By Gary R. Bachman
MSU Extension Service
I usually write the Southern Gardening column about how the different seasons change the look of our landscapes and gardens, what seasonal plants look great, and when it’s time to transition with new plants for the next season.
Just like in the garden, a career has a season for everything, and there comes a point when you realize it’s time for a change. With that said, I decided to retire at the end of 2022, so this first column of 2023 is my last for Southern Gardening.
It has been my great pleasure to have been selected as host of Southern Gardening for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
There were some who thought the gig would not last very long because I would run out of topics. That was 13 years ago. Here is a link to that first column: http://extension.msstate.edu/news/southern-gardening/2010/accessorize-gardens-spring-flowering-bulbs.
In the meantime, Southern Gardening has shot more than 500 TV segments, written more than 650 newspaper columns, done hundreds of social media videos, and voiced countless daily radio spots.
And Southern Gardening is still going strong.
I found my true calling – my Extension voice – when I started hosting Southern Gardening. Never in my wildest imagination could I have predicted this was the path my career would take.
I’ve had the good fortune to experience and share the width and breadth of consumer and commercial horticulture in Mississippi.
I have spread that good horticulture news all across the Southeast.
I’ve enjoyed speaking to lots of Mississippi garden clubs and meeting their members. I’ve been a keynote speaker for all of the Southern state Master Gardener conferences. Other notable invited presentations include the Memphis Botanic Gardens in Memphis, Tenn.; Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Mobile, Ala.; the American Rose Center in Shreveport, La.; Biedenharn Museum and Gardens Garden Symposium in Monroe, La.; the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Garden Symposium in Plains, Ga.; and the Gardening for Life Symposium at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, S.C..
In 2022, my first book, “Southern Gardening All Year Long,” was published. I have had a wonderful horticulture career at MSU.
Of course, Southern Gardening is a team effort. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the professionals in the MSU Extension Office of Agricultural Communications.
Video and audio producers, videographers, editors, and social media specialists have worked hard to make the various Southern Gardening products look and sound great. And along the way, we’ve grown the Southern Gardening Nation.
I’ve been asked if Katie and I will be moving now that I am retired? The short answer is “no.” We’re going to stay in Ocean Springs and continue growing veggies and other fun, unusual plants at our Heritage Cottage Urban Nano Farm while prepping for the zombie apocalypse.
There’s no need for us to become strangers. I’ll continue to share landscape and garden tips and tricks, so keep up with me and everything I’m doing on my social media channels.
Remember, the horticulture never stops.
By Gary R. Bachman