Round orange pumpkins are still sought after, but other varieties are gaining in popularity for decorating. (Courtesy)

While 2013 was the best year for Mississippi pumpkin growers in 25 years, annual weather challenges make the growing tough. Pumpkins for Halloween must be planted in late June and early July and require 90 to 110 days until harvest. Pumpkins do not like extreme heat or too much water, so from a weather perspective, […]

The Earth Lady has never been nominated to be the “Cook of the Week,” thank goodness, but she does have a few culinary skills, and one of those is making jelly. Of course, this chef, who would rather be birdwatching, is a purist and eschews the use of a thermometer or added pectin. Like a […]

Lil' Pumpkin is an ornamental pepper with a deep purple, almost black foliage and bright orange fruit that are perfect for the Halloween season's festivities. (Gary Bachman/MSU Extension Service)

My taste buds love hot peppers, but the rest of me really likes the increased use of peppers as ornamentals. Each year there are more ornamental peppers being introduced to the landscape market. Most ornamental peppers pack heat and are edible. Besides the culinary heat, many of these hot peppers are colorful and have great […]

Compared to the spectacular display of springtime, many landscapes in our area lack color and interest after the intense heat of summer. Brilliant fall foliage in Zones 7 and 8 is possible, but it requires some ingenuity on the part of the homeowner as well as careful selection of trees and shrubs that specifically put […]

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By Ginna Parsons Daily Journal OXFORD – For five or six years in the early 1970s, Joe Ann Allen and her husband rented an old house near the Square in Oxford. When plumbing and electrical problems reached a point where the owner was going to tear it down, Allen knew she had to find a […]

By Errol Castens Daily Journal HOLLY SPRINGS – Hummingbirds will be the delightful focus for three days as Strawberry Plains Audubon Center hosts its annual Hummingbird Migration Festival. The 2,600-acre plantation-turned-nature-center will host countless numbers of the jewel-like birds on their way from across North America to the Gulf Coast, where their pre-winter exodus will […]

When logic says, “Beautiful things aren’t really valuable unless they’re useful,” it’s only speaking a half-truth. Logic is important – it helps us “do things,” making it a valuable mental tool. But beauty touches us deeper – it helps us to “be more alive,” appealing to every part of us, not just our rational side. […]

Hibiscus Cranberry Crush has large, sheer petals that draw attention to the flowers' delicate pistil and stamen structure. (Gary Bachman/MSU Extension Service)

I think hardy hibiscuses are must-have summer plants guaranteed to brighten our gardens and landscapes after a long, hot summer. But to many gardeners, the hardy hibiscus is a well-kept secret. These plants are very different from tropical hibiscuses. The hardy hibiscus is winter hardy, and its foliage is not as glossy as the tropical […]

Many gardeners in Northeast Mississippi tend to grow summer gardens and then close up shop for the winter months. Why not consider planting cool-weather vegetables to extend your fresh vegetable growing season? Some possibilities are cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, peas, chard, lettuce, spinach and, of course, mustard and turnip greens. Some summer vegetables […]