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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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Dividing daylilies

When is the best time to separate Stella De Oro daylilies?

‘Rosy Returns’ is a good choice for a repeat blooming daylily.

Early spring and fall are good times to separate and replant all types of daylilies, including Stella De Oro and other repeat-blooming varieties.

Daylilies (the botanical name is Hemerocallis) are blooming beautifully in gardens in Middle Tennessee. The ‘Stella De Oro’ variety, which is what you usually see growing in sweeping yellow masses around office buildings and in grocery store parking lots, seems to be the most common, but there are other wonderful repeat bloomers to consider. (By the way, you may see this variety spelled ‘Stella d’Oro’ elsewhere. I’m using the same spelling as the American Hemerocallis Society.) ‘Happy Returns’ is also yellow, but a softer, creamier shade than the brassy ‘Stella de Oro.’ ‘Rosy Returns’ has dramatic rose-pink flowers. There are several more.

The repeat bloomers are great because, unlike most other daylilies that bloom for a few weeks and are gone, repeaters will come back throughout the summer — though never as lovely as this first flush of blooms.

Experts at the National Arboretum say that most varieties can go for four or five years before they need to be divided. Others also note that repeat bloomers may tend to form bigger clumps, and may need to be divided more often.

When the time comes to divide them, use a garden fork to loosen the soil around the clump, and pry the clump of roots out of the ground. Divide it by pushing two garden forks back to back down into the center of the clump and push the handles apart to separate the roots.

To replant divisions, dig a wide, shallow hole and place the rootball into the hole. Backfill with soil and tamp it into place, then cover the soil with an inch of mulch. Water thoroughly. You can cut the foliage back to about 12 inches.



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