You are here

Southern Gardening

A carpet of tiny green and purple plants fill garden trays.
March 23, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

With much of our workforce telecommuting from home and with school suspended or cancelled for the kids, cabin fever has already become an issue for many households.

A single, orange bloom is open against a background of green.
March 16, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

We are certainly experiencing troubling and scary times right now. “Quarantine,” “pandemic” and “social distancing” have become frequently used words, at least until we get a handle on COVID-19.

As a result, garden and landscape shows are being cancelled all across the South out of an abundance of caution. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has been cancelled.

Scores of purple flower spikes rise from a bed of green foliage.
March 9, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Sometimes it seems I need a larger garden landscape because, sadly, I don’t have room for every great plant I write about. But one group of plants I make sure to save space for is perennial salvia.

White and purple flower stalks are massed in a bed with a variety of pink flowers and different colors and shapes of green leaves.
March 2, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

March 1 was the meteorological first day of spring, and I found my thoughts wandering to those summer annuals I love so well. One of my cool-season favorites doesn’t last long past the last days of spring, but I know I have summer replacement.

Angelonia is a close relative of snapdragon that blooms all summer and into the fall. It is hard to believe that a plant in the snapdragon family relishes our summer heat and humidity, but this one does. Angelonia is a fantastic, easy-care annual that doesn’t need deadheading, which is always a positive in my garden choices.

Dozens of brightly colored flowers rise on long, slender stems from a mass planting in a flower bed.
February 24, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Zinnias are annual flowers that perform extremely well in our hot and humid Mississippi gardens and landscapes. In fact, home gardeners can have these beautiful flowers blooming from May all the way to frost in fall.

One group of zinnias that I can’t get enough of is the Zinnia elegans. These zinnias are the long-stemmed kind that are perfect for the cutting garden.

Slender, green seedlings grow in rows under lights in black trays marked by white tags.
February 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

I’ve promoted the 2020 Mississippi Medallion winners Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry and Luscious lantana for the last three weeks. Now, I want to tell you about the fourth and final 2020 selection, Garden Gem tomato.

This will come as a surprise to the Southern Gardening Nation, but I think I’m starting to like eating fresh tomatoes. I’m certainly looking forward to picking fresh Garden Gem tomatoes this summer.

A bumblebee climbs on a single, pink-and-orange cluster of blooms.
February 10, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of my favorite easy-care, flowering plants has to be lantana. This low-maintenance plant is highly tolerant of the hot, humid summers in our Mississippi gardens.

It’s no wonder that lantana has been selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner three times.

Small purple berries in clumps line branches with green leaves.
February 3, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Through February, I’m highlighting plants named 2020 Mississippi Medallion winners. Each of these winners is superbly adapted to our garden and landscape environment.

This week, I want to tell you about American beautyberry, a winner that is a native species found across the Southeast. It is known botanically as Callicarpa americana.

Maroon veins stand out on a sea of chartreuse leaves.
January 27, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of introducing the 2020 Mississippi Medallion Winners at the Gulf States Hort Expo in Mobile, Alabama. This is a special group of selections, as the Mississippi Medallion program is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.

The plants selected for 2020 include Colorblaze coleus, beautyberry, Luscious Series lantana and Garden Gem tomato.

Different varieties of pink and white dianthus flowers.
January 17, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I don’t think you can go wrong with some dianthus in your landscape in 2020.

I love the flower colors that include pink, red, lavenders, white, and bicolors. The foliage of these plants ranges from being grass-like to broader strap-like linear leaves. Plus, the foliage provides contrast with colors ranging from bright green to steely blue-gray.

There are some great selections that will do a fantastic job in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes especially in the cooler months of the year.

A multicolored orange bloom is fully open over green leaves.
January 13, 2020 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Now that we’re fully into January, it’s time to get serious about planning our gardens for 2020.

I’ve made a long list of vegetable, flower and herb seeds I’ll be ordering in the next several weeks. Many of these will be strictly for one season.

A curving brick walkway lined with plants leads up to a porch.
January 6, 2020 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

In the gym this morning, I noticed there were many, many more people exercising than usual. It struck me that these folks were following through on their New Year’s resolutions to improve themselves for 2020 -- at least for a while.

Small planters in a row overflow with young lettuce plants.
December 30, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

As we approach the end of the year 2019, I’ve been reflecting on gardens and gardening in general. I wrote several weeks ago about the changing attitudes and current perceptions that home gardeners have about their landscapes and gardens

Dozens of blue flowers bloom over green leaves.
December 23, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Our Mississippi landscapes and gardens really had a tough year in 2019.

A cluster of green kale plants with white centers.
December 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Greens

I’m continuing to catch up with my landscape and garden work after an extremely busy fall and early winter season. This past weekend was perfect to get some much-needed cool-season color planted.

Purple, red and yellow stems are topped by rich green leaves.
December 9, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

Winter is finally here, whether you go by the meteorological date of Dec.1 or the upcoming astrological date of Dec. 21. To me, it means that I’m going to enjoy the freshly harvested cool-season greens from my little urban farm.

A branch with green leaves and dozens of clusters of red berries is in the foreground of an outdoor parking area.
December 2, 2019 - Filed Under: Landscape and Garden Design

I love when the calendar strikes December 1, because it means we are officially in the Christmas season. Now, I know it seems like many stores have had their holiday decorations out since before Labor Day, but none of that counts until we get to December.

Small, flat blooms of white and lavender rise above a bed of green leaves.
November 25, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

For cool-season color, you can’t beat the old-fashioned plants our grandparents called Johnny jump-ups. We now call these pansy cousins violas, and they give the home garden big color.

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 temperatures 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.

Pages

Southern Gardening Archive