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Georgia gardening and landscaping: Where to find the best Southern plants

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Feel free to weed through this long narrative on native plants for Georgia from the UGA Extension (which has a total of three parts--and must be downloaded it is so extensive in information), if you are hunting for what to plant in your landscape this year. Or you can simply visit the Southern Living Plant Collection website and see more easily what will grow in your part of the state, and all the options you have for hardy and resilient plants.

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Whether it is annuals, perennials, fall bulbs, ground covers, grasses, shrubs, spring bulbs, trees, tropicals, or vines, this particular Southern plant company has got you covered. And I ought to know, as my North Georgia trial garden is exclusively populated with plants from SLPC. That's because I wanted plants that don't require a green thumb or a gardener with a horticultural degree; I needed flowers, shrubs and trees that I couldn't kill, even if I neglected them.

In USDA Zone 7, where my trial garden is located, some of the SLPC plants I requested that were really for zones outside this range have even fared well for me, blooming in a geographical area that no one would expect them to survive, including the company that makes and markets them. But they did.

To learn more about which hardiness zone you are located in, be it Georgia or somewhere else, check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Interactive Map for more information. And if you are curious about which plants to put in the ground in Georgia as the fall season nears, the folks at Southern Living have a free Fall Planting Guide online you can view. And it is never too early to start thinking about that planting season.

Several of the plants they recommend for fall planting are in my North Georgia trial garden, including the Jubilation Gardenia shrub (one of my favorites to look at and smell), as well as Purple Pixie Weeping Loropetalum, and Yewtopia Plum Yew, a beautiful evergreen plant that does double duty in the landscape and as a wonderful front door accent around Christmas, if placed in a decorative container. But whatever you decide, let these experts guide you with their free online advice.

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