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Gardening in the South

Crapemyrtles and the Promise of Good Pruning

Crepe myrtle

AUBURN, Ala.- The promise of pruning is a healthier and more productive tree. Gardeners want to do what is best for their plants, but sometimes do not know how. Gardeners know that pruning needs to happen, but often do not know how or when. Sadly, this happens all too often with crapemyrtles. Take a Saturday afternoon drive in late February, and ... Read More »

Alabama Master Gardeners Bloom

People want to give back to their communities. Sometimes, the challenge is finding the volunteer opportunity best suited to them. For people who are interested in gardening and nature, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has a volunteer program that may be just what they are looking for. One of Alabama Extension’s most recognized community involvement efforts is its Alabama Master Gardener ... Read More »

Bark Adds Texture and Color to Winter Landscapes

After trees lose their leaves in the fall, many landscapes are left looking bare in winter. Planting trees and shrubs with interesting bark adds texture and color to a sparse winter landscape. Bark characteristics range from bright colors to exfoliating texture to even a quilt-like appearance, said Roosevelt Robinson, an urban regional horticulture agent with Alabama Extension. “These interesting bark characteristics can ... Read More »

Winter Wonders: Flowers That Bloom in Winter

With winter is in full swing  and spring slowly approaching, many gardeners are wondering what types of plants and flowers bloom during the chillier seasons. Winter’s dreary and colorless tone can make many gardens and homes look gray and dull. But there are beautiful plants and flowers that thrive in the cold and can give you that oomph of much needed ... Read More »

Horticulture Helpline Up and Running

Got questions about your garden or lawn? Master Gardeners throughout the state are manning Horticulture Helpline phones to answer questions from gardeners and homeowners. Master Gardeners provide answers based on current research and best practices under the supervision of Alabama Extension agents. “Generally, the toll-free helpline is manned Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and is available ... Read More »

Boxwood Blight: A New Disease Impacting the South

boxwood blight

  Boxwoods are a key element in many Southern gardens, but now a new disease, boxwood blight, is striking this garden favorite. The first find in Alabama was in a newly planted landscape in Birmingham where a number of boxwoods were showing the characteristic symptoms of boxwood blight: brown leaf spots, black stem lesions and defoliation. According to Dr. Kassie ... Read More »

20th Annual Beekeeping Symposium Feb. 7 in Clanton

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s 20th Annual Beekeeping Symposium is being held at a new location — the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center, 1850 Lay Dam Road, Clanton. It is set for Saturday, Feb.7 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. “The symposium will feature a variety of knowledgeable speakers as well as valuable demonstrations for beekeepers,” said James Tew, ... Read More »

Great Gifts for Gardeners from Alabama Extension

Gifts for Gardeners

Auburn, Alabama – Got some gardeners on your holiday shopping list?  Alabama Extension has great gift choices for those green thumb family members and friends. The first two volumes of the Gardening in the South series are now available on iBooks and will make great gifts for gardeners on your list. If you are using a Mac or an iPad, use ... Read More »

What’s Under the Mistletoe?

Time to meet under the mistletoe as the holiday season approaches. Tony Glover, Cullman County Coordinator for Alabama Extension, said part of the reason mistletoe is associated with Christmas is because of its presence across the globe. “Mistletoe is an interesting group of plants,” Glover said. “These species are found worldwide. This lends the plant to Christmas use because it ... Read More »

Fresh Greenery from the Garden for Holiday Decorating

The winter holidays provide a great opportunity to use greenery and garden elements in decorating your home. Fresh holiday greenery gives your home a warm holiday look while also giving off a wonderful, seasonal scent. When choosing greenery and other garden items to decorate with, select fresh materials with contrasting shapes, colors and textures. Kerry Smith, home grounds team leader ... Read More »