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Southern Gardens

Since Spring has sprung and we’re in the midst of showers and sunshine, what better time to chat about Southern Gardens than now. I have extensive photos of my Great-Grandmother {Nana} and her rose gardens in our family collection, and have been so inspired by the beautiful, white climbing roses at Serenbe where we got married. That will be the next garden I tackle, however this year I decided to replant my herbs and go a little further with my vegetables this year in the tiny, square container garden my husband built for me a few years back. I’ve been busy posting photo updates on my Instagram, and pinning some of my favorite garden inspiration as well for ideas!

Southern Gardens

Southern Living has long been a staple for our Southern home {as I know it has for yours} and Senior Gardens Editor, Steve Bender {aka The Grumpy Gardener} is joining us to chat all about the essentials for growing a Southern Garden today!

As I planned for and planted my own herb & vegetable garden this year, with little thriving success over the past few, I got the chance to ask Steve a few questions, tips & pointers. Here is what he had to share …

 

Steve Bender Southern LivingWhat are your favorite plants & flowers to grow in the South?

Native azaleas, angelonia, coleus, oakleaf hydrangea, clivia, Japanese maple,  Lenten rose, daffodils, crepe myrtle.

What are your favorite fruits & vegetables to grow in the South?

Blueberries, figs, Japanese persimmon, sweet peppers, lettuce, okra, basil, rosemary.
What epitomizes a truly Southern garden?

A garden with plants well-adapted to the region that expresses the personality of the owner as well as Southern gardening history.
Tell us your top tips for a successful garden in the South?

Give plants what they like — sun or shade, dry soil or wet soil, mild winters or cold winters. Don’t mix plants that have different likes.

What is your favorite thing about gardening?

My favorite thing is it helps you relax and forget about everything else going on in the world. Your garden is your refuge.
What are some of the most creative garden containers or elements that you’ve seen?

There are so many old junky things that make really cool containers — like boots, colanders, bathtubs, suitcases, coffee pots, etc. Last year at P. Allen Smith’s place in Arkansas, I made a beautiful mixed planter out of a bedpan.
When is the best time to plant your garden?

The best time to plant is when it’s right for the plants and right for you.
What is the best way to prepare your plot for planting?

Good soil is everything. Before planting, loosen the soil to a foot deep and mix in lots and lots of organic matter, such as chopped leaves, ground bark, composted manure, garden compost, and sphagnum peat moss.
Who inspired your love of gardening?

My Dad. He was a big gardener and I followed in his footsteps.
How are you carrying on the tradition of gardening?

My garden has lots of pass-along plants given to me by family, friends, and complete strangers. Every time I see one of those plants, I remember the time I got it and the person who gave it. I share my plants too.

 

#southernchat:  Southern Gardens (Monday, 4/29/13, 9:00 pm edt.)

Q1: What elements truly epitomize a Southern garden?

Q2: What are your favorite plants, flowers, fruits & veggies to grow in your Southern garden?

Q3. Who or what inspires your Southern garden?

Q4: What are some of your favorite pots & creative containers for growing a Southern garden?

Q5: What tips & tricks have been passed down to you for growing the best garden?

 

Images via Shabbiness to Fabulous, KaraRosaLund, Pinterest, Flora & Fauna, Garden Artistry, Williams-Sonoma, Crush Cul de Sac

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