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Southern Gardening

A variety of flowers are lined with wood.
January 31, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Although daffodils are starting to show their tops through the bare ground, watching them emerge does not give gardeners much to do during the winter months.

But this time spent waiting for spring’s arrival is the perfect opportunity to get ready for the growing season. A project every gardener will benefit from is building a raised bed.

A raised bed is simply a landscape or garden bed that is higher than the surrounding grade. These beds are useful for both vegetables and flowers.

Tiny, red plant sprouts have been cut and placed in a pile.
January 24, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

If you’re the kind of gardener who has something fresh from the backyard on the table almost every day of summer, January meals can seem a little dreary. One way to keep fresh home produce on your plate all winter long is by growing microgreens. It does not take a lot of effort or space, and the colorful and tasty results can have a big impact at mealtime.

Mulch surrounds small flowering plants.
January 14, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

Early in the gardening year is the best time to tackle some gardening tasks before we go all-in planting our color and vegetables. Mulching your landscape beds should be at the top of that spring checklist.

Low plants are covered in yellow and purple blooms.
January 10, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I follow a checklist for many of the plants I consider using in my coastal Ocean Springs garden and landscape each year. The plants need to thrive in heat and humidity, be drought tolerant and not need much garden supervision. In other words, plants in my yard have got to be tough. 

A single pink rose bloom.
January 3, 2022 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

As I was thinking over the holidays about how my 2022 home garden will look, I was still harvesting heirloom tomatoes and various peppers from my 2021 garden. Can you imagine collecting fresh tomatoes and peppers on Christmas Day, let alone on New Year’s Day?

But that all came to an end when temperatures dropped on Sunday from 78 to 35 with a 27-degree wind chill. Now, I can get back to my 2022 garden planning.

A hanging basket is filled with pink blooms.
December 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Large, flat seeds are visible inside a paper packet.
December 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Individual yellow blooms stand upright from green foliage.
December 13, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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?

Pink poinsettias.
December 6, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

A head of cabbage grows in a garden.
November 29, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

A yellow bloom.
November 22, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Red, yellow and red flowers bloom in a raised bed.
November 15, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Fuzzy green patches grow on a branch.
November 8, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Round, red fruit grows on a branch.
November 1, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Red, orange and purple peppers rise from green foliage.
October 25, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Purple blooms have small, yellow centers.
October 18, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

A single pink bloom is surrounded by green leaves.
October 11, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

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.

Large, spiky, purple leaves fill the frame.
October 4, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I can’t deny that I love really, really dark landscape plant foliage. Any plant sporting burgundy- or maroon-colored leaves gets my attention. If you feel the same way, consider some of these plants to add to your home landscape.

A bright-yellow bush has red flowers stalks.
September 27, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

When we get into the fall of the year, many gardeners get tunnel vision and only look for cool-season color. I will soon write about some of my favorite annual color for the season, but today I want to remind home gardeners that fall is for planting. Fall is a great time to plan for and then plant colorful shrubs for next year and beyond. I’ve already seen a variety of flowering shrubs in garden centers.

These red and green leaves have ruffled edges.
September 20, 2021 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

I took time to just enjoy my home landscape this last weekend. I put off chores just to take a look at some of my solid garden performers. Here’s what I observed. Coleus has become one of my go-to plants for looking great all summer and still going deep into the fall. Nobody can get bored with its kaleidoscope of colors and various leaf shapes.

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