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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 – August

    Water lawns and garden beds early in the morning to allow foliage plenty of time to dry before nightfall.

    Container gardens will benefit from a light application of all-purpose fertilizer.

    If petunias have grown long and shaggy, cut them back and give them a dose of fertilizer. They should bloom again quickly.

    If squirrels and birds go after your ripe tomatoes, pick them while they are still green and allow them to turn red indoors. For best quality, don’t store fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator.

    Make sure spring-planted trees and shrubs get plenty of water during hot weather.

    Keep cutting the spent flowers of annuals so they will continue to bloom into the fall.

    To conserve soil moisture during hot weather, replenish mulch in annual and perennial beds as necessary.

    Begin planning a fall garden. Spinach, lettuces, radishes and other fall crops will mature when the weather turns cool.

    Begin clean-up of summer vegetable beds. Remove any decayed or dying foliage to prevent diseases from taking hold.

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Hellebores: winter in bloom

When can hellebores be planted or divided?

Hellebores can be a nice surprise in the garden in late winter, when everything else out there is still asleep. They are tough plants with evergreen foliage and flowers that bloom in winter and last well into spring. Even when they are blooming, they are not fazed by frost or below-freezing temperatures, and they will emerge from a mantle of snow bright and fresh as when they bloomed.

You can plant hellebores in spring or fall. They can be dug up and divided, but they may take a year or two to get re-established. Sometimes they self-sow, and the young seedlings can be dug up and transplanted in spring.

Gardeners often think of them as shade-loving plants, but they can also do well in sunny areas. They are happiest in well-drained, alkaline soil with plenty of organic matter. Southern Living Garden Book suggests fertilizing once or twice a year.

Helleborus is the botanical name. H. orientalis is often called by its common name, Lenten rose, but there are several varieties and hybrids that have different traits. To see photos of different varieties, check out the online resource hellebores.org.

 

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