Published on 09/27/07

Dawg-fan peppers, fancy figs on 'Gardening'

University of Georgia

Fall means football to some and figs to others. On "Gardening in Georgia" Oct. 11 and 13, learn all about fancy figs, edible ornamental peppers and how to save hydrangeas.

"Gardening in Georgia" airs on Georgia Public Broadcasting stations across Georgia each Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Show host Walter Reeves shows that hot peppers aren't just for eating. You can enjoy them in your landscape, too. New breeds of ornamental peppers show up in all colors: purple, fire engine red or bright orange. Just in time for football season, one variety has nearly black leaves and bright red fruit.

Every fruit needs a fan, and Ray Givan is figs' No. 1 fancier. He grows more than 50 fig varieties in his backyard and evaluates their size, taste and cold hardiness each year. Reeves and Givan give them a taste test, too.

If you hate to part with the huge, hanging blooms of a florist hydrangea, don't. Reeves says you can plant them in the landscape, as long as you remember that their hardiness and appearance may differ from normal landscape hydrangeas.

"Gardening in Georgia" is coproduced by GPB and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Each show is geared to Georgia soils, climate and growing conditions.

The 2007 season is made possible through an underwriting gift from McCorkle Nurseries and support from the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association. For more on "Gardening in Georgia," visit

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.