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Southern Gardening

January 3, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Tabloids are chock-full of predictions for the New Year, decade and next millennium -- most of which are absurd. I have a prediction of my own about some new plants that I think will be hotter than your car's hood in August. These plants are called Tidal Wave petunias.

December 27, 1999 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

With Christmas finally past, you may find yourself with some new plants you received as gifts or bought as decorations. While indoor plants certainly can add beauty and enjoyment to your home, how do you make them last?

Whether grown for foliage or flower, they can only add beauty and charm to your home if they are healthy. Many gardeners begin their struggle with houseplants by choosing the wrong location with regard to light.

December 20, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The winter is not normally the time to talk about palms, but I want to make a point because Mother Nature has endowed our state with a palm that can take temperatures well below zero. The palm is known botanically as sabal minor and is called shrub palmetto.

North of Jackson on the Natchez Trace around mile marker 126 you may notice low wilderness areas where these palms are native. They can be found in several Mississippi counties.

December 13, 1999 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Christmas is a special time for making memories. Not all the memories come from gifts, although the slippers that look like stuffed hens from the farm certainly make a lasting impression.

Christmas trees have a way of making a lasting memory just like the special ornaments that adorn them. Other than using a camera, one way to capture and make that Christmas memory last is with a living Christmas tree.

December 6, 1999 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Despite unusually dry weather, the fall leaf color has been outstanding this year and one tree that has been showy from the North to the South is the ginkgo.

Many of you are probably more familiar with the herbal extracts believed to help your ah ... um ... mental concentration and even memory. Back in the '70s and '80s, it was fashionable to have jewelry made from gold-plated gingko leaves.

November 29, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If the Santa Clauses dancing to the boogie woogie or some Christmas rock song has left you feeling a little artificial, then the prescription you may need is to spend a little time outdoors collecting materials to let you make a home-style holiday wreath.

November 22, 1999 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A couple weeks passed before I told anyone I'd purchased a sweet gum tree from a local garden center. The laughter subsided days later and ended with friends trying to sell me all kinds of things, including beachfront property in Arizona.

November 15, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Never before have garden centers had such healthy, richly-colored bedding plants for planting glorious mixed containers. Gardening season is not over yet!

These mixed containers can liven up the porch, patio or deck all winter long. But what is exciting are some of the newest, hottest plants available to choose from.

November 8, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Over the past few months I have begun to pay particular attention to a group of stately evergreens that are performing well from the Coast to North Mississippi. This fast growing evergreen starting to be recognized as an outstanding tree is the Japanese cedar, or cryptomeria.

November 1, 1999 - Filed Under: Wildlife

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As you prepare to entertain family for the Thanksgiving feast, why not also prepare a feast for your feathered friends in the neighborhood. Hang some bird feeders and make holiday treats for them.

We have one thing in common with many birds, and that is a love for sunflower seeds. While we eat the ones with stripes, birds prefer the black-oil type sunflower seeds. Birds like cardinals, chickadees, titmice and finches all love sunflower seeds.

October 25, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A cereal commercial from a few years ago reminds me of a predicament I now face with my readers. In the commercial, adults sat in the shadows where their faces could not be seen and admitted they liked a children's cereal. Now, with my heart pounding hard, I confess that I like elaeagnus.

October 18, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The fall blooming azaleas have not only been showy but are really starting to gain some fans. Encore azaleas have been out for a couple of years, and everyone that I have talked to has been impressed with them. This year there are two new Encore azaleas.

October 11, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Panola is a new plant this fall that will have gardeners talking. The promotion will be called Panola Panache. I can see the wheels turning now. "What is a Panola?" Well, it is a cross between a pansy and viola, and it comes from Waller Flowerseed in California. They are already starting to show up in garden centers and more are on the way.

October 4, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Orange will continue to be a hot, trendy color next year in the world of flowers, thanks to a couple of All-America Selections Winners. One is a compact Mexican sunflower, or tithonia, called Fiesta del Sol and the other is a dwarf cosmos sulphureus called Cosmic Orange.

September 27, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Garden snakes can certainly perform valuable services around outdoor plants, but finding a 6-foot chicken or king snake when you are reaching for a weed can cause some people to have a coronary.

There is one reptile I do love having around the garden, and it is called the anole, pronounced "a-know'lee." Like many of you, I grew up calling these green lizards chameleons. They probably got that name because of their ability to change colors.

September 20, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you are one of those gardeners with more silver and gray on your head than in your landscape, you are passing up a group of plants that lends an artist's touch.

In a gardening world dominated by a sea of green, well-placed pockets of plants with silver and gray leaves is ever so striking. We have choices here from perennials, herbs and even shrubs.

September 13, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

One of the most drop-dead gorgeous camellia sasanquas will soon be showing up at a garden center near you. It is obvious that most gardeners haven't really learned about this awesome variety called Shishigashira.

When you consider the waxy leather leaves of these evergreens coupled with blooms as pretty as a rose, you wonder why people would plant anything else. The Shishigashira is a dwarf-to-compact form of camellia sasanqua with rose-pink blooms.

September 6, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter

MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Propagating favorite plants is something every gardener wants to do at some time. This is a good time of the year to put the thought into practice.

Division equals multiplication when you talk about perennials. Dividing not only makes your perennial garden better, but gives you additional plants to create wonderful new gardens.

August 30, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter

MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Not too far from where I grew up in Texas, there is a huge bicycle race this time of the year called the "Hotter Than Hell 100." While I don't know the actual temperature of that southern destination, it does seem too hot here to ride a bicycle or to garden.

Nevertheless, this is the time to consider planting for some of our best fall color. Garden mums are ready for planting, and there are some huge advantages to making those purchases now.

August 23, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It was a fight worthy of a National Geographic special, but I was the only witness. Hummingbirds swept down from adjacent oaks to the deep-blue flowers of the anise sage only to be met with fierce resistance and a screeching warning from the protecting hummer.

I have always been a fan of the Blue Anise Sage (salvia guaranitica), but until I saw this fight for its nectar, I never fully appreciated all the attributes the plant offered.

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