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Southern Gardening

October 29, 1998 - Filed Under: Trees

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Brookhaven, Miss. is known far and wide as home to great camellias and to highly respected camellia gardeners, but on a recent trip, it was not the camellias that caught my attention but Japanese Maples.

October 22, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The Hyacinth Bean tunnel was a big crowd pleaser again this year as thousands of garden-loving Mississippians walked through it at the Fall Garden Day. This event was held Oct. 16 and 17 in Crystal Spring at the Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station.

The Fall Garden Day has acres of the latest garden vegetables, herbs and flowers, but what gets the most acclaim is a plant Thomas Jefferson grew in his garden and has been around forever.

October 15, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Pansies and chrysanthemums may capture the lion's share of the garden market this time of the year, but there are other selections we need to include in our fall and winter landscape.

The first is the flowering kale and cabbage. These ornamentals endure fall and winter with months of color. They are called flowering or ornamental because of the richly colored floral-like foliage. Inner leaves may be red, white, rose or pink against darker green outside leaves.

October 8, 1998 - Filed Under: Cut Flowers and Houseplants

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

As the first cold front arrives in Mississippi, we face an ideal time to repot houseplants and get them ready to spend the cooler season indoors.

First, check to see if your plants need to be repotted. Water the plant well so that the soil sticks together. Knock the plant gently out of the pot and inspect the root system. If you have a really tight root ball, you may need to repot to the next size container.

October 1, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Since Washington scandals and hurricanes have been dominating the newspapers, I feel compelled to write about Naked Ladies and Hurricane Lilies.

September 24, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

If you have noticed beautiful yellow candelabra type blossoms around your neighborhood, probably a candlestick plant is blooming close to your house.

It is considered a shrub in the tropics, yet growing wild they are dwarf compared to how they look in our landscapes. This is probably due to shallow topsoil in their native islands.

September 17, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Gourds are much-overlooked fall garden products with a wide variety of uses.

At first, gourds may conjure dull or negative thoughts. If you called someone a gourd, it might mean they were a nerd or less intelligent. Yet in reality, a gourd can become a banjo, a dipper for refreshing water, a sponge for a luxurious bath, an herb planter, a purple martin home or an awesome holiday table decoration. What an assortment of uses!

September 10, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Few people recognize the name, Tradescantia, but most people recognize the specific plant names Wandering Jew,.Moses-in-the-Cradle, Three-Men-in-the-Boat, Moses-in-the-Bulrushes, Spiderwort and Purple Heart, which are all Tradescantia.

September 3, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Next to the leaf of the palm, the leaves of the banana tree are perhaps the most decorative for lending a touch of the tropics to our backyard.

August 27, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

When the heat and humidity have taken their toll on our psyche and our gardens, we start thinking about how nice an early freeze in mid-September would be. But just about this same time each year Mother Nature shows us her beauty.

August 20, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Even though the dog days of summer make many of us cast a wishful eye toward the Arctic for relief, late summer is also when gingers really strut their stuff.

Scads of books will tell you that ginger can only be grown in coastal areas which have the mildest winters. Yet as I travel through Mississippi and other Southern states, it is definitely clear that much of Zone 7 and 8 can grow gingers with the best of those gardeners in Zone 9.

August 13, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The bright orange-red fruit on the roses mystified gardeners at last year's Fall Field Day at the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs. Since most gardeners have opted for hybrid teas, they have never seen anything but flowers on roses. While peaches, plums, apricots, apples and blackberries are all from the rose family, we hardly consider the fruit of the rose itself.

August 6, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Three-foot tall Country Girl chrysanthemums, six-foot tall Indigo Spire salvias and five-foot Mexican bush sages should have been pretty awesome for my garden last year. Unfortunately, there was not a single bloom despite all the lush green foliage. The blooms were practically nonexistent on my goldenrods and Joe Pye weeds, too!

July 30, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

A recent, almost unbearable hot trip to the Truck Crops Experiment Station in Crystal Springs reminded me how pretty the various plantings of liriope were. When I got home, I realized in my everyday rush I hadn't noticed the gorgeous flower spikes in my own yard.

July 23, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

With the return of oppressive heat, gardeners may be wishing for an extended solar eclipse. That just happens to be one of the names of the hottest new groups of coleus to come out in years.

The Solar Series boasts eight cultivars of bold striking foliage for our landscape. Coleus plants are gaining widespread popularity not only for shaded areas, but also for full sun, and the Solar Series gives us a lot more choices.

July 16, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The recent heat wave with indexes near 110 may make us want to wilt, but established lantana plants don't even flinch at the scorching temperatures.

While the 1996 Mississippi Medallion award winning New Gold Lantana is still recommended, there are many more to choose from in various shades of colors, leaf variegation and growth habits, from trailing to upright.

July 9, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Palms can give a tropical feeling around the pool or patio like no other plant can. I used to poke fun at people who tried to grow certain plants far outside their preferred habitat, then I realized that palms made me one of those people.

July 2, 1998 - Filed Under: Flower Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

The botanical name of Periwinkles is Catharanthus, which means pure and without blemish. That is pretty much how we use to feel about them. You may remember them as Vinca rosea, but the official name is Catharanthus roseus.

They were such a favorite of the Southern garden that many people started planting them too early in the spring, making them much more susceptible to disease.

June 25, 1998 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Throughout the South they are called gazing balls, gazing globes and garden globes. You have probably seen those brightly colored Christmas-like balls in the landscape and wondered what they were all about. Are they heavy, are they breakable and what do you do with them?

June 18, 1998 - Filed Under: Herb Gardens

By Norman Winter
Horticulturist
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center

Basil is as pretty as a coleus in the flowerbed, yet yields the key ingredient to many favorite dishes. Whether you say "bay-zil" or "baa-zil," we can agree on one thing. Juicy tomato chunks mixed with olive oil, freshly torn basil and garlic spooned over hot pasta is a true feast.

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