On May 1, 2023, I moved to Water Valley, MS, and as soon as I had emptied most of my boxes, I began using the cardboard to create garden spaces.

My first challenge was to camouflage an air conditioner unit that was only a few feet from the door that led from my screened porch into my backyard. I built one side of the wall from rough cedar boards.

Some tall Shasta Daisies are in the corner. They are being staked by the trellis against that wall.

Across the brick stepping stones, you see a rather large forsythia bush. It is arching over and thereby camouflaging the water faucet there.

A bleeding heart plant is beside the forsythia. Both the forsythia and the bleeding heart have already bloomed for this year.

At the corner of the cedar wall–where it meets the side wall, I have planted a red coneflower, [it had no tag, but I believe that it is a Kismet], a Heavenly Blue Speedwell plant, some portulaca plants, and an evergreen Stella.

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The other side of the wall is a mixture of picket fence panels and cedar boards.

In the middle of this side section, I have planted a Perfume Breeze Rose. Its blossoms are light pink [almost white], and they look very much like the blossoms on The Fairy rose.

Perfume Breeze Rose – Image Credit Certified Roses

Perfume Breeze is very bushy, and it is a short climber. It will not climb higher than 8′. At this point, it is functioning more s a shrub rose than a climbing rose.

May be an image of cold frame
I have placed an iron rose arbor at the far end of the bed. In the center of the arbor, I have planted a Zepherine Drouhin Rose. There is morning shade in this spot, and Zepherine Drouhin tolerates a bit of shade. I have also panted 2 large Oakleaf Hydrangeas and 2 Quick Fire Hydrangeas in this area.
In the above photo – on the left – you see my Quick Fire Hydrangea in my previous garden. In spring, Quick Fire has white blossoms, but those white blossoms become pink during the summer.
Radiance Rhododendron – Image Credit Southern Living
I have also planted 2 Radiance Rhododendrons in this area–about 6 feet in front of the arbor and hydrangeas.
Radiance Southgate Rhododendron's big pink to white blooms with red freckles
Radiance Rhododendron – Image Credit Southern Living
Radiance has blooms that are initially lavender, but they become pink later.
I almost never buy annuals. But I do buy pentas and zinnias every year, and both of these are annuals.
How to Plant and Grow Pentas
Red Penta Plant – Image Credit Better Homes and Gardens
“Pentas (Pentas lanceolata) is one of the best pollinator-attracting plants around. It blooms all summer long, even during the hottest weather conditions. The large clusters of starry blooms on pentas are the perfect landing pads for pollinators such as butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. Blooms come in shades of pink, white, red, and lavender. The plant grows well both in the ground and in containers and even makes a good houseplant if enough light is present.” Better Homes and Gardens
I have planted red and purple penta plants in my garden.

Vegetables & Fruits in My Garden


Hale’s Best Jumbo Cantaloupe – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“About 6.5″ in diameter, this melon has a thick, sweet, salmon-orange flesh with a rich, aromatic flavor. It’s also high in vitamins A, B, and C. Yay!” Ferry Morse

Seed Spacing: Sow Hale’s Best Jumbo Cantaloupe seeds roughly 4′ apart in rows, keeping rows approximately 4′ apart. Cantaloupe is ready to harvest when it’s golden-beige, it has a distinct aroma, and it slips easily from the vine.” Ferry-Morse

Height at Maturity: Vining type habit. Hales Best Cantaloupe will grow to about 30 cm (12”) high and have vines that spread about 1.5 m (5′) long.” Wildrose Heritage Seed Company

Preparation Ideas: Make a cold soup for hot summer days by pureeing the melon, adding juice from 1 lime and a bit of salt.

Plant Type: Fruit


Clemson Spineless Okra – Heirloom – Image Credit: Bonnie’s Plants

“Heirloom. High yields of spineless, tender ribbed pods with excellent flavor. Traditional favorite for soups and stews. Can be canned, fried, roasted or boiled. Harvest pods when 3 Inches Long. Pods get much bigger, but small pods are more tender. Plants just keep growing until cool weather in the fall, so they will get 6 feet or taller in areas with a long, warm growing season.” Bonnie’s Plants

Carrots in my 2o23 Garden

Scarlet Nantes Carrot – Heirloom – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

This heirloom carrot originally from France has been improved in the U.S. over the last 50 years. It is now one of the most uniform and easy to grow open-pollinated carrot varieties. The rounded ends of the six-inch roots have even been known to grow well in heavier soils.” Hudson Valley Seed Company

“Scarlet Nantes carrots have a crispy, sweet flavor which makes them absolutely perfect for snacking. Nearly coreless, Scarlet Nantes carrots grow to be 6″ long and feature a great red-orange color. These carrots do particularly well in clay soil.” Ferry Morse

Growing Information

Grows Best In: Full Sun
Days to Germination: 14-25 Days
Days to Maturity: 65-70 Days
Best Container Size: 12″+

Botanical Name: Daucus carota

Flavor: Sweet and flavorful.

