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Southern Gardening

June 12, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Heirloom plants are making huge comebacks for gardeners everywhere, particularly in the South.

One heirloom plant regaining attention is the Vitex agnus-cactus, or the Lilac Chaste tree. They are for sale at many nurseries, but you probably don't recognize this member of the verbena family.

The gorgeous, lilac-blue flowers are fragrant and produce over a long period during the summer. Even the leaves release a spicy odor when crushed.

June 5, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Weeds by any other name often do smell as sweet. The name "weed" conjures up thoughts of nutgrass, Johnson grass, crabgrass and dandelions. Weeds we love to hate.

Butterfly weed and Joe Pye weed are at least two instances where taxonomists or botanists gave plants names that turn off gardeners, but butterflies (and many gardeners) love these two Mississippi natives.

May 29, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

California is home to two of the most beautiful trees in the world, the redwood and the giant sequoia. If you have ever seen them, you were probably like me and just stood there in awe.

More than likely you returned to Mississippi wishing you could grow such spectacular trees. You can. Both the redwood and sequoia are in the redwood family.

May 22, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Some of our best summer color can be grown in the shade or partially shady areas.

Impatiens are impressive with their vibrant colors that can yield tremendous floral displays in the fall if watered thoroughly throughout the summer. The plants need a well-drained, organic amended bed. Space plants 15 to 20 inches apart depending on the variety.

May 15, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many of the tropical plants grown in the beautiful Caribbean islands are for sale at your local garden center and nursery. With careful thought and planning, you can create your own little garden of paradise.

Thanks to 250 plus days between freezing temperatures, and more than 50 inches of annual rainfall, Mississippi is a great place to create a mini Montego Bay in the landscape.

May 8, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many plants are good for attracting butterflies.

The hummingbird clethra is a butterfly plant you need to try for beauty, fragrance and ease of growing. It provides spicy-fragrant flowers during July and August when color and fragrance are limited.

May 1, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A reader asked me to put together a list of my top 10 flowers to try in 1997. Since people accuse me of never meeting a plant I don't like, selecting favorites was a huge challenge.

But here's my list.

April 24, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Strawberry jars can be the focal point of your porch, patio or deck. Before you're distracted by visions of tiny plants in glass jelly jars, let me explain what a strawberry jar is.

A strawberry jar is a terra-cotta pot with fairly large holes around it. They come in 1, 2, 3 and 5 gallon sizes. Many of you pass them by because those holes look like more of a problem than a wonderful opportunity, or you have no intention of planting strawberries.

April 17, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Fertilizing our lawns, gardens and landscape plantings is one of homeowners least understood practices. Every year countless home gardeners apply fertilizer and cross their fingers for good luck.

While managing a tourist site with 61 rose gardens, I noticed a huge difference in the plants' performance based on proper fertilizing efforts. The gardens mostly had been taken care of by volunteers.

April 10, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

There's a new belle in the South, and her name is not Scarlet. This time it's New Wonder, Scaevola aemula, an Australian import that's drawing widespread attention in the floral industry.

New Wonder recently garnered top honors from the Cooperative Extension Services in Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia where it was named Mississippi Medallion, Louisiana Select and Georgia Gold Medal Winner for 1997.

April 3, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Tapien verbena is all the rage at nurseries and with home gardeners across the state. Tapien was hybridized in Japan by the same breeders that brought us the Surfinia petunias.

Limited supplies were available last year and Tapiens quickly sold out as gardeners were amazed at the profusion of blooms. They are available at most nurseries right now, but I suspect they will disappear fast again.

March 27, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Mulching is one of the most important things we can do for our shrubs, trees and flower beds, and planting time is a good chance to show you care.

Buying mulch or landscape soil mix can be a challenge when you don't know how much you need. People often try to look like they know what they are doing even when they don't.

March 20, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Phlox are some of the most beautiful flowers in the world, and Mother Nature endowed the United States with an abundance of species. Thanks to the diligent work of hybrid developers, we have hundreds of selections to choose from.

March 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

All landscapes reach a point where they need a little re-engineering. A tornado destroyed giant trees in our yard before we bought the house and repair efforts continue each year.

Re-engineering is a popular word today. Corporations use it to describe changes they are making in their market focus or their corporate structure. Re-engineering basically means looking at where you are and assessing how you can capitalize on what you have.

March 6, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Have you ever shopped for a house and discovered you liked the ones with gorgeous landscapes better? Homes with attractive landscapes generally bring a premium price.

While we don't necessarily plant a landscape to help sell our home, we should avoid anything that hurts our investment, including a mundane landscape.

February 20, 1997 - Filed Under: Fruit, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Peaches and plums grow well in Mississippi and can be an asset to the home garden if placed correctly. Gardeners must pay close attention to the basics of site selection, varieties, weed control, irrigation and pest management to produce high quality fruit.

Good soil drainage is imperative since wet feet spell doom. Soils with standing water or ones that remain saturated for even a day or two following a heavy rain are unsuitable for fruit trees.

February 13, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many of you probably get intense about gardening, especially when you see pests attacking. But there is a different kind of intensive gardening catching on in the South.

French intensive, square-foot, interplanting, vertical, wide-row, gardening by the yard and succession planting are all names for intensive gardening.

February 6, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The petunia has been one of the most popular annual flowers ever to grace our gardens. Whether edging a flower bed, covering bare ground, or spilling over a container or hanging basket, petunias give us some of our best color.

Taking into consideration the new vigorous petunias like Purple Wave and Surfinias, the petunias we know today are a far cry from the ones our ancestors grew.

January 30, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Little Gem southern magnolia has been chosen as a 1997 Mississippi Medallion award winner. This is the first woody ornamental to win the award.

This southern magnolia will fit into almost any landscape and bloom continuously throughout the growing season. The southern magnolia is one of the South's prized trees, but they are very large. The National Champion is in Mississippi and is more than 122 feet tall and has a crown width of 63 feet.

January 23, 1997 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As vegetable gardening season rapidly approaches, it's time to decide whether to use transplants or direct seed. If you are as anxious as I am to get under way, then you might consider growing transplants.

Almost everything can be sown directly into the garden, but there are some vegetables that do better when transplanted. These include several of the most popular vegetables.

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Southern Gardening Archive