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Southern Gardening

The aucuba is one of the best shrubs for the South, even though it comes from the Himalayas and Japan.
January 28, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

To be perfectly honest, sometimes there needs to be a little more sex in the garden. Yes, gardeners, we need to discuss the "birds and the bees."

We cannot escape the challenge of male and female relationships, even in the garden. This is most evident in the large, bright red fruit on the aucuba. Well, you didn't think I was talking about human relationships, did you?

Ball Flora Plant, a division of Ball Seed, is introducing the Suncatcher series of petunias . These are large showy petunias that bring a bright, colorful impact to the garden or basket.
January 21, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Bountiful blooming baskets of color are becoming the rage all across the nation. You may have seen the baskets in British Columbia, Seattle and Portland and wondered if we could do the same but perhaps lacked the confidence to try.

Bromeliads come in a wide variety of bloom shapes, sizes and colors, and they really are easier to grow than many think.
January 14, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This time of the year tends to make me a little grouchy, especially when I wake up to 16 degrees outside. My complaining makes gardeners from the north start tuning up for a chorus of "My Heart Bleeds for You." This season will make me love spring all the more, but when August comes, I will whine about the oppressive heat and humidity.

Consider the white, summer-blooming Hymenocallis species.
January 7, 2002 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many books are written to build readers' self esteem, and I want to do the same for bold gardeners considering doing something radical by saying it is cool to have spider lilies.

Since the first of the year is kind of a down time in the garden, I want to give you something to ponder for spring. Consider planting one of the native spider lilies. The first spider lily you think of may be the red, fall-blooming Lycoris. Although they grow well here, these are from Japan.

Lavender Wave , an All-America Selections winner for 2002, has the same performance and habit as the Purple Wave, a 2000 Mississippi Medallion winner.
December 31, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Wave petunias keep pouring in -- much to the delight of gardeners everywhere. It was just a couple of years ago the Waves as a group (purple, pink, lilac and rose) were declared Mississippi Medallion winners and now there is Lavender Wave.

Love & Peace exhibits the classic hybrid tea form and shows a family resemblance to its parent, Peace, the most honored rose of all time.
December 24, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As the New Year arrives, it is fun to see what new plants are being touted for spring. Rose lovers for sure are interested in the new All-America Rose Selections.

Two roses captured All-America Selection honors for 2002, Love & Peace and Starry Night.

Love & Peace will mesmerize the rose grower or garden enthusiast with both its fruity scent and appearance.

Kalanchoe is a member of the family known as Crassulaceae.
December 17, 2001 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Cnter

Kalanchoe, one of the most beautiful holiday plants in the world, is showing up at garden centers everywhere. A native to Madagascar and Africa, kalanchoe will certainly display its outstanding features in many Mississippi homes this holiday season.

Plum Pudding
December 10, 2001 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Trends toward richer colors during the holiday season may be one reason Plum Pudding, a new maroon poinsettia, will be in demand this year. Excelling in consumer and grower trials, this beauty also is sure to delight lots of Mississippi State University fans who still want to show their school colors during the holidays.

Just about anyone can install water features.
December 3, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Yosemite National Park is famous for its majestic waterfalls, but it was a babbling brook that my family appreciated there last summer during a hike through a forest. We sat down to watch, listen and appreciate for 30 minutes or so. That mood and pleasure created by this active water can be duplicated in any landscape.

Camellias enhance the landscape like no other shrub with their glossy green leaves and exotic looking blooms.
November 26, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

When you see some camellia japonicas blooming earlier, larger and more colorful than others, you may be seeing the results of a horticultural technique known as gibbing.

As camellia shows start to pop up in malls and other public places, it becomes apparent that some experts know something that the basic gardener may not.

The mirror hanging on the tree over the left Adirondack chair blends comfortably into this lovely home-like setting.
November 25, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Extension Horticulturist

Many of us have toured someone's yard only to find they have the same flowers that are growing in our own beds, but something is dramatically different. Theirs is a special garden that makes us shoot a picture, either real or mentally. We leave either energized to do better or feeling a little depressed.

Stock can be grown across the state if they are planted now. They will bloom in the cool season unless it is really cold, in which case they will endure to bloom in early spring.
November 19, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you are ready to try something new in the cool season flower garden, you had better start shopping because this fall looks to be the best in quite some time for new, heirloom or unusual plants.

Flowering kale and cabbage are not eaten, but the leaves do make very decorative garnishes for holiday feasts.
November 12, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Some of our prettiest landscape plants for fall and winter are sitting in black plastic containers at garden centers across the South. Unfortunately, flowering kale and cabbage seldom receive the same attention as pansies, violas and snapdragons.

Snapdragons love those times when night temperatures are in the low 40s and day temperatures reach the low 70s, which is typical in much of the South in the fall.
November 5, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I always dread the first frosty morning when I look out at yesterday's glorious bed of colorful lantanas and salvias and see instead a colorless, tumbleweed-like mess. It is especially frustrating if the mess is near the main entrance.

The plants are small, so don’t forget to use grasses like Purple Fountain as the center plant.
October 29, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Fiber Optic Grass and Strawberries and Cream Ribbon Grass will no doubt cause a stir when they arrive in Mississippi, so you will want to shop early.

These two new grasses are part of the impetus that Proven Winners/EuroAmerican Propagators has been giving toward using ornamental grass as a vital element in mixed containers. This rage may very well have started when they introduced their Fall Magic line of plants that included the dwarf sweet flags.

Pansy Orange Jump-up viola
October 22, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Pansy and viola planting season is one of my favorite times of the year, and it is evident that many of you feel the same way. I was at a garden center the other day and saw several landscapers loading up dozens of these plants.

Red Belgian mums
October 15, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Chrysanthemums have always been the premier fall plant, but this year a new group known as Belgian mums have gardeners everywhere talking.

These are no ordinary fall-flowering, winter-hardy chrysanthemums. Belgian mums produce an abundance of flower buds in a quantity much larger than any other mum.

Bouquet Purple dianthus
October 8, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Though far apart in geography and climate, Mississippi and Minnesota both named the same plant an award winner. Bouquet Purple dianthus is the Minnesota Select perennial plant of the year and the Mississippi Medallion winner for this fall. When something like this occurs, you realize you have an extraordinary plant.

If you want beautiful larkspurs next spring, the time to plant is at hand.
October 1, 2001 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

There are no doubt hundreds of us who see beautiful larkspurs each spring in gardens all over the South and wish we had them in our own gardens. The problem is timing.

Dianthus
September 24, 2001 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

In recent years, requests have gone out to gardeners and commercial landscapers to plant flowers in country colors for the Palaces of St. Petersburg, Splendors of Versailles and the Majesty of Spain exhibitions in Jackson. Recent national tragedies have inspired Americans to show their colors, and flowers can be part of the waving of the red, white and blue.

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