Keeping Magnolias White and Other Gardening Tips From the Experts


Do you know how to keep magnolia blossoms from turning brown? I didn’t…but I do now: spray them with a mixture of lemon juice and water. I learned this handy little tidbit earlier this week while attending P. Allen Smith’s Garden2Blog workshop in Little Rock.

The event, hosted by the nationally acclaimed garden and lifestyle expert and Little Rock resident, included approximately 25 garden bloggers from all over the country. States represented included California, Michigan, Illinois, Connecticut, Indiana,

North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio, Georgia, and Washington. Both sets of my grandparents and my parents had wonderful green thumbs. My paternal grandparents had a gorgeous rose garden. My maternal grandmother had colorful zinnias and irises while my grandfather on that side could and did grow just about anything. Their farm was where I saw my first yellow-meat watermelon. I remember shelling popcorn and peanuts that he grew. And I have terrific memories of going out to the garden to pick fresh corn and lettuce for our meal.

There seems to be a renaissance during the past few years for home gardening and the number of national bloggers attending this workshop bears this out. First on the agenda was a trip to Marlsgate Plantation in Scott where owner David Garner offered a true Southern welcome before we toured the home’s magnificent gardens. Host P. Allen Smith, along with Garner, walked us through the formal and informal areas, explaining the history of the plants and why they were chosen. Cameras were clicking away at a rapid speed. It’s always a treat to visit this stately home and manicured grounds. Unfortunately, it’s not open for individual tours but numerous group tours are available.

Next up: Visiting P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm

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