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Where Do the Gardeners You Admire Turn for Advice? To These Newsletters.

As a boy in Tennessee, Jared Barnes learned from his great-grandfather to place his lanky tomato seedlings on their sides when he was transplanting them, so they could root in all along their stems.

It was one of many gifts of horticultural knowledge that he derived from their time together. But besides getting young Jared off to a strong start in the garden, like those fledgling plants, they taught him something else: We gardeners will always have questions, with each new plant or task or problem, and we need reliable sources we can turn to — someone to ask, who will have answers, the way his great-grandfather did.

It’s similar to the dynamic he witnessed in what was once his favorite segment on the nightly news. “As a kid, I wanted to be a meteorologist for a little while,” he recalled. “And part of the reason is because every night I saw someone get up in front of a group of people and share knowledge and information.”

Although he once drew a hurricane outline on the chalkboard when the teacher left the classroom — an attempt to explain the eye of the storm to his fellow second-graders — translating the weather was not in his future. (And for his efforts, he received a scolding.) Instead, he grew up to be a horticulturist.

Dr. Barnes, an associate professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University, lives in East Texas, where woodland ephemerals, like the maroon-flowered Trillium gracile, are among the earliest bloomers.Credit…Jared Barnes

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