I have to admit most of my gardening life can be summed up by this saying that someone shared with me on social media: “Real gardeners buy at least 10,000 plants in the course of a lifetime without having the least idea where they’ll put any of them when they get home.”
I guess I’m a real gardener. To tell you the truth, I can’t help it when I go to the garden and see all the annual color each season, along with the perennials promising to return to the landscape.
This past weekend the Garden Extravaganza was held in Jackson, and I have to say I’m feeling really inspired.
There were literally thousands of brightly colored flowering plants all begging to be taken home. Of course, I bought a few flats of calibrachoas (mainly Holy Moly!, which I described in last week’s column) and some new Supertunias.
Now is the time to start planning for the color punch that most gardeners want in the upcoming warm summer season.
This weekend will be the first big opportunity to look at the newest and brightest of the summer color when the Garden Extravaganza garden show kicks off March 18-20 at the Trade Mart in Jackson. Shows like this give home gardeners the opportunity to look at a lot of plants in one convenient location. More and more summer color is starting to show up in the garden centers, so don’t get left behind and having to choose from the leftovers.
As I walked around my landscape this weekend, I was really impressed with how my three winter staples -- pansies, violas and Telstar dianthuses -- are enjoying the lengthening days and a little bit of warmer weather.
They are blooming like crazy, almost in response to what I’ve been thinking: It’s time to start planning and planting the warm-season annuals.
What does a warm, early-spring weekend and home gardeners itching to get out and plant something add up to? You’re correct if you answered all kinds of plants ready to go on the racks at your local garden center.
Now, I wasn’t out plant shopping this weekend, but that’s exactly what I saw during my trip to pick up new fence pickets to make some repairs.
It’s that time of year when gardeners across the state start planning their vegetable gardens.
After I wrote last week about the heirloom tomato Cherokee Purple being chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner, I’ve dreamed about the heirloom tomatoes destined to become my tasty chili and spaghetti sauce next winter.
As gardeners across the state are starting spring planting, I want to urge everyone to consider the plants selected as Mississippi Medallion winners for 2016: Serenita Angelonia, muscadine, rosemary, Drift roses and Cherokee Purple tomato.
Every gardener I know is asking the same question: When’s spring going to get here?
No doubt we are getting close as we wait breathlessly this week for the prognostication of Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow and whether or not we can look forward to six more weeks of winter weather.
One of the grandest and maybe gaudiest garden and landscape shows is the blooming of the Southern indica azaleas, especially in south Mississippi.
For most of the year, these shrubs play a supporting role in the landscape, which they do well, providing a great background for the warmer-season flowering plants. But in the spring when really nothing else is blooming, we can enjoy the Southern indica flower show.
With cooler weather finally showing up over the Christmas holidays, I’m going to share a few thoughts and ideas to start in on the garden this first week of 2016.
It was 50 degrees and cloudy on the coast the first weekend of the year, and I thought it felt too cold to actually get out and take care of a few chores. Instead, I walked around the house and garden and made a list of things I need to do.
Like many home gardeners, I believe I’ll always remember the name of every plant I bring home from the garden center.
Sadly, I found out early in my horticulture career that I was terribly mistaken. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in my landscape scratching my head, racking my brain and wondering just what the name of that plant is.
At the beginning of a new year, perhaps the best resolution any home gardener can make is to finally use plant tags and markers.
We’ve been lucky so far to enjoy a fairly mild beginning to the cool season in the landscape.
In my coastal garden, my Rio Pink dipladenia continues to brighten my garden, growing in its half-barrel container. Other absolute stellar performers are my two large firecracker plants. They have provided nonstop bumblebee action, and the plants are actually humming as I walk by.
Driving around Mississippi’s coastal counties has reminded me that we are in the middle of the red berry season. Yaupon hollies have translucent red berries that sparkle like landscape jewels, and Nellie R. Stevens have dark, glossy-green foliage that provides the perfect background for bright-red berries.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the chance to get back into my garden and landscape after what seemed like a horticultural marathon that began in mid-July. While I hadn’t totally neglected my chores, there was still plenty to do.I harvested the remaining fall crop of heirloom tomatoes and removed the plants growing in my self-watering patio containers. I then proceeded to my citrus grove; understand that I use the term “grove” lightly, as it consists of two Satsuma oranges, two Meyer lemons and a kumquat.
This week, I’ve been taking what I’d like to think is a well-earned vacation. But even though I’m technically “off the clock,” I’m still finding interesting ideas to try in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes.
Since we’re heading into the much cooler winter months, I’ve come across several clever uses of unusual planting combinations we can enjoy indoors.
Let’s face it: Gardeners like to talk about their gardens, and I’m no different. We all like to brag about our garden successes and ask questions about how to improve. Through email and social media, I get many gardening questions throughout the year.
These questions concern landscape issues, plant care and plant identification. I enjoy answering questions and helping home gardeners to be successful in their gardening endeavors in Mississippi and beyond.
That change in the seasons is an inevitable event as we move into the later months of the year. But I’m not referring to the time of year when we start planting all of the gorgeous cool-season bedding plants like pansies, violas and dianthus. The change I’m talking about is from Halloween to Christmas; it seems like it happened overnight. Maybe it had something to do with the time change, that whole falling back that also occurred this past weekend.
I talked last week about how pansies are perfect bedding plants for the cool season in our Mississippi landscapes and gardens. This week, I want to draw attention to the viola, another favorite cool-season bedding plant that is closely related to the pansy.
Most gardeners I know call violas by their common name, Johnny jump ups. They get this name because they are prolific seed producers. It seems wherever I have planted them in my yard, they continue to reappear for at least a couple more years.
The weather could not have better for the Fall Flower and Garden Fest in Crystal Springs this year. Thousands of people attending the Oct. 16-17 event enjoyed clear, blue skies and bright sunshine. The fall-like temperature felt great as I talked with fellow gardeners.
Many people asked me about pansies. Most of the plant vendors had gorgeous pansies for sale, and home gardeners wondered if it was a good time to plant pansies. My answer to every one of them was a resounding, YES! Mid-October is the perfect time to plant pansies in your Mississippi landscape.