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Gardening in the South

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 »

The Christmas tree: a living tradition

Christmas tree decorated

The turkey and fall decor is gone and people are decorating for Christmas. For many this means spending hours in the kitchen, visiting family and friends, stocking up on presents for children on Santa’s nice list and of course, getting a Christmas tree. Whether you chose to use an artificial or live tree, the Christmas tree has become a beloved custom for ... Read More »

Amaryllis: A Dazzling Display of Indoor Color During the Winter

For a dazzling display of indoor color during the winter months, plant amaryllis bulbs in the fall. The amaryllis blossom commands attention with its bold color and its 8-to-10-inch diameter. Each bulb usually produces two stems. Each stem can produce up to six blossoms. Consumers often see amaryllis in small pots for sale at garden stores during the holiday season. ... Read More »