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  • Garden events in Middle Tennessee

    bonsai2This weekend: Beautiful bonsai
    The Nashville Bonsai Society’s Regional Bonsai Expo July 11 – 13 at Cheekwood Botanical Garden. Owen Reich, Jim Doyle and Young Choe are guest artists, and there will be more than 50 bonsai displays, along with workshops, exhibits and vendors. Complete details here.

    Every Thursday in July is “Family Night Out” at the gardens at Cheekwood. Bring a blanket and picnic dinner, and enjoy magic shows, puppet shows, live music and more, beginning at 6:30 p.m. July 3, Magic of America Magic Show; July 10, Dennis Scott: Kids Show; July 17, Nashville Puppet Truck presents The Frog Prince; July 24, Nashville Ballet, Degas and the Little Dancer; July 31, Mr. Greg’s Musical Madness. Find the complete schedule at www.cheekwood.org.

    Now - Sept. 7: Andy Warhol’s Flowers exhibit opens at Cheekwood. Nearly a dozen screen prints from the artist’s original Flowers series, paintings, studio photographs and more. Information: www.cheekwood.org.

    July 1 – 5: The Tennessee Gesneriad Society hosts the annual international convention of the Gesneriad Society at the downtown Doubletree by Hilton. A plant sale, with many unusual and rare plants, will be open to the public 9:30 – 11 p.m. July 3, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. July 4, and 8:30 a.m. – noon and 2:30 – 3 p.m. July 5. The flower show will be open 2:30-6:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.-11 p.m. July 4, and 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. July 5. Information: http://gesneriadsociety.org.

    July 5 – 6: Introduction to Permaculture workshop with Jennifer Albanese and Cliff Davis of Spiral Ridge Permaculture and co-owners of New Agrarian Design, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day at Little House Nashville (www.LittleHouseNashville.com). $125; space is limited. To register: www.spiralridgepermaculture.com.

    July 11: Cheekwood’s Annotations: Authors series welcomes Robert Brandt with his book,Natural Nashville: A Guide to the Greenways and Nature Parks, 6:30 p.m. in Cheekwood’s Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden. The summer-long series of author events is in partnership with Parnassus Books. Details at www.cheekwood.org.

    July 12:Introduction To Permaculture with Dr. Alan Enzo and Ben Bishop of Nashville Permaculture, 10 a.m – 2 p.m. at Bates Nursery & Garden Center, 3810 Whites Creek Pike. This introductory course to a full Permaculture Design Certificate course covers the principles of permaculture design and provides ideas you can try immediately in your home and on your land. $50. Space is limited. To learn more: http://nashvillepermaculture.com.

    July 15: Perennial Plant Society meets at Cheekwood in Botanic Hall. Speaker is Nancy Murphy of the BellGarden at BellevueMiddle School; the topic is soil structure and fertility. Refreshments and plant swap at 6:30, the meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. www.ppsmt.org.

    July 24: Warner Park Nature Center presents “Butterflies of Tennessee” with author Rita Venable, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 615-352-6299 to register for this adults-only class.

    July 26: Mid-State Iris Club’s annual iris rhizome sale, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. (or until sold out) at Martin’s Home & Garden, 1020 NW Broad Street in Murfreesboro. All rhizomes marked with variety name, color and price, and prices range from $5 - $15.

    July 30: Harvest the organic garden at Warner Park and create a tasty treat with naturalist Melissa Donahue and Nature Center staff, 10 am. - noon. Registration for this age 6 - 12 activity opens July 15. Call 615-352-6299.





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Good luck with ‘bamboo’

QUESTION: I have a “lucky bamboo” plant in a pot of water with pebbles that looked great for awhile, but now it has grown big shoots out of each of the stalks. Can I cut off these shoots and re-pot them?

The first thing you need to know about lucky bamboo that it’s not bamboo at all, but a plant in the genus Dracaena (specifically, D. Sanderiana). Its close kin includes two other popular houseplants: corn plant andMadagascar dragon tree.

Growers of this easy-care plant suggest not cutting it from the top, but you can remove the extra shoots from the stalk with a sharp knife. Cut it flush with the stalk if you don’t want another shoot to grow in the same place. If you do want a shoot to re-emerge, cut it about 1/8-inch out from the stalk. You can try to root the cut-off shoots in water: Dip the ends in rooting hormone powder and let them dry overnight, then place the shoots in water. Eventually, new roots may grow. You can grow lucky bamboo in water or in soil.

These are relatively low-maintenance plants, but you do need to pay attention to the water they’re in, and add water as it evaporates so the roots don’t dry out. Every week or so, pour out the old water and add fresh, preferably filtered water, or tap water that you have allowed to sit out overnight.

Keep lucky bamboo out of direct light and away from extreme heat or cold, and feed it every couple of months with a very dilute solution of plant food (about 1/10 the recommended strength, plant care specialists suggest).


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