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Southern Gardening

August 9, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Very few people know anything about abelia, but it has some outstanding qualities worthy of consideration in Mississippi landscapes.

Consider this, they bloom for months with clusters of flowers, the foliage is attractive and they have no pests. This should put this delightful shrub at the top of the list for those desiring a low maintenance garden.

August 2, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If there was a poster child for underused plants, the bottlebrush buckeye would be the spectacular winner.

The word bottlebrush should make you want to grow it, but when you consider the flowers are 4-inches wide and 12-inches long and produced in huge quantities, it really is time to go shopping.

July 26, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

This really has been a year for the black-eyed Susan called Indian Summer. They are showing off brilliantly in my garden and were one of the Mississippi Medallion winners for 1999.

Goldsturm (Rudbeckia fulgida), which is the most reliable perennial black-eyed Susan, was the 1999 Perennial Plant of the Year, and the award is deserving. Next year, Goldsturm will be the Louisiana Select award winner.

July 19, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I was sitting on the shaded patio the other afternoon moaning about the heat when a darting visitor approached and changed my outlook on the day. A ruby-throated hummingbird decided my hanging basket of pink wave petunias was just the feast for which he had been searching.

July 12, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The 30-inch tall, spiky blue flowers of the angelonia continue to be the most impressive of recent plant introductions. In a world where round flowers seem to dominate, the texture from the plant is a joy to behold. The Florida Plant of the Year last year was a variety called Hilo Princess, and it performs well here too!

July 5, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Cleome and the French Hollyhock are dazzling old cottage garden type plants that anyone would love to have in their yard at this time of year.

Both reseed easily thereby giving perennial plant performance. In some places, the French Hollyhock is really perennial.

June 28, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Some of my most enjoyable days as a horticulturist are those when my work is my hobby and I get to experience unusual plants. This column was borne out of those days.

June 21, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

You read about all sorts of plant enthusiasts claiming certain flowers are the Queen of Flowers. To a rose lover it's the rose, to a camellia lover it is the camellia, and so the story goes with daylilies and hostas.

For the vase, for color, for butterflies and for ease of growing, there is much to be said for the old fashioned zinnia as the Queen of the Flower Garden. Many a young grower gets their gardening teeth cut on this flower.

June 14, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It is remarkable when a plant performs equally well in soils that are acidic or alkaline. It is even more wonderful when that plant has large pink flowers in soils with the higher pH and blue blossoms in the soils with the lower pH.

June 7, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Few things are prettier than a daylily garden that looks like a changing kaleidoscope of color for weeks. There are thousands of spectacular daylilies for sale, some even approaching the cost of my first car.

May 31, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many gardeners shop for plants that will bloom all summer right up until fall. That's a pretty tall order to fill considering our extreme summer climate, but there are several that will fill the bill.

Tropical plants offer us some of our best options for plants with five or six months of continuous bloom. At the top of that list has to be the hybrid Mandevilla Alice du Pont.

May 24, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many people who have watched some of my Southern Gardening segments on TV may believe I have more rocks in my head than they have in their yards. It may be Mississippi's lack of natural stones that makes me have rocks on my brain this week.

May 17, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

When you look at a tropical hibiscus blooming on your deck or patio, it is not hard to conjure up visions of the Caribbean and the sounds of a steel band. It's funny how plants can mentally take us to where either our budget or time won't allow.

May 10, 1999 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

There are a couple of hot, new begonias causing quite a stir in the garden world. They are called Sunbrite, or Dragon Wing, and Torch. Both are angel-wing types.

With all due respect to the Begonia society, I am afraid I must admit to being rather nonchalant when it came to this plant. Although I liked them, I just would pick other plants first. Not anymore.

May 3, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

One of my favorite plants since I was a child has been moss rose. It is native to Brazil and has a ground hugging habit that means you cover much more space with fewer plants.

Known botanically as Portulaca grandilfora, it has green, fleshy, succulent leaves with unbelievable flower power. A similar plant, though weedier and not as showy, is Portulaca oleracea, known as purslane.

April 26, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

During last October's Fall Garden Day in Crystal Springs, people kept asking about a plant they thought was gorgeous. This really did my heart good because I could see these gardeners had arrived at a special plateau.

April 19, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Many gardeners are making their spring trek to the garden center for flowers with little thought as to what they will buy. Shoppers may base their purchases on what looks the freshest or which plants have the most color showing. A little forethought toward particular colors will make your efforts more rewarding.

April 8, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Biloxi area is celebrating its tricentennial this year -- 300 years! Like this beautiful city captures the hearts of visitors, the 1999 Mississippi Medallion winner, Biloxi Blue verbena will snare the hearts of gardeners throughout the state.

Biloxi Blue is one of four outstanding plants chosen as a 1999 Mississippi Medallion winners with Indian Summer rudbeckia, Tonto and Sioux crape myrtles rounding out the list.

April 1, 1999 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Virginia willows, which are native to Mississippi, have received awesome reviews in Texas, North Carolina and Louisiana where they have been chosen as plant of the year.

You may know Virginia willows as the sweetspire or Virginia sweetspire. In addition to those names, selections like Henry's Garnet and Sarah's Eve may be available at your local garden center. Virginia willow is known botanically as Itea virginica. "Itea" is Greek for willow.

March 25, 1999 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

American writer Joyce Kilmer may be most famous for his poem "Trees." I have often wondered what tree, if any, the New Jersey native was thinking about when he wrote that famous poem.

The tree that most assuredly is causing the traveler to pause now and gaze at her beauty is the dogwood. The bloom of the dogwood alone should make you want at least one for your yard, if not several.

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