I love coming to the Mississippi State University campus and seeing all the colorful plantings everywhere you look.One of my favorites is the University drive entrance which features a beautiful planting around this historic brick memorial to the class of 1922. Alocasia anchors this semi-shaded bed, with the showy, annual plants offering a bold tropical effect to the landscape. Its shield-like green leaves point majestically upward, catching the eye as they sway in the breeze. Purple fountain grass is aptly named for the arcing spikes of gently nodding purplish flowers, with their exquisite appearance, that gracefully spray out of its mass of long, slender, burgundy-colored leaves. The Hameln dwarf pennisetum grass is an additional attraction here with its fluffy, buff colored flower plumes above the green fountain of foliage. Planted in mass throughout the bed, is the sensational Electric Lime coleus. The 2010 Mississippi Medallion winner is absolutely stunning. The close up details found in the bright colored lemon-lime patterned foliage, and there’s no better way of saying it,… “are electrifying.” Also, mass planted in the bed are French marigolds. These are known for their yellow, gold and rusty brown flowers. Generally, less than 15 inches tall, French marigolds make a great free flowering mat of color. The beautiful landscape plantings create a positive environment for campus life. I’m Extension horticulture specialist Gary Bachman and I hope you’ll join us for the next Southern Gardening.