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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 out and meet other gardeners

There are several good garden-related events coming up in the next few days. Don’t miss out:

Metro Public Works is sponsoring a one-day event to make composting easier. This is your chance to buy an Earth Machine backyard compost bin at the low price of $47 (the regular retail price is $100). The benefits? You can use all those coffee grounds and eggshells and apple and banana peels from the kitchen, and all those dry leaves left in the yard, to make rich, crumbly compost for the garden. By doing that, you can be among those who are helping to keep 600,000 pounds of organic waste per year out of the landfills. I’ve had an Earth Machine bin for several years, and can say that it works great, and it makes composting about as easy as it can be.

The sale is Saturday (April 2), 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. in parking lot D at LP Field. First come, first served, so get there early.

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Nashville gardener Billie Brownell and Jayme Jenkins of Eugene, Ore. have a new little garden book out called Garden Rules: The Snappy Synopsis for the Modern Gardener. It’s the perfect companion for new gardeners who want to know the basics – things like: “Plant the right plant in the right place” and “Get to know your dirt.” You know: how to start from scratch, when you know nothing about gardening.

Brownell will be on hand for a little garden chat and to sign copies of the book Sunday (April 3), 1:30, at Belmont Mansion. The book is published by Cool Springs Press, and they invite you to come and join the fun – both at the book signing Sunday and in a garden this spring.

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More later on these, but a reminder now so you can put them on your calendar:

– Bloom’n’Garden Expo, presented by the Williamson County Master Gardeners, is April 8 – 10 at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park. Visit www.bloomngarden.com.

– The Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee’s annual Perennial Plant Sale is April 9. new location this year: the Al Menah Shriner Center at 1354 Brick Church Pike in Nashville. Go to www.ppsmt.org for info.

Look for The April Landscape & Garden Calendar Saturday (April 2) in The Tennessean.

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