Gardening in the South: The Complete Homeowner's Guide

Gardening in the South: The Complete Homeowner's Guide

by Mark Weathington


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Gardening in the South: The Complete Homeowner's Guide by Mark Weathington

Expert advice for Southern gardeners
A gardener’s plant choice and garden style are inextricably linked to the place they call home. In order to grow a flourishing garden, every gardener must know the specifics of their region’s climate, soil, and geography. Gardening in the South is comprehensive, enthusiastic, and accessible to gardeners of all levels. It features information on site and plant selection, soil preparation and maintenance, and basic design principles. Plant profiles highlight the region’s best perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and bulbs. Color photographs throughout show wonderful examples of southern garden style. Gardening in the South is for home gardeners in Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604695915
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/03/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 406,424
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mark Weathingron is the director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University. As a devotee of low-input gardening, he searches for ornamental plants that provide beauty and utility to the garden without needing a surplus of time, energy, or chemicals to grow and thrive. Weathingtron spreads the word about these great plants in dozens of lectures a year, articles in most major gardening magazines, and a weekly newspaper column. 

Read an Excerpt

A gardening book is a very personal glimpse into the mind of the author, so you may be interested to know a bit more about me and my philosophy regarding gardening. I am a lifelong resident of the Southeast, having grown up in south-central Virginia. Unlike those lucky folks who talk about gardening as a child at the side of their grandmother, I did not find my passion for horticulture until I went to college in the mountains. After trying on and discarding several majors (architecture, business, English) I took a plant propagation class on a lark and discovered immediately that I would spend the rest of my life in this field.

My passion for the intersection of plants and people led to undergraduate degrees in both horticulture and sociology and a master’s degree in horticulture. I encountered the steepest learning curve, however, from my experience working in a retail garden center during my college years. That job threw me into all facets of gardening, from outdoor landscaping, to interiorscaping, to sales. There is perhaps no better way to learn than to help the tremendous assortment of people who come through a garden center’s doors. After college I headed to Atlanta for my first taste of public horticulture at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where my enthusiasm for new plants and great horticultural displays only grew. After several years I moved to coastal Virginia and the Norfolk Botanical Garden where I learned to deal with sandy soils and salt spray as well as the occasional hurricane. A decade spent at the seaside seemed like enough, and I yearned to be back in the rolling hills of the Piedmont where I grew up.

The opportunity to work with the fantastic staff of the JC Raulston Arboretum (JCRA) at North Carolina State University was too tempting to pass up. Few public gardens have had as great an impact on the field of horticulture in as short a timeframe as the JCRA. The Arboretum not only has a reputation for introducing new plants to cultivation, but perhaps more important, for introducing the right people to the right plants and getting them into production and available to the general public. The ethos of sharing is integral to the JCRA and makes it a unique place to be. Whether it is plant material or information, the desire to make as much as possible available to as wide an audience as possible carries through everything we do.

After two and a half decades in horticulture I’ve learned several lessons—there is nothing more important than being well-rooted, a garden without people to see it isn’t worth the effort, and a plant shared equals a friend made. I still get excited by a new plant, a well-designed garden, or a stunning combination, but the sharing of these moments with other people is what makes gardening so enjoyable. My gardening philosophy is, first and foremost, your garden should make you happy. Gardening “rules” have their place and can help guide design, but throw them out the window if they interfere with your unique sense of style. I am personally a plant lover—while I know in my heart that my garden would be best served by planting out masses of perennials, I can’t make myself plant in anything but drifts of one. Ultimately the most memorable gardens are the ones which truly reflect their owners. I
hope reading this book will inspire you to go out and garden and more importantly to share your garden with a friend.

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