Day 4 was a non-stop day of nurseries with a dash of culture thrown in for good measure. After resting up in Mobile for the night, we headed back over into Mississippi for a visit to Rocky Creek Nursery.
Jeff Howell sharing details about Rocky Creek Nursery.
Rocky Creek is known as a “black pot” nursery, providing a variety of unbranded plants (and a few branded varieties) to landscapers and retailers.
Our next stop took us back over into Alabama with a quick visit to Tom Dodd Nurseries and a nice propagation tour at van der Giessen’s in Semmes.
Marten van der Giessen
Of course, we always leave each of our hosts a gift box filled with MSU jellies!
Our next stop was just around the corner to Martin’s Nursery. Buddy Martin and Bill Turk gave us a great tour of their operation.
Then we were treated to a traditional Southern lunch, complete with turnip greens and banana pudding!
Buddy Martin is known not only for his nursery, but also for his on-site car museum.
The next stop was a break from plants and an introduction to a little bit of our local culture, the Mobile Carnival Museum!
Laissez les bon temps roulez! LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!
One final stop before dinner, was Green’s Nursery.
Bobby Green specializes in camellia production and shared many details of his propagation and production.
We wrapped up the day having dinner followed by some shopping at Bass Pro Shop. Lots of good food, fun, and shopping!
While the board met, other tour participants took the opportunity to check out our hometown of Biloxi! After a quick bite of breakfast at the Coastal Research and Extension Center, a few folks played nine at nearby Sunkist Country Club. A few folks opted to do a little shopping, and some enjoyed the time sleeping in or lounging around at the Beau Rivage. A few of us took a ride on the Biloxi Tour Train.
We saw many cool sights in town, including some cool cars and trucks in town for Crusin’ the Coast!
Plus our tour guide, Carla, gave us some lagniappe (that’s a “little something extra”): a quick stop at the Biloxi Mardi Gras Museum!
Royals for a day: Jenny Barrett and Ben Gregory.
Then we were off to visit the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
There were nature walks and boat rides…and even a gator siting!
Dinner was especially special. We dined aboard the USS Alabama battleship!
The food and fellowship were great!
And of course, we ended the day with a magnificent sunset over Mobile Bay!
Another day full of beautiful plants and delicious food!
Our day began at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station in Hammond, LA. Allen Owings gave an incredible tour of the gardens and the beds were just amazing!
Dr. Allen Owings: outstanding in his field!
We rode wagons throughout the gardens.
Our next stop was Crosby Arboretum. The Arboretum is part of the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center. We were treated to a fantastic lunch and plenty of time to explore this native plant conservatory and Pinecote Pavillion. To learn more about Crosby, visit: crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu
Next on today’s itinerary was a stop at the South Mississippi Branch Station, also part of Coastal R and E Center. There we explred the many trial beds including All-America Selection trials and demonstrations.
So many new plants!
Our final stop of the day was GreenForest Nursery in Perkinston, MS. Dan Batson was a gracious host! He and his wife Kathy welcomed us to their home after an incredible tour of the nursery and propagation area.
Dan Batson and Patricia Knight.
Hiram Baldwin discussing magnolia propagation.
Propagation house at GreenForest.
Tomorrow is sure to be another busy and educational day!
Wow! What a great start to our tour! We started out visiting Buddy Lee’s Transcend Nursery in Independence, Louisiana. His expansion area was once an old nursery site, and there’s still some lingering evidence, like these old cans.
Old can yard.
Then Buddy, along with his friends and family, treated everyone to an awesome lunch complete with shrimp, catfish, brisket, and alligator nuggets! There was even Zydeco band, so of course there was dancing!
Our next stop was to Jenkins Farm and Nursery and Amite, where Ms. Margie held court.
Ms. Margie forgets more about plants each day than I’ll ever know!
She shared her knowledge and her fantastic collection of unusual plants.
White Moon azalea
When presented with a thank you gift, Ms. Margie remarked, “A gathering of plant people is a feast for the soul.”
Then we headed up the road to visit the spectacular Bracy’s Nursery.
There we learned a lot about nursery production and propagation. Randy and Regina Bracy were wonderful hosts, wining and dining us at their home!
Now to get some rest before we hit the road bright and early in the morning!