PICAYUNE — What wonderful visitors we met during our recent Spring Native Plant Sale. It was a constant stream of enthusiastic gardeners, and all seemed to arrive with a delightful story. Many were brand new visitors to the Arboretum. Some came because they had been attracted by the beautiful photo of the native “honeysuckle” azalea in last week’s column. It was so rewarding to see cartloads of plants being wheeled away to take root and thrive in their new homes. Spring is still springing, and though this writer will admit to having once said that spring is a wee bit garish, anyone familiar with this column will know that just about any aspect of nature will serve to inspire me in some way. Last week on a trip up to the MSU campus in Starkville, I was treated to a parade of our glorious native dogwoods along Interstate 59 between Hattiesburg and Meridian. The glowing white blooms of the dogwoods were mingled with a rolling sea of green, so many different shades, from deep olives to the fine textured wispy light greens set against the dark green of pine trees. The shapes were varied, too — from the broad, spreading, mushroom shapes of majestic oaks, to the conical forms of bald cypress and sweetgum. At the plant sale, our conversations kept returning to species that are low-maintenance and carefree. Several of these popular plants were vines, notably passion flower, and coral honeysuckle. And even though the passion vine plants weren’t blooming, they were quickly snapped up by those who knew of its virtues. The coral honeysuckle, however, was in bloom. It didn’t take long for this plant to make a complete exit, along with its bright yellow form called ‘Sulphurea.’ Passion vine (Passiflora incarnata) is known for being a host plant for the gulf fritillary butterfly. It is not unusual to have this plant arrive from the nursery covered with scary-looking orange caterpillars that have equally frightening black spines. Although the caterpillars look like they might sting, their spines are actually quite fragile and will break off easily. If you were to see these odd creatures devouring your beautiful flowering vine, you might be tempted to squish them immediately, which was once the response of a past garden client who reported proudly that she had taken care of the offenders. But when she learned that they would have turned into butterflies, she was not at all pleased! Last year, we were excited to find a few passion vines late in the year for our Children’s Butterfly Garden. Before I could even walk away after it was planted, a gulf fritillary butterfly flitted over and began to dance around the plant. Soon, it landed, most likely to deposit eggs. It never ceases to amaze me when pondering these insect-plant preferences. If you have a passion vine and see these butterflies paying it a visit, look closely to see if you can find tiny eggs clinging to a tendril or the underside of a leaf. When they hatch, the tiny caterpillars will begin to consume the leaves. Eventually, they will form a chrysalis, from which the butterfly will emerge. Passion vine is a perennial, and although it will die to the ground each year after the leaves are killed by frost, it will come back each year. The plant grows in full to part sun, and prefers moist, well-drained soil conditions. Let it ramble or scramble in your garden, perhaps up a tree, pole, or arbor. Passiflora forms maypops, which are about the size of an egg and contain seeds. It is best for the maypops to mature and fall to the ground if you are planning to collect seed for propagation. You can also propagate this plant by cuttings. Another favorite is the coral honeysuckle vine (Lonicera sempervirens), which can be found growing along our Pearl River County roadsides, often scrambling up a tree or a fence. I’ve seen gorgeous specimens with hundreds of blooms at the road’s edge. Coral honeysuckle grows in full to part sun, and is a virtual magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies. The fruits are eaten by birds. Let it scramble up a trellis or grow it on an arbor. Ours has been blooming in the Children’s garden for more than a month. Celebrate our spring rains with the children’s program titled “April Showers” on Saturday, April 20 from 10 to 11 a.m. with Master Naturalist Mary Cordray. Mary will discuss the water cycle and water conservation while children play “Go to the Head of the Cloud” and make rain sticks. Mark your calendar for the Crosby Arboretum’s Earth Day event on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit stations that are focused on nature and sustainable gardening on topics such as beekeeping, rainwater irrigation, birds & butterflies, and composting. Attend a presentation at 10 a.m. on home landscaping with an edible twist. Take home some new ideas for your yard and garden from MSU urban horticulturist Dr. Christine Coker, who will discuss “Delicious Design for the Landscape”. A spring wildflower field walk will be offered on Friday, May 3 at 11 a.m., and a program about our south Mississippi’s native orchids will be held on Saturday May 4 at 10 a.m. Later in the month, children will enjoy decorating a clay pot for a Mother’s Day gift in our “Painted Pots” craft workshop class on Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. Cost for most Arboretum programs is $5 for non-members’, and $2 for non-members’ children. Members attend free of charge. For more information, or to sign up for a program, please visit www.crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu, or call (601)799-2311. The Crosby Arboretum is located in Picayune, I-59 Exit 4, at 370 Ridge Road (south of Walmart and adjacent to I-59). For further exploration: What native plants make their home in your yard? How many can you identify? Pick a few that you find attractive, and go to www.southeasternflora.com to use their identification key to discover their names. Visit the MSU Extension Service website at www.MSUcares.com for more gardening and plant information specific to Mississippi.
