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2023 Landscape Camp Attracts 55 Campers from Nine States

Fifty-five people from nine different states attended the sixth annual Landscaping Camp Finale recently.

Campers came from Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida and of course, Mississippi to learn from landscaping experts while enjoying Oxford and the Ole Miss campus.

The camp, hosted by the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation’s Retiree Attraction Program, started with a scenic bus ride to the home of Dickie and Diane Scruggs, where Jeff McManus, the acclaimed director of landscaping for the University of Mississippi, gave a tour and shared tips on how to cope with the brutal winter.

McManus was also the keynote speaker at the opening dinner, where he talked about how he and his dedicated team maintain the campus landscape with low-maintenance planting and how they collaborate with non-profit organizations to clean up the trash after football games.

“The next day, the campers got to see the campus for themselves, as (McManus) led them on a personal tour of the Grove, the Lyceum and other landmarks,” said Rosie Vassallo, camp director. “He explained how they restore the Grove after each football season and make it look stunning again.”
The camp also featured other speakers who shared their knowledge and passion for gardening.

Blann Britton, a rose connoisseur from Crawfordsville Arkansas, presented “How to raise roses without losing their mind,” giving campers various recipes for keeping their roses healthy and gorgeous, including the importance of a proper watering schedule.

Zach Adamz, an international studies professor at Ole Miss and owner and executive bonsai artist at Komorebi Gardens and Bonsai, spoke about exploring the art of bonsai and showed them a large assortment of bonsai plants from his personal collection.

His wife, Lauren Adamz, a consultant for her business “Hearth and Garden,” showed them how to design a blank yard and transform it into a beautiful garden with kitchen garden boxes and lovely borders.

McManus concluded the camp with his “Prune Like a Pro” lesson, demonstrating the difference between hand pruning and using electric shears.

The campers left with two books written by McManus, gardening goodies and a lot of inspiration for their own gardens.

Staff report

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