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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Outdoor Benches

Placing a bench in the garden is not a simple matter of carrying it from the delivery truck to the patio. To really incorporate it into the overall garden landscape, there are a few basic considerations.

First, you should determine whether or not you really intend to sit on the bench. Are you showcasing it for garden tours, or do you want the bench to serve as your own private retreat? Do you see it as place to exhibit containers, or a spot to write a letter to a friend? Answering these questions will help you determine appropriate size, design and materials.

>> read “Outdoor Benches”    
Watch Them Grow
Imaginations Blossom When Children Plant Gardens

True gardeners of every age find it fun to dig in the dirt, play with water, feel the texture and size of various seeds, plant them and watch them grow. Children are curious and want to know what is happening underground as well as on top.

>> read “Watch Them Grow”    
Keeping Caladiums
Getting Them Ready for Next Year

Caladiums generally begin to decline in late September or October, and then it’s time to decide what you want to do with them. If the bed where the caladiums are planted will stay relatively undisturbed and continue to drain well, you may have luck by simply leaving the caladium tubers in the ground. Keep the area mulched this winter to protect the tubers. If your ground doesn’t freeze, they will probably survive and come back up next year and provide a beautiful display.

>> read “Keeping Caladiums”    
A Spring-time Wonder
The setting for a different kind of blooming adventure.

In the spring, Forty Acre Rock near Lancaster, S.C., goes from drab to dramatic with a burst of flashy colors on a granite outcrop that's the centerpiece of a state preserve. Small wild plants called elf orpine, black-spored quillwort and pool sprite bloom to showcase a mix of red, green and white hues in shallow, water-filled pools. These rare plants put on their show from March through early May, until the pools dry up and Forty Acre Rock's colors revert to dull grays and greens of lichens and mosses.

>> read “A Spring-time Wonder”    
Fall Cleanup Tips
5 Simple Steps to Minimize Plant Diseases in the Spring

One of the most daunting garden tasks is fall cleanup. Most gardeners have spent the majority of the spring and summer planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding and, of course, bragging on their gardens to their friends, neighbors and family. When fall arrives, it’s time to enjoy some R & R… or so you thought ...

>> read “Fall Cleanup Tips”    
Overcoming Drainage Problems

Have you lost any silver-leafed lavenders or ‘Silver Brocade’ artemisia or had tulip bulbs or Ruta graveolens ‘Blue Beauty’ just die, often after only one winter? You may be wondering why. Many plants benefit from “well drained” or “evenly moist” soils.

>> read “Overcoming Drainage Problems”    
Variegated Plants
Exclamation Points in the Garden

When I designed the perennial border in the garden of our first home, it was a process of trial and error. All the books I studied told me I should first create an evergreen “backbone” to provide year-round interest, and plant so that something of interest was blooming each season.

>> read “Variegated Plants”    
Whitewater Red Bud
Cercis canadensis

Cercis canadensis ‘Whitewater’ is a “hot plant” out of North Carolina and a North American native tree too! This small, deciduous tree with beautifully variegated white and green leaves was developed by Dr. Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University. It’s a good choice to incorporate into your garden where contrasting foliage color is desired. Traditional magenta-pink flowers of the redbud emerge in the early spring on bare branches ...

>> read “Whitewater Red Bud”       #Hot Plants
Air Layering
A Makeover for Overgrown Houseplants

Houseplants bring life to our homes and offices, but sometimes they outgrow their welcome. Those with woody stems, such as dracaenas, corn plants and scheffleras, can become too tall and lose their shape or threaten the ceiling. Instead of tossing them out and buying new plants or giving them to a friend with taller ceilings, try air layering. This easy propagation technique will not only rejuvenate your plants — it will reward you with new plants for your efforts ...

>> read “Air Layering”    
Making Garden Memories

This winter, I’ve been thinking about how plants add meaning to our lives. I’m not thinking about our food plants, our medicinal plants or even plants that house us and clothe our bodies. Obviously, plants preserve and sustain our lives, and a study of even one economic plant is a fascinating pursuit. Rather, I am considering the plants that add sentimental value to life.

>> read “Making Garden Memories”    
Plant Your Bulbs in Turf!

Planting bulbs in turf is a great way to enhance your landscape and add a spark of interest to your lawn. Plantings can either be annual or perennial, and you can choose from a wide variety of bulbs.

>> read “Plant Your Bulbs in Turf!”    
A Show of Force
Forcing fabulous spring flowering bulbs is easy

Bulbs have always intrigued me. Their much-appreciated splash of color during a generally bleak time of year brightens our lives and reminds us that warmer days are ahead. Forcing bulbs is just another way of enjoying the jewels of the late winter and spring garden, but you get to schedule the show. Let’s explore the mystery of bulbs and discuss the techniques involved in forcing them into flower ...

>> read “A Show of Force”    
 
 
 

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