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. JAH says:

    I hope this request is not inappropriate for the forum. I am looking for a second opinion on an ailing maple tree and want to see if you would be interested in taking a look at it. The top is dying out of it and it is getting a lot of epicormic branching: my quandary is whether to attempt trimming it back or just remove it entirely. My reluctance to remove it goes back to a promise I made not to cut any trees to the couple we bought the house from, and that it really frames the front of the house in a big way. However, I also hate to spend the effort and expense to trim it back only to wind up needing to remove it in a year or so anyway. Therefore, I am hoping a second opinion would help me feel better about what I expect is the inevitable outcome. I believe it is one of the umpteen variations of the regular old rubrum, although its size makes me second guess. I am here in Meridian, on Old Country Club Road on the north side of town. If you are interested and available let me know and I will get you some directions…

  2. Michael Bridges says:

    Hi from Tylertown (Southern Perennials & Herbs nursery). I am moving back home to permaculture the “farm”. Hope to see you again soon!

  3. yardflow says:

    Get the black pulp off the palmetto seed. Soak them overnight and roll in a moist paper towel in a ziplock bag for about 3 months. Plant outdoors when the time is up even though it will still be winter.

  4. Martha Gruning says:


    I have a question re: propagation of dwarf [saw] palmetto. I attended a propagation workshop given by you for the St. Tammany Master Gardeners a few years ago. Wish I had thought to ask about this at that time. Should I try to germinate the green palmetto seeds immediately after picking or should they be chilled for some amount of time? I have tried – with no success trying a variety of methods. ANy suggestions? Thanking you in advance,
    Martha Gruning

  5. marc pastorek says:

    awesome dude. it said my comment was too short so, again, awesome dude.

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