Landscaping Camp: Giving the Gift of a Green Thumb

Forty-five people from four states have already signed up for this year's camp, which runs May 25-27 in Oxford.

Jeff McManus
Jeff McManus, Director of Landscape Services at the University of Mississippi. (Photo courtesy Jeff McManus)

If someone you know wants to exercise their green thumb this spring, an Early Bird Special gift certificate for next May’s Landscaping Camp in Oxford will make a great Christmas gift.

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Foundation will produce the event, to be held May 25-27. It will feature Jeff McManus, the director of landscape services at the University of Mississippi.

The Early Bird Special sells for $300 and runs through March 30, after which the cost rises to $375. A gift certificate for the event can be mailed in a shiny gold envelope or placed in a gift box for local residents.

The Inn at Ole Miss will serve as the event’s host hotel, and reservations can be made for a discounted rate at 888-486-7666.

McManus is shown here leading a tour during last year’s Landscaping Camp in Oxford.

“We’re excited to say that this unique event was a huge success in its first year, attracting interest from all across the United States,” said Rosie Vasallo, Director of Retirement Attraction for the Chamber. “In fact, we’ve already started hearing people asking if we would be hosting it again.”

Additional reading: The honors keep piling up for Jeff McManus.

The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Campers will enjoy a personal tour with McManus, whose expertise in landscaping has earned Ole Miss recognition for having “The Most Beautiful Campus” in the country by national publications like Newsweek and, more recently, USA Today.

During the 2 ½ day camp, participants will receive a copy of McManus’ book, “Pruning Like a Pro,” at the opening dinner and book signing. They will immerse themselves in a tour of the Ole Miss campus and learn best practices from industry leaders in educational seminars.

The lineup of speakers will include Donna Yowell, Executive Director of the Mississippi Urban Council; Nellie Neal, host of the radio show “Garden Mama”; and Ed Croom, a retired Ole Miss botanist and author of “The Land of Rowan Oak: An Exploration of Faulkner’s Natural World.”

Landscaping Camp
Mary Haskell addresses a group of Landscaping Camp participants during last year’s event.

Participants will also board Oxford’s famous Doubledecker bus to visit the beautifully landscaped home of Dickie and Diane Scruggs, which is maintained by McManus, as well as the grounds of Rowan Oak with Croom and the city of Oxford itself.

Forty-five participants signed up for last year’s camp, Vassallo noted, and they came from across Mississippi as well as Tennessee, Georgia and Maryland.

After the event, Vassallo said, participants “will be excited to put their new ideas to work, taking their homes to a new level of beauty. Research shows that beauty created through landscaping is one of the top three factors in creating community attachment or loyalty to your particular town, city or neighborhood.”

Sponsors for the Landscaping Camp include the City of Oxford, Ole Miss, MaxxSouth Broadband, Rebel Realty and Property Management LLC, the Inn at Ole Miss, Mississippi Magazine and HottyToddy.com.


Special to HottyToddy.com.

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