PICAYUNE — The City of Picayune began a partnership with Pearl River Central High School this past year in a pilot program to supply its own flowers and greenery for flower beds throughout the city. The program, which has been in the works for two years, became a reality as plants were put in the ground in the median area by Exit 6 on Mississippi Highway 43. On hand for the event were Pearl River Central Assistant Principal and Vocational Director Kelli Beech, Pearl River Central Horticultural Teacher Deborah Morrison, City of Picayune Public Works Director Eric Morris, City of Picayune Grounds and Beautification Director Daryl Smith, along with Grounds and Beautification worker Angela Wood. Morris, said, “This is the brainchild of Daryl Smith. When we began the city beautification initiative, we realized the expense that keeping a community the size of Picayune would demand. We knew we needed to find a way to supply our own greenery and plants to have a shot at making a visual impact each season. At first, we looked into purchasing a green house to grow our plants and it would have required an investment of approximately $2,000. “Daryl suggested we contact PRC and find out about them helping with the project as part of a horticulture curriculum. I applaud him for thinking outside of the box.” Once the program was underway, Smith said he went to the school several times to check on progress and was pleasantly surprised with his interaction with students. “We were excited to see how excited they were. The students really got into the program,” he said. Morrison agreed with Smith and added, “We are so glad that (Smith) sought us out and approached us with this project. The students knew this was their baby and took ownership of it from the beginning. They came in during breaks to check on their plants. It was really fun to see how invested they were. “Now they can pass by and see their work and enjoy the fruit of their labor along with the rest of the community. We are all proud to have played a part in the betterment of our community,” said vice-Principal Beech. Picayune City Manager Jim Luke and Picayune Main Street Manager Reba Beebe both had glowing comments to give about the program and those who participated in it. “We want to express our appreciation for the partnership with PRC in beautifying our city. They have saved our city a total of over $1,500; so it has definitely been a cost saving endeavor for the city and it gives us the capability to expand our city beautification footprint. We will now be able to progress in our goal of cleaning up and beautifying our city,” said Luke. “Our goal and vision is to make Picayune the Fairhope, Ala. of South Mississippi. We are just getting started, just as the city of Fairhope once began with their beautification program 20 years ago. We have a clear vision of where we are headed and are using creative problem solving approaches to financial challenges along the way.” Beebe said, “ A ‘win-win’ project was my first thought, when I heard about the flower project between PRC Students in the Agriscience Department and Daryl Smith’s beautification project for the city. This is a great learning experience for PRC and saved money for the city of Picayune’s beautification budget. “Teaching students about nature from planting seeds and transferring to bigger containers as they grow provided direct hands-on learning for students and also a valuable educational opportunity for both staff and students for years to come,” she said. “We have great prospects for the future and hope for more partnerships like this one as we progress. It is partnerships like this that make it economically viable to expand our beautification efforts,” said Luke.
Arboretum Paths: Mississippi native plants — for the birds
Would you like to provide some new plants in your landscape that will be attractive to birds? You may be surprised to learn that while birds will feast on the fruits and seeds produced by the native plants in your yard, at certain times of year their diets also will consist of large quantities of the insects that feed on these plants.
The great spice cabinet purge
Erma Bombeck once said, "Once you get a spice in your home, you have
it forever. Women never throw out spices."
Man, I’m a believer.
Arboretum Paths: Mississippi native plants that shine in late fall
Have you noticed that some plants in the local landscape are glowing? One exceptional native shrub that is hard to ignore lately is Elliott’s blueberry (Vaccinium elliottii). Its leaves are turning a gorgeous scarlet red, which makes this shrub easy to spot from your car window on a county ride.
Whitney Miller force to be reckoned with in food world
Since winning the first season of MasterChef, Whitney Miller has been in a whirlwind of new experiences and opportunities.
Valuable native plants of the Piney Woods
As a child, it fascinated me that everything that made up my world had been fashioned of materials that came from the earth. It was great fun to sit among the trees in our heavily forested suburban neighborhood and imagine what this country would have been like in its early years, when each new tree or plant encountered would be eyed for its potential ability to prove useful to families eking out a home life in unfamiliar territory.
CWC Pilgrimage: The Teague home
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Teague home in North Hill Subdivision. The home of Richard and Janet Teague, located at 48 Long Lake will be featured in the Civic Woman’s Club Christmas Pilgrimage to be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 2 until 7 p.m.
Arboretum Paths: Plant natives – for seasonal flower arranging
When considering incorporating new plants to your landscape, consider its potential uses. Don't just dig that hole for the exercise. There are many more inexpensive ways to get into shape! If you make an investment in the purchase and care of a new specimen, think about how t will provide you with a return. Could your new plant be used as material for flower arrangements?
Coast Orchid Society Show changes venue
For the past 33 years the Gulf Coast Orchid Society has sponsored a free Orchid Show on the Gulf Coast usually at Singing River Mall in Gautier, Miss. on the bye weekend before the Super Bowl. With the ongoing renovations to the mall, the Society has had to relocate.
It’s fall y’all
It’s fall y’all and this week’s Vocability focuses on all the goodness of southern words and terms.
These are from my own experience growing up and I believe they are common knowledge. You may recognize some of these— admission of knowledge is not necessary. Feel free to email me additional terms you do not find here and there might be another column on the topic.
Tough native species for your home landscape
Last week’s column offered some outstanding native plants for you to consider including in your home landscape for the upcoming planting season. Cooler days inspire us to spend more time outdoors, and many of us will start pondering new planting projects.
Is your yard in need of a fall spruce-up before friends and relatives descend upon you for the holidays? Sometimes all a landscape needs is a fresh dusting of mulch and a morning spent creating a well-defined edge to the planting beds.
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- Arboretum Paths: Mississippi native plants — for the birds