About Gail Barton

Sitting on my deck with Woodrow

I grew up in Starkville, Mississippi and earned a B.S. in Horticulture from Mississippi State University.   After graduation I worked in the field for 6 years before accepting a teaching position at Meridian Community College.  I taught Horticulture there for 26 years and received awards for my work.   I was blessed to have many fine students who have gone on to become Green Industry professionals.   I retired in June 2009.

During my tenure at MCC, I opened a retail mail order nursery called Flowerplace Plant Farm.  The nursery specialized in native plants, perennials and tough old fashioned flowers from 1985 until 1993.  We got a lot of positive press and sold tons of plants.  In the end, I came to the realization that the work load was killing me and I chose to continue my teaching job and disband the nursery.

During my career, I have spoken to many regional and state conferences including Garden Clubs of Mississippi Landscape Design Seminar, Gulf Coast Native Plant Conference, Mid South Native Plant Conference, Landscaping with Native Plants (the Cullowhee Conference), Mississippi State Master Gardener’s Conference, Texas Native Plant Conference, New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society, Crosby Arboretum and New Orleans Botanical Gardens Spring Garden Festival.

I have written articles for Mississippi Gardener, Mississippi Native Plant Society Newsletter and Fine Gardening.  I published a gardening newsletter called Garden Paths for three years.   I was a gardening columnist for the Meridian Star for too many years to count.  I am the author of a gardening book called Basic Gardening – A Guide for the Deep South and have developed a web site at www.gailbarton.com .

I am recent past President of the Mississippi Native Plant Society.  I currently serve as Trips Chair for MNPS.

I live with my friend-husband, Richard Lowery, on 6 acres of land in Meridian, Mississippi.  We have an intimate relationship with the land and enjoy exploring it with our six dogs.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading, cooking, photography, woodworking, music, dancing and bonfires.

My biggest challenge now is to figure out how to manage my time without a boss to tell me what to do.  I’ve been surprisingly busy since retirement – mostly working as a Horticulture Consultant, Gardening Coach, Landscape Designer and Contract Grower of wildflower plugs.   I also continue to work as a garden writer and speaker.

My personal goal is to build my dream garden and to slow down and enjoy the process.  I will use this blog to document my progress as I attempt to enjoy my garden and the natural world every day.

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55 Responses to“About Gail Barton”

  1. Dave McCullough says:

    Just wanted to comment on a post you made at a site I found while looking for images of Amsonia hubrichtii. It’s a plant I have admired but worried might eat more space than I was willing to give it, so have yet to try it. Just keep looking at pictures of it on the Internet! Silly.
    You were relating the story of Mr. Hubricht and how he introduced you to the plant named after himself, and of his discovery of same. It was a great tale, and I would like to thank you for sharing it. You were correct when you said “Aren’t plant people the best?” Thanks for sharing.

  2. DJ says:


    Thank you for your expertise on gardening. Please don’t stop posting information as I have learned a lot from you. Keep up the good work!

  3. yardflow says:

    I’ll definitely bring books. See you there, Anne.

  4. Anne Burgess says:

    Will you be bringing copies of your book to Hattiesburg next weekend? I would like to purchase one during the Gaining Ground Conference.

  5. yardflow says:

    I don’t have much memory of 7th grade, Carmen. Your memory is probably better than mine. I did go to school in Starkville, MS and should have been in junior high in the late 60’s.

  6. Carmen Haynes says:

    Gail, did I teach you World Culture (history) in the 7th grade?

  7. yardflow says:

    Welcome zhu limin.

  8. zhu limin says:

    I am zhu limin ,also a gardener in China .

  9. dam sistuh………..but you popular! you oughta be……u come from the right side of life……………keep up the good world……….

  10. Debra King says:

    I must say I’ve seen and tried to read blogs and they bore me to tears. I read your whole blog!!! How intresting yours is! Great job!

  11. I like your response on this matter. You covered the subject perfectly and also have won me over as a reader. Continue the good content and I’ll be sure to tell my buddies about your website.

  12. I really like your response about this subject. You dealt with the topic very well and also have won me over as a reader. Carry on the good information and I will be sure to notify my friends about your website.

  13. yardflow says:

    Thanks, Kim –
    Good to bump into you out here in cyberspace.

  14. I was doing a search on this subject, and by chance stumbled on this post. I’m impressed by the blog. I am going to spend some time looking around, and will certainly be bookmarking this place. You have a excellent way with words, and you opted for great design to go with the website. Carry on the good job as you have made me into a frequent reader.

  15. Kim Miles says:

    Hey Gail, glad to find you here. I still have several flowerplace farm fliers filed away, you’re always interesting. Be sure I’ll be following your future adventures. I’m in my first season of blueberries and ate 4 early ripe ones this morning, YUM!! I have several varieties including a powderblue rabbiteye. Looking foreward to many more. Enjoying your posts, thanks.

  16. What I dont understand is how youre not even more popular than you are now.  Youre just so intelligent.  You know so much about this subject, made me think about it from so many different angles.  Its like people arent interested unless it has something to do with Lady Gaga!  Your stuffs great.  Keep it up!

  17. Lesli Rohlf says:

    Great post thx a lot !

  18. i would like to say thanks for this post…. fantastic job.

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  20. dkny watches says:

    I would like to express my appreciation for your post. That’s really great to know that there are such people like you who do their job very well and with such enthusiasm.

  21. The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need!

  22. Texas Heat says:

    strange this post is totaly irrelevant to the search query I entered in google but it was listed on the first page.

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  36. yardflow says:

    Candace, I may not know the daffodil but probably some of my bulb head friends will. I love the old perennials you can find in cemeteries.

  37. Candace says:

    can I send you a photo of my old iris, “Swertii” in bloom in Plano before the rains hit yesterday? Also will send a narcissus we are trying to identify growing in an old cemetery (1847) in Plano that we are trying to maintain and preserve.

  38. Keep up the great writing.

  39. I find myself coming to your blog more and more often to the point where my visits are almost daily now!

  40. thanks !! very helpful post!

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  47. Onus Victoria Hershey says:

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  48. Nell Jean says:

    I can hardly wait! More daffodil foliage emerges daily. Some of the earliest have buds. I haven’t looked back to see what the earliest date in past years may have been, but I’m sure it’s soon. I’ve even seen foliage of ‘Baby Moon,’ usually among the last to bloom.

    Hyacinths are starting to show color, even. Spring is on the way!

  49. Prolawn says:

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