Preparation Ideas: Use these in soups, stews, and gourmet salads.

Plant Type: Vegetable


Boston Pickling Cucumber – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“This cucumber is considered a pickling and/or slicing cucumber variety. Boston Pickling Cucumbers are little, black-spine cukes that are just the right size for pickling. You can also try them sliced in salads, too, and enjoy their exceptional flavor. Expect heavy yields from the productive vines. Harvest cucumbers from vine when they are 2″-6″ in length.” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus

Flavor: Crisp, juicy, and refreshingly cool cucumbers.

Preparation Ideas: The perfect size for pickling.

Plant Type: Vegetable

Growth Type: Vining

Muncher Cucumber – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“A slicer cucumber variety, it produces prolific, tender, burpless cucumbers that aren’t bitter or tough. These disease resistant cucumbers can even be eaten raw like an apple.” Ferry Morse

Key Features

Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus

Flavor: Mild, sweet, crispy, and never bitter.

Preparation Ideas: Non-bitter, this is a great variety for snacking in the garden fresh off the vine.

Plant Type: Vegetable

Growth Type: Vining

Disease Resistance: Scab, cucumber mosaic, downey/powdery mildew, alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose – Ferry Morse

Muncher Cucumber Characteristics

“The muncher is an heirloom, warm-season cucumber that grows on strong vines produces heavy yields, and doesn’t require pollination. The plant reaches up to four feet tall with large leaves.

“This cucumber’s full length is six to nine (up to 10) inches, with a width of two to three inches. Its soft-to-medium green skin is smooth, thin, and tender.” Minnetonka Orchards

Grand Rapids Lettuce – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“Ready to harvest in roughly 45 days, these lettuce seeds grow quickly into upright plants and are slower to bolt than other loose leaf lettuce varieties. This cool weather vegetable is high in vitamins A and B!” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa

Flavor: Grand Rapids Lettuce has a sweet and crisp taste.

Preparation Ideas: Make a delicious salad with leaves from this variety!

Plant Type: Vegetable

Growth Type: Loose leaf

White Lisbon Bunching Onion – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“This silvery white onion variety is crisp, mild, and fast growing. It is not affected by long or short days. Add bunching onion to salads or sandwiches for an easy enhancement or enjoy them plain.

“Sow Easy seeds are pelleted with an all-natural coating made from a mix of clay, perlite, and FDA-approved food coloring. This coating adds some bulk to small seeds and stands out in the soil, making direct sowing and accurate spacing easier than ever. However, the coating does add a few days to the germination time when compared to uncoated seed.” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Allium cepa

Flavor: Zesty, mild.

Preparation Ideas: This bunching onion variety is a great choice for salads and sandwiches.

Plant Type: Vegetable


“This pumpkin variety has a bright orange shell that is hard and furrowed — which makes it absolutely perfect for carving! Plant these Jack O’Lantern pumpkin seeds to grow your own decorative pumpkins each fall.” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Cucurbita pepo

Flavor: Mild, not as sweet as other pumpkin varieties.

Preparation Ideas: Can be used for pies, but best used as jack o’lanterns.

Plant Type: Vegetable

Growth Type: Carving, cooking

Botanical Name: Cucurbita pepo

Flavor: Mild, not as sweet as other pumpkin varieties.

Preparation Ideas: Can be used for pies, but best used as jack o’lanterns.

Plant Type: Vegetable

Growth Type: Carving, cooking

Jack O Lantern produces 12 to 16 inch pumpkins with deep orange skin. Each Pumpkin plant will produce about 3 to 5 fruits per vine & each fruit will weigh about 10 to 24 pounds each. The plants themselves will grow to a mature height of only 12 to 24 inches tall and spreads to a varying length of 10 to 15 feet long.Each Pumpkin plant will produce about 3 to 5 fruits per vine & each fruit will weigh about 10 to 24 pounds each.” Seeds Needs


Early Scarlet Globe Radish – Image Credit Ferry Morse

“So crispy, crunchy, and delicious, this variety is a long-time favorite of gardeners everywhere. They go great on fresh salads, or simply enjoyed raw.” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Raphanus sativus

Flavor: Juicy, crisp, and mild.

