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  • Garden events in Middle Tennessee

    April 4: Wildflower Week at Beaman Park. Tree hike, 10 a.m. - noon; Wild Food display, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; wildflower hike, 2 - 4 p.m; wildflower photo exhibit reception, 5 - 6:30 p.m.; Full Moon hike, 6 - 8 pm. Beaman Park Nature Center, 5911 Old Hickory Blvd. in Ashland City.

    April 10: Join naturalist Deb Beazley on a Wildflower Walk, 9 a.m. - noon, to enjoy the spring wildflowers in bloom around Warner Park Nature Center. A wildflower walk is also planned for April 15 with Kim Bailey. Call 615-352-6299 to register for these adults-only events.

    April 10-11: Howe Wild Weekend, featuring a cocktail supper April 10 with Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist; box lunch and lecture with Stewart and Wicked Plants April 11, and native plant sale of spring-blooming wildflowers, shrubs, vines and small trees, 9:30 a.m. until all the plants are sold. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Nashville to benefit the Howe Garden at Cheekwood. Details at www.gcnashville.org.

    April 10 – 12: Trails & Trilliums festival at the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly in Monteagle, Tenn. The event includes outdoor family activities and guided hikes, workshops, garden tour, music, art and vendors, and the keynote address by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. Complete details at www.trailsandtrilliums.org.

    April 11:  Middle Tennessee Perennial Plant Society’s annual plant sale, 9 a.m. – noon (or until the plants sell out) at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. More than 450 varieties of perennials, shrubs, roses, vines and annuals chosen to thrive in Tennessee gardens. Free admission; the Fairgrounds has a $5 parking fee. A complete list of plants is at www.ppsmt.org.

    April 11: Celebrate spring and Japanese culture at the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. The event begins with a 2.5-mile walk at 9 a.m.; festival opens 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Nashville Public Square with exhibitors, entertainment, artists, food, marketplace. Sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Tennessee. Details at http://nashvillecherryblossomfestival.org/

    April 12: The Tennessee Gesneriad Society will meet at 2 p.m. at Cheekwood’s Botanic Hall. The program will be a propagation workshop, and all attending will leave with a box of cuttings and information about propagation and care. The program is free and open to the public. Information: email Julie.mavity@gmail.com or call 615-364-8459.

    April 17: Join naturalist John Michael Cassidy for an all-ages Wildflower Hike, 9 – 10:30 a.m. at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center. The leisurely walk to look at wildflowers will be followed by a snack at the Nature Center. Call 615-862-8539 to register.

    April 18: Herb Society of Nashville herb sale, featuring dozens of types of herbs for sale, along with a selection of heirloom tomato, pepper, eggplant and kale plants, handmade pottery herb markers by Roy Overcast, information from The Compost Man, shopping assistants and more. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Free admission; the Fairgrounds has a $5 parking fee. Find a list of plants for sale at www.herbsocietynashville.org.

    April 24: Nashville Tree Foundation’s High Tree Party will honor the winners of this year’s Big Old Tree Contest, highlighting Davidson County’s oldest and largest trees, 4 p.m. at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Details at www.nashvilletreefoundation.org.

    April 25: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville Herb & Craft Fair, selling annual and perennial herbs, heirloom tomato plants and native plants plus handmade craft items, specialty items, handmade pressed flower art and jewelry, natural soaps, yeast breads, spice mixes, jams, jellies and other items. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 1808 Woodmont Blvd. Details at www.firstuunashville.org/herbfair.

    May 3: Mid-State Iris Association annual Iris Show, 1:30 - 5 p.m., Franklin Synergy Bank, 1 East College Street, Murfreesboro, TN. Free admission.

    May 16: The Master Gardeners of Davidson County’s 5th annual Urban Gardening Festival at Ellington Agricultural Center. The free community event is designed to educate and engage visitors with garden demonstrations and exhibitors and vendors from throughout the greater Nashville area.

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The trouble with winter creeper

QUESTION: A vine with dark green, oval leaves and thick woody stems is growing up through the middle of my shrubs. It seems to grow all year. What a nuisance! How can I get rid of it?

Winter creeper euonymus grows in sun or shade, can cover slopes, fences, trees, and is hard to get rid of once it's established.

It sounds like you are describing winter creeper euonymus, an evergreen that can sprawl along the ground (or on slopes, where it can help control erosion) or it can climb and attach itself to trees, walls and other surfaces with aerial roots.

You may see it described as “tough” or “aggressive,” and come to understand that to mean you’ll have a hard time getting rid of it. Indeed, it’s a non-native invasive plant, brought here from  the other side of the world in the early part of the last century. The Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council lists it as a “lesser threat,” but a threat nonetheless.

Cutting it down, pulling it out and digging it up are the best ways to begin the attack on winter creeper. Where digging doesn’t work, try cutting it back and applying glyphosate herbicide (such as Roundup) as a 2-percent solution (8 ounces per 3-gallon mix) in water to the stump that’s left. You’ll have to keep doing this, and you’ll have to be careful not to get the herbicide on the surrounding plants.

After the vine has been removed, the best way to keep it from returning is to keep an eye on the area and pull up individual seedlings as soon as you see them.

Small space, big harvests

Is that really possible? Maybe, and there’s a new book in the Complete Idiot’s Guide series that’s here to help. The book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Small-Space Gardening, and the author, Chris McLaughlin, provides quite a bit of good information on how to make the most of whatever plots or pots you have available. It’s published by Alpha Books; the price printed on the book is $19.95; at the Web site idiotsguides.com it’s listed as now $12.97.

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