The ever evolving garden experience

Published 1:16 pm Saturday, October 9, 2021

By Eileen Hollander

About twenty years ago, when I acquired my home and garden in Poplarville Mississippi, I took the MSU classes and became a knowledgeable Pearl River Master Gardener (PRCMG). 

Initially, two clumps of pampas grass were at the corner of my single-story brick home and no plants were in the north-facing front. 

Four willow oaks dropping branches surrounded the back.  A thorny rose greeted us on the east where the driveway enters the house.

Large azaleas and camellias were in the distance on the East side of the driveway.  Barren 10-foot-tall blueberry bushes, an apple tree and a pear tree were in the background on the west side of the house.  In short, the only plant not in decline was a large fig bush on the south side of my house.  Tall bahiagrass dominated. 

During one PRCMG meeting at the Crosby Arboretum, Pat Drackett suggested plants that would make my entrance more inviting.  I planted azaleas in front, moved the pampas grass to the north property border, replaced the rose with gardenias and installed a blueberry hedge.

The old blueberries were rejuvenated by cutting them to 3 feet and fertilizing them.

Hurricane Katrina removed all but one of the willow oaks.  Then two tornados took the other declining trees. 

During PRCMGs visits, Dr. Eddie Smith demonstrated planting pear trees, Reggie Davis guided building a muscadine trellis and Dr. Eric Stafne taught pruning pecan, pear and muscadines.

Master Gardeners provide many opportunities to see beautiful gardens and nurseries, meet great gardeners, learn volumes and serve the community.

If you are interested learning more about the Master Gardener program, call 601-403-2280.

Come join us and have fun!