Preparation Ideas: Adds crispiness to salads, or delicious when roasted.

Plant Type: Vegetable

Fill Weight (grams): 3

Growth Type: Spring

Dark Green Zucchini Summer Squash – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“When this long green squash is mature it can be up to 10-12” in length! Ideal for multiple cooking dishes and baked goods such as cakes, breads and muffins. A summer squash, this green zucchini is a delight in the kitchen.

“Wondering how to plant zucchini outdoors? Sow seeds roughly 4′ apart in rows, keeping rows at least 12” apart

Botanical Name: Cucurbita pepo

Flavor: Sweet.

Preparation Ideas: A great choice for baked foods like cake, bread or muffins!

Plant Type: Vegetable

Tomatoes in my 2o23 Garden

Black Cherry - Heirloom Tomato Seeds | Organic TomatoFest
Black Cherry Tomato – Image Credit: Tomato Fest

Black Cherry Tomato – Image Credit: Bonnie’s Plants

“This truly black cherry tomato was bred in Florida by the late Vince Sapp. Pick loads of these perfectly round, dark fruits with rich, sweet, dynamic flavor from just one plant. Great for shish-kebabs, salads (they’re striking!), or just eating in the garden. Vines are quite vigorous, so use a tall cage. Open-pollinated.” Bonnie’s Plants
Early Girl Tomato (2 Pack) – Bonnie Plants
Early Girl Tomato – Image Credit: Bonnie Plants
Because I am getting a late start, I am trying Early Girl this year. It produces fruit in 50 days. I bought plant starts. I don’t know how long it will be until my gal produces.
Lemon Boy Tomato – Image Credit: Bonnie Plants

“Lemon Boy hybrid is an eye-catching tomato with wonderful color and flavor. The deep globe fruit is slightly tangy, but also sweet and mild, meaty, and smooth — perfect for slicing. Adds visual interest to the garden! Vines grow rather tall, so be sure to stake or cage the plant. The highly adaptable indeterminate vines are resistant to verticillium wilt (V), fusarium wilt (F), nematodes (N), alternaria stem canker (A), and gray leaf spot (St).” Bonnie Plants

Large, zoomable image of Bonnie Plants Tomato. 1 of 3
Park’s Whopper Tomato – Image Credit: Bonnie Plants

Park’s Whopper produces fruit after 65 days

Parks Whopper, (F1) Tomato Seeds | Urban Farmer

Park’s Whopper Tomato – Image Credit: Urban Farmer

Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato – Heirloom – Image Credit: Bonnie’s Plants

“Heirloom. Long, indeterminate vines produce a seemingly endless supply of mild flavored, pear-shaped tomatoes all summer. The tiny tomatoes are borne in clusters. This is one of the prettiest tomatoes in the garden — it’s beautiful in salads! This variety is known to bear fruit dependably through summer weather. Vines can grow 8 feet or longer, so give them a tall support or place to ramble. Moderately resistant to late blight (LB).” Bonnie’s Plants


Sugar Baby Watermelon – Heirloom – Image Credit: Bonnie Plants

“This small, round melon is called an icebox type because it is petite enough to fit in the refrigerator. This widely adapted heirloom variety is solid, dark green on the outside with a bright red, firm and fine-grained flesh that is super sweet.” Bonnie Plants

Fruit Size: 8 to 10 pounds

Icebox melon vines typically spread 6 to 8 feet—compared to a 12- to 19-foot run for full-size watermelons. The yield per vine depends heavily on the variety (and also on growing conditions). ‘Sugar Baby’ produces anywhere from two to five melons per vine.” HGTV.com

Crimson Sweet Watermelon – Heirloom – Image Credit: Bonnie Plants

“A pretty, light green melon with dark stripes, Crimson Sweet is famous for its high sugar content and great flavor. Seeds are small and dark. The vines are resistant to anthracnose and fusarium wilt. Give vines plenty of room to run. Released by Kansas State University in 1963, it has become a classic favorite. High in lycopene.” Bonnie Plant

Fruit Size: Up to 20 pounds


Basil Sweet Italian – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

Our Sweet Italian Basil seeds will grow into an herb with an ultra pleasing aroma and a delicious taste.

“The leaves of this herb are attractive and contain a spicy flavor that makes green salads, tomato & cheese dishes, soups, and omelettes even more delicious!

“The entire plant has a very pleasing aroma and it makes a great companion for growing tomato plants.” Ferry Morse

Growing Height: 18-24″

Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum

Flavor: Spicy sweet!