These native vines just might cling to your heart
Picayune Community Spotlight: Picayune Police Department
The Picayune Police Department has had a year of progress in the war on drugs, 911 capability and high visibility which in no small part has been due to focus on goals; cooperation of city officials and community support and departmental commitment— for example, everyone received the Chief’s Award from Police Chief Bryan Dawsey at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet.
Parker brings Christmas to 95 children
Cathryn Paker has spent all year diligently working on giftboxes for children she will never see. On Thursday, for the fifth consecutive year, she presented those 95 giftboxes for children in need to Christian Care Ministries on behalf of herself and her church, St. Barnabus Anglican Church.
Third annual Christmas on the Rails and Shopping by Candlelight
The Third Annual “Christmas on the Rails” is from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday in conjunction with Picayune Main Street’s Shop by Candlelight and Art Works sponsored by Greater Picayune Arts Council (GPAC). Art Works and Shop by Candlelight go on until 9 p.m. Sometime during the evening, the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner of the Best Decorated Store Front contest.
CWC Pilgrimage: A second time around
D.L. and Sandra Barker Bolton invite you to join them for the “second time around” as they open their home for the Civic Woman’s Club Christmas Pilgrimage to be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 2 until 7 p.m.
Both of them were on the first tour of homes when Civic Woman’s Club started the Pilgrimage in 1986. D.L. and his late wife, Wanda, had a Renaissance Christmas, and Sandra and her late husband, Larry, had a Victorian Christmas.
Business withstands test of time
McDonald Funeral Home, now owned and operated by Steve and Ann
McDonald, is a 96-year-old family run business with several long time
employees and was the recent recipient of the 2013 Excellence in
Business Award from the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce.
Vocability: Did Black Friday make you blue?
The holiday shopping season has begun and in its honor this week’s
column relates to retail terminology.
Anyone who has either had a part-time job or has been known as a
frequent shopper has most likely encountered several of these terms.
Match the ones you know and learn the others because it will give you
a whole perspective on your shopping experience.
As always, the answers are at the bottom of the column.
Partners delivers Presents for Pearl River County
“Our vision was to coordinate with all three county school districts and have students anonymously adopted like the programs used with ‘Angel Tree’ and such,” said Herndon, who is Children's Minister at First Baptist Church in Picayune. “We have two locations for trees that will have ornaments representing children in need. One is at Coast Electric in Picayune and the other is at the Poplarville Courthouse.”
Coast Electric is located at 6375 U.S. 11, in Picayune. The Poplarville Courthouse is located at 200 Highway 26 E, in Poplarville. The trees are conveniently located for access when the facilities are closed.
Toys for Tots registration and drive
Boxes are available in Picayune, Poplarville, Crossroads, Millard, McNeill and Carriere.
In Picayune, a few of the many locations to find them are: Crosby Library, Highland Community Hospital, Picayune Police Department and SPCA. In Poplarville, a few of the many locations to find them are: Jacob’s Well, Chamber of Commerce and Hancock Bank. In Crossroads, a box is located at Crossroad Seafood and Grill. In McNeill, a box is located at McNeill Travel Plaza. In Carriere, boxes can be found at Hide-A-Way Lake and PRC School ROTC.
To sign up, go to WORC from Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec 6, during the hours of 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. through noon. Those needing further information can call 769-926-1333.
Fred Cruse Foundation again giving away bicycles
All donations can be either dropped off or mailed to Fred’s Westside Pharmacy located at 207 Kirkwood St., Picayune, MS 39466. For more information call Diane Cruse at 601-798-8888.
Angel Tree for children
Trees with angel ornaments to adopt can be found at Wal-Mart and Highland Community Hospital. Those who would like to sponsor a child through Angel Tree, or find out more about it, may call the church at 601-798-6301 or visit the Internet site at www.angeltree.org.
- More Lifestyles Headlines
- Picayune Community Spotlight: Picayune Police Department