Welcome to Felder Rushing's Website  
 
 

 

Felder's Biostuff

My currently having over half a million frequent flier miles tell you what my life is like?

 

Felder Rushing is a 10th-generation American gardener whose colonial and pioneer ancestors settled across the Southeast, bringing many plants with them. Rushing's overstuffed, quirky cottage garden has been featured in dozens of magazines and TV programs - including a cover of Southern Living and in the New York Times; the celebrated garden includes a huge variety of weather-hardy plants along with a collection of vernacular folk art. There is no turfgrass, just plants, yard art, and "people places."

Felder is the international founder of Slow Gardening, a highly satisfying approach that focuses on finding and following personal garden bliss, using all senses through all seasons. It is a guide towards paying better attention to and savoring what you do, and encourages the cultivation of locally-adapted plants grown sustainably and shared with others.

Photo by Frank McMains

After spending much of the past three years in and out of a cottage farm in Shropshire (western Midlands of England), Felder currently writes and travels extensively for lectures from his celebrated Mississippi cottage garden and his surprisingly cool 250-square foot cabin (designed by architect Rick Griffin).

The author or co-author of 18 gardening books, including several national award winners, and former Extension Service urban horticulture specialist (fully retired, at an early age) who actually started the Master Gardener program in his state, Felder has written thousands of gardening columns in syndicated newspapers, and has had hundreds of articles and photographs published in regional and national garden magazines, including Garden Design, Horticulture, Garden Weekly (an English publication), Landscape Architecture, Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening, and the National Geographic. He is the weekly online Q&A blogger for HGTV.com.

Felder, who was featured in Southern Living magazine's 25th anniversary issue as one of "twenty five people most likely to change the South" has been singled out in three times in full-length New York Times articles. He has hosted a television program that was shown across the South, and appeared many times on other TV garden programs including HGTV, the Discovery Channel, and QVC. Felder hosts a popular weekly call-in garden program on NPR affiliate stations called The Gestalt Gardener.  

Rushing has served many years as a distinctly non-stuffy board member of the American Horticulture Society, national director of the Garden Writers Association, and member of the National Youth Gardening Committee. A rare male honorary member of Federated Garden Clubs of Mississippi and twice past president of his state's only chapter of the Mens' Garden Club (now Gardeners of America), Felder gives many dozens of lectures and workshops every year, coast to coast and overseas, at flower shows, horticultural and plant society meetings, Master Gardener conferences, and more..

Believing that too many would-be gardeners are intimidated by a crush of "how-to" experts ("We are daunted, not dumb," he says), Felder uses an offbeat, "down home" approach rife with humorous anecdotes and garden-irreverent metaphors, zany observations, and stunning photography to help gardeners of all styles and skill levels get past his own beloved "stinkin' rules" of horticulture.

 

Peony sniffing
 

 

FELDER MUGS

(recent, 300 dpi, and suitable for cutting and pasting for publicity uses)

 

 

 

Photo taken at the Terra del Madre in Turin, Italy
 

 

 

So, what's with the

"10th generation" thing?

Medieval trithelion on the Isle of Man's Manx Flag

The Rushings, originally from the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, got here in the early 1650s by way of England, after being captured by Oliver Cromwell's soldiers near Worcester during the English Civil War.

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

Both families moved as pioneers in the 1790s 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 German immigration to America in the 1720s.

Another group in the family's direct lineage were the Swayzes, members of the original pioneer "Jersey Settlers" who sided with England in the Revolutionary War, but who moved as pioneers to the Natchez area by 1773. They originally came from Bridport, Dorset, along England's south coast, in the mid-1600s/

On a very personal note, Felder's son Ira, a US Marine sargeant, is the 11th generation Rushing to serve proudly in the American armed forces.