Preparation Ideas: Perfect for your morning omelette or any salads or soups you have during the day.

Plant Type: Herb

Oregano – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“A flowering plant of the mint family, oregano produces leaves that are an essential ingredient in Italian and Spanish dishes. Oregano is also commonly used in salads, stews, stuffing, fish, and egg & cheese dishes; similar to Marjoram, but with a sharper fragrance and flavor.

Botanical Name: Origanum vulgare

Flavor: Similar to marjoram but sharper!

Preparation Ideas: Popular in Italian and Spanish recipes.

Plant Type: Herb

Rue Rue

Rue – Image Credit: Johnny’s Seeds

“Lacy blue-green ornamental.

“Bushy habit is ideal for short hedges or borders. Unique and attractive foliage makes a useful cut flower filler, lasting for up to three weeks in a vase. Pungent aroma. Limited culinary use due to strong bitter flavor.” Johnny’s Seeds

Perennial in Zones 4-9.

Host Plant for Black and Giant Swallowtail Butterflies

Medicinal Warning:

“Can be toxic when taken internally. Not for pregnant women. Consult a qualified medical practitioner before using. Contact with the foliage can result in a severe rash. When working with this crop on hot, sunny days, we recommend wearing long sleeves and long pants, and washing any exposed skin surfaces as soon as possible after contact.” Johnny’s Seeds



Flowers – Annuals

Alyssum Carpet of Snow – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

A hardy annual that’s easy to grow, Carpet of Snow will quickly shape themselves into low, lacy mounds of flowers and foliage with clumps measuring about 8″ wide. Creates a pleasing contrast when planted with Alyssum Royal Carpet.” Ferry Morse

Forget Me Not – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

Product Information
“The annual Forget Me Not flower features lacy sprays of tiny blossoms that provide splashes of clear, celestial blue in the garden.

“A very tough, durable dwarf plant, forget me not is excellent for rock gardens, borders, and beds in either sun or light shade.” Ferry Morse

Growing Information

Botanical Name: Myosotis

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 70-150 Days


Marigold – French Double Dwarf – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

Tagetes erecta

“French Double Dwarf Marigolds bloom very early on compact plants and bear a profusion of showy double flowers; three brilliant colors in this petite mixture: gold, orange, and crimson. Flowers bloom through summer until frost.” Ferry Morse

Growing Information

Key Features

Botanical Name: Tagetes erecta

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 30-45 Days

Marigold – Cracerjack – Image Credit: Ferry Morse
“Crackerjack Marigolds are half-hardy annuals that feature a blend of bright shades of orange, gold, yellow, and primrose.

“Crackerjack Marigolds develop huge flowers with gracefully overlapping petals that bloom from midsummer to first frost.” Ferry Morse

Growing Information

Botanical Name: Tagetes erecta

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 45-60 Days


Autumn Beauty Sunflower – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“An annual flower, this sunflower variety has stately stems which will eventually bear gold, rust, and orange bi-color hued blooms. You can show your love and appreciation for fall even during the summer months with these beauties. A nice change from your usual sunflower and a lovely garden statement.” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 75-90 Days

Mammoth Sunflower – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

Under the right conditions these sunflower seeds should germinate in 14-21 days and reach maturity in 75-90 days. When mature, this flower has an enormous head, measuring more than 1 foot across! First it provides spectacular yellow beauty to your garden, then it gives you seeds for roasting and eating. What more could you ask for?!

Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 75-90 Days

“This variety of sunflower is easy to grow. Colors included are lemon-yellow, gold, white, creamy white, brown, bronze and eye-catching crimson.” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Helianthus annuus

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 75-90 Days


Giant Cactus Zinnia

A half-hardy annual, these giant flowers bloom in a blend of brilliant colors. Quilled, gracefully curved petals form multiple rows to create very large flowers that make this Zinnia quite distinctive. It flowers freely from midsummer until frost.

Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 35-60 Days

Lilliput Zinnias – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“This mix is made up of a special blend of very attractive miniature Zinnias in a wide range of very cheery colors including oranges, purples, reds, roses, and whites. An abundance of perky, small blossoms grow on bushy plants all summer long!” Ferry Morse

Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans

Plant Type: Annual Flower

Days To Bloom: 35-60 Days

State Fair Zinnias – Image Credit: Ferry Morse

“Zinnias will bloom into a wide range of luminous shades, many not available in any other variety. This variety was developed through a revolutionary breeding process which produces extremely vigorous plants.” Ferry Morse

Plants in my 2023 Mississippi Garden

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