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Southern Gardening

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.

A group of white flowers with bold, pink stripes is pictured against a garden background.
July 1, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As my wife and I traveled around the Southeast last week visiting family and old friends, one stop was especially memorable.

Two flowers with white petals and spiky, orange centers rise on tall stems above a blurred-out green background.
June 24, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This past week, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Washington, D.C., while I stayed in Alexandria, Virginia. I was in town because the American Horticultural Society selected me, the Southern Gardener, to receive the Great American Gardener B.Y. Morrison Communication Award.

I grew up horticulturally deficient, so being named a Great American Gardener is extremely humbling. I truly enjoy promoting plants and ways to find gardening success to Mississippi and beyond.

A thumb and fingers hold back the pink petals of a flower to reveal the spiny, orange center.
June 17, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

In my role as the Southern Gardener, I get to share many great plants all across Mississippi and beyond. Some are new and some are old reliables, but all get to be called my favorite landscape plants from time to time.

One thing is for sure: All of these plants are Southern Gardening Approved.

A pink flower in the foreground with foliage out of focus in the back.
June 10, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

The fourth and last column in our hibiscus series focuses on a woody species, Hibiscus mutabilis or confederate rose.

A single large bloom with red-tinged edges and a red center opens against a green background with a single bud above it.
June 3, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Week three of the Southern Gardening tour of hibiscus brings the spotlight on the hardy hibiscus. This easy-to-grow ornamental is largely unknown to many home gardeners, but with the impact they can have in any landscape, I think every garden should have at least one hardy hibiscus.

Five bright orange-red petals surround a tall stamen that is dark red at the base and yellow at the tip. Dark green leaves surround the flower.
May 27, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

This is week two of the "Tour de Hibiscus," featuring great choices for our Mississippi gardens and landscapes. I don't know any home gardener who can resist the colorful flowers of Cajun hibiscus plants, with equally colorful names like Hoochie Papa, Peppermint Patty and Crawfish Pie.

Nearly a dozen light-pink flowers with dark-pink centers grow in a large circular container.
May 20, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

One of the plant groups I love to grow in my home landscape is the hibiscus. To that end, I'm going to dedicate the next several columns to different options of these beautiful flowering shrubs that are available for the home gardener

Dozens of small, orange, tube-shaped flowers line the upright branches of a small bush.
May 13, 2019 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

Last week, I had the pleasure of being the kick-starter speaker for the Mississippi Master Gardener State Conference. My wide-ranging presentation included some of my recommendations of sure-fire, must-have plants for your landscape and garden, all Mississippi Medallion plants.
 

Round, yellow flowers made up of tiny blooms cover a low-lying, green plant growing from brown pine straw.
May 6, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design

One group of landscape plants that is really starting to take off with its summer show is the lantana. These popular landscape plants are available in a dizzying variety of sizes and colors.

About two dozen upright flowers are in front of sea of red flowers out of focus in the background.
April 29, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Over the past couple of years, I’ve found myself joining home gardeners everywhere in planting more plants to attract pollinators.

In fact, along with being a stop on the Rosalyn Carter Butterfly Trail, my home landscape is also registered with the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, which has the goal of registering 1 million pollinator gardens. If you’d like to register your garden, go to http://millionpollinatorgardens.org for more information.

A single rose in peach tones blooms against a blurry green background.
April 22, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Last week, I really enjoyed sharing the story of the Peggy Martin rose and showing off this marvelous rose growing in my home landscape. I think Southern Gardening Nation liked the Peggy Martin story, as well, based on the positive response from the various social media outlets.

So I'm staying on the same plant theme this week to discuss garden roses that can bring enjoyment to the home gardener.

Numerous pink roses flowers bloom on light-green leaves against a gray wood fence.
April 15, 2019 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Peggy Martin roses are called climbers, but this term is a little misleading as she doesn’t actually climb by herself. This rose is more of a leaner and likes to sprawl. It needs to be secured and trained to grow up and over a wall, fence or trellis.

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