Gardening Glimpses


You’ve likely just read my column about querying my good friend, a Southerner-turned-Yankee, who declined politely to attempt an answer to my query about the long-ranging effect of the weather on the way we grow our show daffodils.

He knows me well enough to be sure that I’m going to tackle this problem myself, because I think it needs answering, and I am sure he will have helpful comments when I finish it and send it to him for comments, but only after I’ve turned in my response.

But if you read this column regularly, and you are a specialty gardener, focusing on some plant, any plant, in great variety and quantity, you won’t be surprised that I’ll be encouraging you to tell me what I should say, and how great a depth of information will be helpful.

So please take the time, right away, to share your thoughts. And do put them in writing, both because that will force you to organize your important ideas, but even more, so I can have it in a way that I can easily and repeatedly refer to it.

Either write me a letter and send it to me at my home address, 249 Ingleside Dr., Madison, Miss., 39150, where it will be brought in every afternoon with the rest of the mail, and put aside until I can thoroughly enjoy it. Or else write me an email, addressing it to Loyce McKenzie,

If we’ve met, remind me of when and where. If not, just tell me all the things you would say if you dropped by for coffee, or we sat down at the Madison library for a getting-acquainted session. And if I don’t care how old, or young, you are, but I would definitely be interested in knowing how long you have been a gardener, and who was the greatest influence in your becoming a gardener? What is your favorite, focused plant, and what is your personal history in getting to know about it.

Do you take your acorn squash to the State Fair each fall, or enter your prized roses in the local society’s show every spring. And have you met helpful gardener friends on these excursions? Do you search the shelves of your local library for the best books on growing this plant?


Now it is okay to say truthfully, “This is all I want to know, and I’m satisfied with my present status as a fairly knowledgeable grower of mosses and ferns, or mertensias.”

But if you aren’t quite satisfied with your present range of knowledge, this is where I want your suggestions about where I can go in my search.  

Do you want to know other people who are interested in growing these plants even better than they presently do? Do you want to know about meetings, from a local garden club’s program to a seminar at a national convention, which would expand your knowledge?

And I’m warning you that I’ve gotten pretty serious about not only our present weather, but the recent past years’ weather as it has affected my daffodils, both those I grow for shows, and old favorites I try to keep going in my garden. I’m going to be doing this research for me, but what kinds of specialty information are you interested in?

So please sit down at your computer, or pull out your notebook, and get your questions organized? My personal deadline for my first draft is going to be in time to determine what new bulbs I order, so that’s really just a couple of months.

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1. He drove a blue ‘77 Chevy Nova in high school. 2. He played on Jackson Prep’s 1985 and 1986 state championship basketball teams.