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  • Upcoming Garden Events

    Sept. 30: The Nashville Herb Society presents Through the Garden Gate: A Glimpse of Edwardian England, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Cheekwood Botanic Hall. Celebrate the gardens, foods and flowers that delighted Downton Abby family and friends at the turn of the 20th century. The event begins with a hearty Edwardian breakfast, followed by three speakers: Marta McDowell on Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life; Geraldine A. Laufer on Tussie Mussie – Victorian art of expressing yourself in the language of flowers; and Terry White, The English Garden event florist . Registration includes breakfast, box lunch in the garden with music, English tea and cookies. To learn more or to register, visit www.herbsocietynashvlle.org.

    Tips & tasks – September

    Cut the dead tops of coneflowers, but leave enough for goldfinches to enjoy the seeds.

    Plant cool-weather vegetables for a fall crop: spinach, mustard and turnip greens, radishes, leaf lettuce.

    Start a new lawn of cool-season grass, such as fescue, or refurbish or repair establish lawns.

    Don’t let the soil of newly planted grass dry out. New grass needs about an inch of water per week.

    It’s still warm, so continue to water and weed garden beds as needed.

    Remove dead foliage, spent flowers and other garden debris; replenish mulch as needed.

    Continue to harvest produce, which may be getting a boost now from slightly cooler weather. Keep watering sage, rosemary and other perennial herbs so they’ll be in good shape to get through winter.

    Prepare to bring houseplants back indoors: remove dead leaves, scrub soil from the sides of the pots, treat for insects. Bring tropical plants in before nighttime temperatures dip to 55 degrees.

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Get to know the natives at Cheekwood

Celandine poppies. Photo courtesy Cheekwood Botanical Garden.

Early one spring, my friend Nancy gave me a Celandine poppy that she rooted out from her backyard garden bed. In the right spot (light shade, moist, rich soil) it opens its bright yellow flowers in April in Middle Tennessee, and I’m embarrassed to have to let Nancy (and the general public) know that it didn’t succeed in my garden.

In her book, Gardening With the Native Plants of Tennessee, Nashville wildflower expert Margie Hunter writes, “Wood poppies form leafy clumps of stems 12 to 18 inches tall. Loose clusters of hairy buds open into bright yellow, 2-inch flowers through April and May. Fuzzy drooping seedpods develop. Leaves are grayish green and pinnately cut into several lobes.”

Along with light shade, the poppies appreciate slightly acid soil. They are easy to share, as you can divide them or sow seeds. “They readily self-sow, and if germination gets out of hand, just snip off the large seedpods before they open,” Hunter says.

 

Celandine poppy (wood poppy)Stylophorum diphyllum

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