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Southern Gardening

August 14, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

One of the best flowering performers in my garden these last two hot, dry summers has been the ixora. From late spring through the first of August and counting, ixora produces almost nonstop bold, colorful flowers. If the color alone isn't enough, the deep green, glossy foliage serves as the perfect contrast for these large clusters of color.

August 7, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Fragrance that entices you to stay, swallowtail butterflies by the dozens and flowers of rare, exotic beauty are all traits of a group of plants blooming across our area known as clerodendrums, or clerodendrons.

July 31, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The air was so hot and muggy that I could hardly breathe, and trying to look dapper, I found myself glistening (sweating) profusely. But there they were Dancing Girls performing to the utmost in a climate that seems so extreme this summer.

July 24, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman WinterMSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Brazilian Plume Flower had been grown for years in the coastal counties of the South, but it was sold only sparingly above Hattiesburg. At long last some more serious quantities have started showing up in area garden centers further north. All I can say is a resounding "Hallelujah!"

July 17, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

At this time of the year when you start to pay attention to those plants that thrive with little care, there is a verbena that stands head above all other verbenas in more ways than one. The verbena I am referring to is verbena bonariensis.

The botanical name comes from its discovery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. However, it is known commonly as the Brazilian verbena, which further indicates that it is from South America.

July 10, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Daffodils, tulips and daylilies are some of our most common flowers from bulbs, but this year there has been a blue flower called the agapanthus that has really put on a show from the coastal counties to North Mississippi.

July 3, 2000 - Filed Under: Sweet Corn, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

I used to consider myself a real outdoor cooker until the other day when my 10-year-old son James asked if that was the first time I had cooked chicken. Have I been too busy for a decade?

That night I was cooking one of my grill favorites, corn on the cob with the shuck still on. There may not be finer eating in the whole world than corn on the cob with that smoke flavor.

June 26, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Most people consider plastic birds in a yard either an unpleasant spectacle or a spectacularly creative display.

June 19, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As we start to get into the heat of the summer, the tropical vines are showing that they are worth every penny of their cost. Everywhere I look, the mandevillas are showing off with their huge pink, bell-shaped flowers.

But we have some new tropical vine choices out there. In March, I was given a pandorea jasmine, or pandorea jasminoides, in a basket. It is also known as Bower Vine.

June 12, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

At the risk of giving away my age I ask, Do you remember a popular hair dressing commercial that had the phrase "A little dab will do you"? That is precisely how the general public has been viewing a group of the most beautiful plants we can grow, the coleus.

June 5, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Sometimes the landscape world seems dominated by dark green shrubs, but there is one group available that offers some strikingly colorful options for the home.

The group I am referring to is the Japanese barberry. The barberry is related to the nandina and the mahonia, which also are outstanding plants. In a sea of green, red-leafed Japanese barberries are worth every penny spent on the purchase.

May 29, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Dragon Wing has got to be the most beautiful begonia for planters or the landscape. While it works great in full sun, the look in partial shade is absolutely awesome.

The Dragon Wing has really just hit the market this year. It has been sold under the name Sunbrite on a limited basis. It is kind of funny that it has been around for close to 20 years, but many of us have failed to recognize the beauty and durability of the plant.

May 22, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you are looking for a plant for the shade, then you can hardly do better than hostas. The hosta is in the lily family and has the common name of Plantain Lily. Despite the fact that they are cold hardy way up north in zone 4, their beauty and leaf texture adds a tropical flair to the garden.

May 15, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Every state has wildflowers they boast about, and Mississippi can certainly hold its head high in this category as well. Flowers like the coreopsis and spigelia, or Indian Pinks, have been awesome. The Stokes' Aster is one of my favorite wildflowers budding up now and showing color in many gardens.

May 8, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It seems the gardening world has gone crazy with arbors, trellises, towers, fences and more. Everyone is looking for perfect or unusual vines to drape or climb these structures. One of the best choices is the crossvine.

It is also called quartervine and is known botanically as Bignonia capreolata. It is hardy throughout the state. Bignonia comes from the name of King Louis IV's librarian.

May 1, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

It can be considered a thornless rose for the shade. It could be thought of as a rose with virtually no disease or insect problems, or as a rose that blooms all season and never needs deadheading. While there is no such rose, the plant I refer to is the rose-form, or double, impatiens.

April 24, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A Mississippi native has garnered top honors for the spring of 2000. When plants pour in from places like Australia, China and Japan, it is refreshing to announce one of the most beautiful shrubs in the United States, the oakleaf hydrangea, as a Mississippi Medallion winner.

April 17, 2000 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you want your landscape or patio to look like French Martinique, the jewel of the Caribbean, you should try growing this year's Mississippi Medallion award-winning yellow shrimp plant.

The yellow shrimp plant, Pachystachys lutea, is the first tropical plant to receive the Mississippi Medallion award. These plants will bloom all summer and are so easy to grow you will be amazed. You may start hearing the tropical sounds of steel drums in the distance.

April 10, 2000 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The blossoms of spring have bordered on the spectacular this year, and the Lady Banks rose has contributed to the gorgeous displays.

Lady Banks is a species rose, not a hybrid, that hails from China. It is named after the wife of Sir Joseph Banks, the legendary head of the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain.

April 3, 2000 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
MSU Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If your neighborhood has any deep red-bronze Japanese maples growing, they are probably this year's Mississippi Medallion award winning tree, the Bloodgood. This maple has earned the respect of landscapers and gardeners throughout the South.

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