Georgia Magazine - November 2012 - (Page 36)

A Southern garden lifestyle James Farmer gives simple advice for an elegant garden By Alline Kent H ouston Countian James Farmer has been inspired by his own family, especially his grandmother, for his love of gardening and cooking. He hopes to remind young Southerners of the traditions that have been passed down for generations. A jack-of-all-trades, master-of-all sort of fellow, Farmer is the owner of a successful company that does floral, landscape and interior designs. He is also a frequent contributor to Southern Living and the author of six books: “A Time to Plant: SouthernStyle Garden Living,” “Porch Living,” “Sip and Savor: Drinks for Party” and “Porch” are available for purchase now; “Wreaths for All Seasons” and “A Time to Cook” will be released in the fall. Drawing on his own heritage as a Georgian, Farmer, who can’t remem- ber a time he wasn’t in the garden or the kitchen with his grandmother, has simple advice for an elegant Southern garden lifestyle. Just start with what Farmer calls the “uz” plants. “Azaleas and forsythia for spring; hydrangeas for summer; camellias for fall into winter and spring. These are all tried-and-true, and they work,” Farmer says. “Magnolias are another tried-and-true Southern classic that give you both James Farmer, who grew up in the South, has appeared fall and winter decor.” Farmer’s second piece of on several television programs including the “Today” advice is also very practical: show and is a regular contributor to Southern Living. He is the author of six books, four of which have been Know your planting zone. The world is more tran- released this year. sient nowadays, especially Farmer advises when planning to in Houston County, home to Farmer and to Robins Air Force Base. Ac- have color in your garden to start a cording to Farmer, people need to season before to have a fabulous yard know what kind of soil they are dig- in the spring or fall. “Bulbs like daffodils and old fashging into before they start planting. “Certain plants like certain soils. ioned plants like foxglove and lenten You need to know your zone, know roses, these are things you plant in your soil,” he says. “Something that the fall to have a great spring; in the grew out West might not grow here.” summer you want to think about salFarmer recommends taking advan- via and sages and the old-fashioned tage of the soil testing provided by confederate rose.” Although he travels across the the extension service and the advice that comes from local mom-and-pop- country making television appearances, Farmer always comes back to type nurseries. “I am a big proponent of taking his roots, especially in the garden. “Heirloom plants. [An heirloom advantage of the services offered by the extension service. The smaller plant is one that is open-pollinated nurseries have a lot of knowledge, and grew in an earlier era.] With especially about what will grow well heirloom plants you get instant age, instant history,” he says. “In my dinin a certain area,” he says. Photographs by James T. Farmer III, Maggie Yelton, and Laurey W. Glenn from “Wreaths for All Seasons” by James T. Farmer III, reprint permission by Gibbs Smith Publisher A harvest of pumpkins and deer antlers makes a striking centerpiece. 36 More online at GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2012

Georgia Magazine - November 2012
Picture This?
Liberty Notes
Georgia News
Calendar of Events
Festival Guide
Homes for the Holidays
Flip-Flops and Caviar: Winning Georgia Products
More Great Georgia Products
Around Georgia
Lodging and Dining on the North Georgia Art Ramble
My Georgia
Statement of Ownership
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
More Snapshot Submissions
Second Helping: More Holiday Side Dishes
Plant of the Month
November Online Trivia Contest

Georgia Magazine - November 2012