Felder Biostuff

“Most Likely to Change the South”   – Southern Living magazine

felder portrait with garden fork

Note: click the picture to contact Felder

                                             NEW! LATEST LECTURE BY FELDER                                                  Click HERE for “Over and Under the Fence” – a recent lecture at the Department of Archives and History featuring my garden, passalong heirloom plants, native plants, Slow Gardening, yard art, accessorizing, and Determined Independent Gardeners. _____________________

Felder Rushing is an 11th- generation* American gardener who has traveled to all fifty states (lectured in 36) and across five continents looking for interesting gardening angles to share via his extensive lecturing, writing and broadcasting. The graduate horticulturist and free-thinking university professor has written syndicated newspaper columns for 40 years and hosted a live radio program for nearly that long, including 15 years now as the weekly host of The Gestalt Gardener, one of National Public Radio‘s most popular gardening programs.

Felder with Hopstar beer
Felder is a Real Ale guy.

Felder has written or contributed substantially to 33 gardening books* including several national award winners (Passalong Plants was honored by the Garden Writers Association as the “best written” in the country when it was published). His articles and photographs have appeared in countless magazines and other publications*, including Fine Gardening, Landscape Architecture, Better Homes and Gardens, Horticulture, Garden Design, Organic Gardening, and the National Geographic; his garden has been featured in many.

Southern Living magazine named Felder as one of “25 people most likely to change the South.” The distinctly non-stuffy longtime board member of the American Horticulture Society is a Fellow of the Garden Writers Association, member of the English Cottage Garden Society, and past president of several garden organizations including his state’s native plant society. He is the original Q&A guy for HGTV’s garden website, and has been featured in three full-length articles about his exploits and philosophy in the New York Times, most recently for being the founder of Slow Gardening®.

Wood carving of felder as a gnome

When not traveling coast to coast with lectures, he splits his time between his celebrated Mississippi cottage garden and a Victorian terrace house herb garden in Lancashire, England.

Felder Rushing

Contact Felder for any garden-related question or lecture inquiry.

If you have a minute or two, check out HGTV’s feature on my little “gallimaufry” garden!

Here are links to how national publications have described Felder and his garden:

Garden Rant – Uprooting the Garden World

The Plant Hunter

HGTV (links to his articles on the site)

Garden Classics (YouTube interview)

Country Roads magazine

Federal Twist

New York Times

More New York Times

Find It In Fondren

* Books by Felder:

  • Passalong Plants (co-written with Steve Bender)
  • Slow Gardening
  • Tough Plants for Southern Gardens
  • Tough Plants for Northern Gardens
  • Tough Plants for Florida Gardens
  • Tough Plants for California Gardens
  • Tough Plants for Texas Gardens
  • Scarecrows
  • Bottle Trees and Other Garden Glass
  • Garden Hearts
  • Gardening, Southern Style
  • Fruit and Vegetables (substantially modified for MS, LA, AL, GA. KY, TN, NC, SC, VA)
  • Guide to Mississippi Vegetable Gardening
  • Alabama and Mississippi Garden Guide
  • Can’t-Miss Container Gardening
  • Dig, Plant, Grow (childrens’ gardening book)
  • New Junior Garden Book
  • Deep South Gardeners’ Resource (contributor)
  • 50 Great Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables (contributor)
  • Great Garden Shortcuts (contributor)
  • The Perfect Lawn (contributor)
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record (contributor)
  • Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (contributor)
  • Taylor’s Guide to Landscaping in the South (contributor)
  • Garden Mavericks – Dr. Dirt and other Keepers of the Flame (due out in late 2020)

Periodicals in which Felder’s articles and photography have been published:

  • Better Homes and Gardens
  • Southern Quarterly
  • Fine Gardening
  • Landscape Architecture
  • House and Garden
  • National Geographic
  • Garden Design
  • HGTV Online
  • Mississippi Gardening
  • Organic Gardening
  • Plan Mississippi
  • More Writers in the Garden: And Anthology of Garden Writing
  • Journal, National Wildflower Research Center
  • Clarion Ledger newspaper (weekly, 39 years)
  • Commercial Appeal (twice monthly, 15 years)
  • Various University Extension Service publications

Addendum: What’s with the 11th-generation thing?

The Rushing family line was originally from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, shipped to America in the early 1650s after being captured by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers near Worcester during the English Civil War.

The Felders immigrated from near Zurich, Switzerland in 1735; one  is a much-celebrated Revolutionary War officer whose two name-inscribed cannon are on display in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Both families began moving as pioneers in the early 1800s to what is now south Mississippi.

The Boyers (Felder’s mother’s side of the family) came to the Mississippi Delta from Pennsylvania in the 1840s, but were originally part of a Bavarian German immigration to America in the 1720s.

The oldest traceable members of the family’s direct lineage were the 1635 immigrant Swayzes, who immigrated from Bridport, Dorset, along England’s south coast. The family was among the original “Jersey Settlers” who sided with England before the American Revolution and moved as pioneers to the Natchez area by 1773.

I will post a blog soon with photos I’ve taken in all these ancestral home sites.

Meanwhile, on a very personal note, my son Ira, a former US Marine sergeant and now an Army JAG officer, is the 12th direct-line generation Rushing to serve proudly in American armed forces. His wife, Stevie, is also a hot-shot lawyer, and who knows how their sweet baby girl, Alice Jean, will turn out!

I am currently collaborating with my daughter Zoe, a creative and in-demand artist, who is working on paintings of “vernacular yard art” for my next book.