Southern Gardening from 2021
Gardening in October brings many opportunities to change up the landscape for the cool season. But before we focus on pansies, violas and snapdragons, one of my favorite flowering landscape shrubs is just starting to show off.
I’m enjoying the changing weather that has finally arrived across Mississippi, and many of my summer annuals growing in planters and containers are getting a second wind. But, unfortunately for them, it’s time to get cool-season color planted. A popular cool-season flowering annual that I always count on are pansies.
As an ornamental horticulture guy, I’m always thinking about how to expand or extend the usefulness of our landscape and garden plants. I’ve been toying with a nontraditional use for ornamental peppers.
One of the fun gardening activities I enjoy living on the Gulf Coast is collecting and growing interesting tropical and subtropical fruit trees. Earlier this year, I wrote about my cold-hardy avocados, and I’ve added new citrus trees to my “grove” that I will discuss in the future. But this week, I want to talk about a really interesting new addition to my collection, the Barbados cherry.
I usually don’t need a calendar to tell where we’re at in the four gardening seasons of the year. Each season fills my email inbox and social media channels with the current landscape and garden problems and concerns.
When leaves fall and landscapes begin to look bare for winter, it can be easy to think it’s time to stay indoors. But fall is the ideal time for a variety of landscape chores. One job for chilly weather is planting and preparing for spring-flowering bulbs. This is an optimistic chore, as you get to prepare for blooms and beauty months away.
This Thanksgiving week, I’m recovering from a particularly nasty infection in my leg. I’m not looking for sympathy, but it has given me the opportunity to think about what I’m thankful for in the garden and landscape.
This past weekend, the weather was glorious on the Coast, and I hobbled through my garden, which I hadn’t seen for a week.
Even though I still have tomatoes and peppers producing in my home garden, I know these summer vegetables are on borrowed time. While I like being able to harvest tomatoes on Thanksgiving, it’s the time of year to appreciate the great cool-season vegetables we can grow.
This is one of my favorite seasons -- but aren’t they all? -- for enjoying my membership in the horticulture community. Last week, Mississippi State University hosted the first of what we hope will be an annual Poinsettia Open House at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville.
We’re in the season when social media is lit up with gorgeous images of flowering shrubs. The sasanqua camellias are particularly beautiful this fall, and how about the reblooming azaleas like Encore and newer Perfecto Mundo from Proven Winners?
Besides this being the multiple holiday season with Christmas and then New Year’s back-to-back, it’s also the time when many gardeners start planning their landscapes and plantings for the coming year. One of my favorite things to do in past years was to gather all the seed catalogs and start dreaming.
I like to close every year with a look back at plants that were some of the solid performers and those that were surprises in my landscape and garden. I’ve shared most, if not all, of these plant observations with the Southern Gardening Nation in the hope that my experience gives you some great choices for your home landscape.