 28, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I like growing snapdragons when the seasons shift to cool weather. The colorful flowers are like a floral kaleidoscope in the landscape.

Three panels display colorful green, yellow and purple foliage.
September 21, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

What a rollercoaster last week was for Southern Gardening!

My column highlighted the steps gardeners should take ahead of a tropical storm. We cancelled Southern Gardening TV production, as coastal Mississippi was in the crosshairs of Hurricane Sally on Monday and the weather folks were assuring us of a Mississippi landfall.

A clear panel covers a window on the exterior of a house.
September 14, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I write this while contemplating what a wild year 2020 has been. There’s no need to remind anyone about the pandemic that has literally changed our landscape.

The next big thing is Hurricane Sally making landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this week. Every tropical storm or hurricane creates landscape and garden chores that need to be finished before the storm arrives.

My biggest concern is always for the wind blowing loose objects around and causing damage.

A yellow-and-black-striped caterpillar rests on a stem in a cluster of orange and yellow flowers.
September 7, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Many of my gardening friends are already on the lookout for the annual migration of Monarch butterflies on their way to their Mexico wintering grounds. Witnessing this migration is awe-inspiring.

Last year towards the end of September, clouds of Monarchs made their way through Mississippi.

Dozens of pink flowers in clusters rise above green foliage.
August 31, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We’re already into our September garden, and lots of great things are going to happen.

As temperatures finally start to moderate -- my fingers are crossed -- most of our summer flowering annuals that look ragged after surviving the heat and humidity will start to perk up. I think of this as our flowering annuals getting their second wind.

A plant with dark, almost purple leaves has large, pink blooms with red centers.
August 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Coronavirus, Flower Gardens

I’ve been thinking about the whole COVID-19 pandemic experience we’ve endured for the last several months -- like social distancing and face masks -- and the activities we look forward to enjoying once again.

Round, orange blooms cover a plant in a landscape bed with purple blooms and large, green foliage.
August 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Late summer means it’s time for another round of garden activities.

This past weekend, I finally transplanted my fall tomato crop. Several varieties of heirloom determinant tomatoes will start producing about the third week of September and continue all the way to the first hard frost.

Small clusters of tiny flowers extend uniformly out from a wispy center stalk.
August 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens

In the late summer and into the fall, some of my favorite garden plants are the annual herbs.

On top of my list of annual herbs are basil and dill. These herbs are aromatic and really easy to grow. And have I said they’re delicious?

Red and black fruit rise vertically above green leaves.
August 3, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Flower Gardens

Last week, I told you about culinary peppers that I like to grow and ultimately consume. This week, I want to share another way to use peppers in our second summer garden and landscape.

A slender, green pepper sits atop a collection of yellow, red and orange peppers.
July 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Other Vegetables, Flower Gardens

It’s the end of July, and much of my vegetable garden is a distant memory due to the summer heat and humidity. But I’m always encouraged by the production I enjoy from my pepper plants.

A large, peach-colored flower blooms wide open against dark-green leaves.
July 20, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I’m staying with the theme of second summer this week because I was out in my landscape early this morning taking care of a task that was hard to do but inevitable.

A cluster of unopened buds is seen next to blooms rising from burgundy foliage.
July 6, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of my landscape joys is growing plants that share their big flowers with me.

Tomatoes line a branch in two rows, with colors ranging from red to green.
June 29, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Each year as we approach Independence Day, my landscape and garden begin a transition to what I like to call “second summer.” This is due to the heat and humidity that set in anywhere from late April to mid-May.

Delicate, funnel-shaped blue flowers line the upright stalks of a plant.
June 22, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Everyone has a certain color that is their absolute favorite, and I’m no different. And while I really like the entire palette of colors available for our gardens and landscape, the one color I must have is blue.

A single flower with yellow petals and a green center blooms above green foliage.
June 15, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Over the last several months, I’ve been spending even more time in my home garden and landscape, and many of you may have done the same. But the pesky, hot summer temperatures have finally settled in, and now I’m looking for plants that look good in the heat without needing much supervision.

A large hardwood tree is snapped off and lays on the ground beside a house.
June 8, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Trees

Last week was the traditional start of the storm season, and as if on cue, Tropical Storm Cristobal paid us a visit.

This storm surprised us with a greater amount of coastal flooding than expected; and the rain, oh the rain. The Gulf Coast collected 6 inches in a 24-hour period, which was less than forecasted, but it still creates havoc in the landscape and garden.

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