The Mississippi State University Extension Service provides research-based information and educational programs that focus on issues and needs of the people of Mississippi. An overall goal for the Mississippi State University Extension Service is to be a leader for positive change for individuals, families, and communities.
Extension continues to look for better ways to deliver information. Through computer and distance-learning technology, educational information is instantly available to agents and clients. If you find a topic of interest, click read more to be redirected to the Extension Service website.
The Extension faculty in Landscape Architecture have prepared numerous fact sheets to assist in landscaping projects.
Attracting Birds to Mississippi Gardens
When designed properly, residential gardens can attract a wide array of songbirds and other wildlife.
Attracting Butterflies to Mississippi Gardens
Butterflies provide a beautiful living element in the landscape. In addition to their myriad colors, sizes, and forms, they provide an important role of pollinating many wildflowers and woody plants.
Attracting Hummingbirds to Mississippi Gardens
Many Mississippi gardeners enjoy attracting hummingbirds to the landscape. These active birds provide hours of entertainment for children and adults alike and display extraordinary abilities to turn, hover, and fly.
Creating a Bog Garden
Bog gardens can be a fascinating addition for children and adults in the home landscape.
Creating the Perennial Garden
Gardeners are attracted to perennial gardens for their extended bloom times and wealth of colors and textures. Perennial plants differ from annual plants in that they live for at least three years and often longer, reducing the need for regular replacement.
Creating Water Features in the Landscape
The simple addition of water in the landscape can offer a new dynamic to a garden area. From quiet still shallow ponds to the active spray jets in a formal pool, water can provide just the right element for the many moods of a landscaped space.
Creative Courtyard Spaces
A courtyard is a yard wholly or partly surrounded by walls or buildings. Differing than patios that open out to the greater landscape, courtyards tend to be separated spaces from the rest of the landscape.
Designing with Native Plants and Naturalistic Landscapes
Designing gardens that celebrate and 'fit' the surrounding Mississippi natural landscape is a desire of many homeowners and educators. Using native plants in the garden offers many benefits including best adaptability to local soil and climate conditions, maintaining food plants and shelter for local wildlife, the conservation and propagation of local flora types, and creating a sense of place that is unique to our state.
Designing with Vines
Vines serve as an important vertical element in the home landscape. These 'green walls' are used to soften the look of harsh structural items such as masonry and brick, and can do wonders to improve the appearance of chain link and other types of fences.
Developing a Home Landscape Plan
A well designed landscape can provide years of enjoyment for your family, and significantly add to your home's value. All good ideas begin with a plan.
Discouraging Deer in the Garden
The populations of white-tailed deer have risen dramatically in the eastern United States in recent years. In addition to abundant deer, many have expanded their range and seem well suited to living in rural and even urban residential areas.
Easy Groundcovers for Mississippi Lawns
Groundcovers serve many important functions in the home landscape. These low growing plants control soil erosion, reduce glare and heat, slow and absorb rainwater run-off, compete against weeds, muffle sounds, and help to direct pedestrian traffic.
Ferns for Mississippi Gardens
Referred to as 'nature's lacework', ferns provide beauty and utility for shaded Southern gardens. These ground-hugging perennials do not offer flower or fruit, but their myriad forms, leaf sizes, leaf colors, and unique textures provide a wealth of interest for difficult garden sites.
Gardening on Steep Slopes
Steeply sloping areas can provide many challenges and opportunities for property owners. Steep slopes are defined as areas of land that rise greater than twenty percent in angle.
Green Roofs for Southern Landscapes
Green roofs are vegetative alternatives to traditional roofing materials. Instead of having asphalt, gravel, or shingles on a roof, live plants and growing media are placed.
Reusing wastewater on planted areas is nothing new to agrarian cultures. It is documented that English and German farmers have used wastewater as fertilizer from as early as the 16th century. Early Greeks did the same thing, as did many Asian countries even before the days of Plato.
Hardy Palms and Cycads for Mississippi
Palms and cycads are well-suited to the subtropical climate of coastal Mississippi. With bold linear trunks and exotic foliage, these plants provide an air of tropical lushness in the garden.
Herb Gardens for Mississippi
Herbs are an enjoyable and useful addition to the Southern garden. In addition to the beauty of their foliage and flower, incorporating herbs into the landscape provides benefits to both the gardener and backyard wildlife.
Landscape Design for Antebellum Homes
Antebellum homes and their modern versions dot the Mississippi landscape in celebration of our region's traditional architectural heritage.
Landscape Design to Protect from Wildfires
Many homeowners prefer to select wooded sites for their residence because of the beauty of Mississippi's forests. Some are unaware, however, that the majority of Mississippi's woodlands are actually fire ecosystems.
Louisiana Iris in the Home Landscape
Louisiana iris has the distinction of having the greatest diversity of colors out of any iris group. Virtually every color of the rainbow is found in the flowers of these iris species. This is fortunate, as the name iris is derived from the Greek word meaning rainbow.
Native Shrubs for Mississippi Landscapes
A list of thirty shrub species that are native to Mississippi and have proven to perform well in urban landscapes. For each shrub species described, its native habitats; flowering, fruit, leaf and form characteristics; wildlife values; cultural tips; as well as effective landscape uses are noted.
Native Trees for Mississippi Landscapes
The use of indigenous trees in Mississippi homes, gardens and communities is not new to our state. Indeed, they form the very fabric of our surroundings and create our state's own unique regional identity.
Planting Design Fundamentals
Plants are the essence of a garden. As opposed to non-living materials that form our exterior landscape spaces, such as wood or stone, plants are the living beings through which we form our partnerships with nature.
Plants for Green Walls
Green walls are places where plants are growing on the sides of buildings or other vertical structures.
Protecting water quality for drainage areas, ponds, and stream channels
Communities are under increasing pressure to improve water quality in local streams and waterways in urban and suburban areas. Pollution in these areas can occur from rainwater runoff from commercial or residential properties, including your own backyard.
Rain gardens are storm water drainage areas that temporarily store rainwater until it can filter into the soil. Rain gardens do not permanently store water, and have surface water only during and shortly after rainfall events.
Successful Shade Gardens
Often viewed as a constraint for producing sun loving flower gardens, shade conditions in residential gardens offer many benefits as well.
The Low Maintenance Landscape
With today's busy lifestyles, homeowners are seeking ways to reduce maintenance in the home landscape. The creation of a low maintenance landscape requires proper planning and making wise choices.
Using Color in the Landscape
Color is the most rewarding, yet challenging, element to work with in the landscape. As in cooking, too much spice can render a meal inedible, a very common mistake is to substitute color for a good garden design. The addition of spice should not make the meal, yet instead enhance the subtle qualities of its flavors.
Using hedgerows on properties
Hedgerows, also known as shelter belts or wind breaks, are living fences of trees, shrubs, groundcovers, vines, and other plants.
Working With a Landscape Architect
Dreaming about your ultimate outdoor environment is an exciting process. Determining how to achieve your dreams, however, can be daunting. If you are interested in a professionally designed landscape environment, or if there are safety, environmental, or construction issues—you may need the services of a landscape architect.
Working With a Landscape Contractor
Landscape contractors help to build your dream landscape. A landscape contractor is a specialty contractor who provides the materials and services needed to construct landscapes; or provides the management and maintenance needed to keep projects in prime condition after implementation.
Year Round Gardens: Developing a Plant Schedule for your Landscape
A fun and easy exercise in your garden is to develop a listing of when plants come into bloom, fruit, or fall color during the year. Known as a plant schedule, this is especially useful when making decisions on plant types for new planting designs or to enhance existing gardens.