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  • Garden events in Middle Tennessee

    Aug. 18: Perennial Plant Society meeting at Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall. Speaker is Shera Owen, topic is “People, Plants and their Stories.” Refreshments at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7 p.m. open to the public. To learn more: http://www.ppsmt.org

    Sept. 6: The Nashville African Violet Club will meet at 2 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 2905 N. Mt. Juliet Rd, Mount Juliet, TN 37122.  For more information, contact Julie at  Julie.mavity@gmail.com or call 615-364-8459.

    Sept. 12 & 13: The Tennessee Gesneriad Society will have a flower show and sale at Cheekwood in Botanic Hall. The event will be open to the public Sept. 12, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Sept. 13 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To learn more, contact Julie at Julie.mavity@gmail.com or call 615-364-8459.

    Sept. 19: The Herb Society of Nashville's annual Herb Day, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Speakers include floral designer Ralph Null, landscape architect and designer Todd Breyer, and chef and caterer Emily Frith. There will also be a variety of vendors, and The Boomerangs will provide entertainment throughout the day. Admission is $42 per person until Aug. 31; $47 beginning Sept. 1, and includes all workshops, entertainment, and lunch. Advance registration is required. Register at http://herbsocietynashville.org, and visit the Herb Society’s Facebook page for updates.

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Don’t worry about the daffodils

It’s only January, and the daffodils in my yard are already coming up! How do I keep them from freezing?

Early risers: daffodils can survive winter.

It may seem too early for this unmistakable sign of spring, but it’s not unusual for the shoots of early daffodils to begin pushing up through the ground. In some places, they started coming up before Christmas. The best thing to do is: Nothing. In fact, there is nothing you can do. Spread some pine straw over the daffodil bed if it makes you feel better, but really, even that is an unnecessary step, says Anne Owen of the Middle Tennessee Daffodil Society.

We’re at the mercy of the weather fluctuations, but generally, a blast of cold weather won’t hurt the daffodils, Owen says. The worst that could happen is that the weather turns warm and stays warm enough for long enough that the daffodils bloom; then the flowers might succumb to a snap of extreme cold. If we get a freeze while only the leaves are up, they should survive without a problem.

Good reading

It’s a good time to sit down with a stack of seed catalogs (or a list of seed company URLs) and plan this year’s kitchen garden. Here are some of my favorites (where I indulge in a little wishful thinking):

Seed Savers’ Exchange (Unusual varieties not found at the big box store seed kiosks)

Seeds of Change (Seeds, supplies, and live plants, too)

Territorial Seed Company (Try out the online garden planner)

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (“Particularly suited to the Mid-Atlantic and similar regions”)

Renee’s Garden (Pretty as a cottage garden)

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (Recipes included!)

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds (Straightforward, with tidy line drawings; more tips and entertaining reading at the website)

Brent & Becky’s Bulbs (One of the best sources for bulbs, say those in the know)

Burpee (for sheer volume, and all those luscious pictures!)

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