The scary feature of invasive plants is their ability to compete above and below the ground and outgrow surrounding plants. The concern, Master Gardener Joe Ann Allen writes, is that invasive plants can over power native species and cause soil erosion, create fire hazards, deprive animal and insect life of food and shelter and have a negative impact on fisheries, recreational areas and public water supplies.
A good example of this negative effect is the spread of the beautifully flowered purple loosestrife. One mature plant can produce more than 2 million seeds, all with a high germination rate. It is estimated that more than 4 million acres are now affected by purple loosestrife’s escape from the garden and it is costing an estimated $45 million dollars annually in control efforts. (October 1, 2010, Page 2B)
Master Gardner Beckett Howorth III makes an argument for making the dandelion a part of your garden. (September 3, 2010, Page 4B)
Over the past 25 years urban sprawl has actually been an invasion of the deer’s habitat and in turn urban sprawl has provided lush landscaping and gardens that provide deer with abundant food. The result has been rapid population growth. Master Garderner Susan Boehm suggests experimenting in your garding with plants that deer tend to avoid and offers websites worth checking out. (August 27, 2010, Page 3B)
Introduced to the United States in 1747, the crape myrle is a favorite in Southern gardens. Layfayette County Master Gardner Dianne Smith Ferguson describes how these tolerant trees survive drought, extreme weather, and excessive pruning. (August 6, 2010, Page 2B)
After the Fourth of July, I usually say to Mother Nature: “Just let ‘er rip.”
This year, however, she started a wee bit too early for me. Granted, we have had nearly enough rain so far, but the next week bodes a really dry one.
So between sipping iced tea in the shade and dragging the snarled hose around, I leave a little time for pondering some of these truisms of nature. (July 23, 2010, Page 2B)
Becoming a Master Gardener is way more rewarding that I expected.
I am so amazed by the beauty and “raw-ness” of the nature in Mississippi. I have an area in my backyard with kudzu, honeysuckle, other vines and trees that is as wild as any growth. It’s like Tarzan could come swinging through at any moment — hopefully Jane, also. (July 1, 2010, Page 6B)
Garden columnist Dickie King spotlights the daylily garden of Lafayette County resident Carol Parcher. She has been collecting them for years and still has quite a show of them at her wonderful “piddle” farm. (June 25, 2010, Page 3B)
This year, persistent rains played serious havoc and frustration with my usual gardening schedule and routines. A good friend, and fellow Master Gardener, mentioned she was attempting to simplify her gardening. Shortly thereafter, a highly praised and widely recommended book came to my attention. The book is, “The New Low Maintenance Garden” by Valerie Easton. (June 4, 2010, Page 2B)
With the weather appearing set to stay warm on through the end of the spring and start of the summer, there are a wide variety of things that you may want to do in May or June to keep your outdoor gardens and landscaping luscious and colorful. The Oxford Garden Club offers several tips for local gardeners to consider. (May 28, 2010, Page 2B)
Lafayette County Master Gardener Susan Boehm writes about planning for the summer’s dry heat by planting native plants that are accustomed to living in the climate. She discusses the benefits of xeriscaping in addition to giving reminders and tips around gardening in the month of May. (May 7, 2010, Page 3B)