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  • Garden events in Middle Tennessee

    March 20 – 22, 2015: The Orchid Society of Middle Tennessee will host the Mid-America Orchid Congress, “Orchids in Rhythm,” at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs in Franklin, TN. The show will have more than 20 displays with 500 or more blooming orchids. Vendors will have a wide variety of blooming orchids for sale. The show and sale are free to the public. www.orchidsinrhythm.org.

    March 21 – April 26: Cheekwood in Bloom, a six-week festival celebrating spring with garden demonstrations, live music, arts, family activities, entertainment and more at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art. Complete details at www.cheekwood.org.

    March 28: Introduction to Foodscapes and Permaculture Design, presented by Nashville Foodscapes, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost of the workshop is $25. To register, click here or email jeremy@nashvillefoodscapes.com

    March 29: A Journey Through the Permaculture Design Process, presented by Nashville Foodscapes, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Cost of the workshop is $50. (Recommended that participants are familiar with Permaculture design, or take intro class on March 28). To register, click here or email jeremy@nashvillefoodscapes.com

    April 2 - 4: Wildflower Week at Beaman Park. April 2, wildflower hike, 10 a.m. - noon; April 4, 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. Call to register, 615-862-8580. Beaman Park Nature Center, 5911 Old Hickory Blvd., Ashland City, TN.

    April 11: The Middle Tennessee Perennial Plant Society’s annual plant sale is scheduled 9 a.m. – noon (or until the plants sell out) at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The sale will feature more than 450 varieties of perennials, shrubs, roses, vines and annuals chosen to thrive in Tennessee gardens. A complete list of plants is at www.ppsmt.org (click the “Plant Sale” tab).

    April 18: Herb Society of Nashville herb sale, Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Find a list of plants for sale here.

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

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

    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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