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  • Garden events in Middle Tennessee

    April 9: Perennial Plant Society sale -- one of Nashville's top gardening events hosted by the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee. More than 450 varieties of shrubs, roses, vines, perennials and annuals, plus garden experts on hand to offer advice. Sale at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds opens at 9 a.m. - noon or until plants run out (arrive early!).www.ppsmt.org.

    April 16: Herb Society of Nashville plant sale, featuring hundreds of garden-ready annual and perennial ornamental and culinary herb plants, along with a new seminar series focusing on ways to use herbs in the garden. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Fairgrounds Nashville Sports Arena Building. Free admission; the Fairgrounds charges a $5 fee to park.www.herbsocietynashville.org.

    April 30: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville Herb & Craft Fair 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the church, 1808 Woodmont Blvd. Top-quality herb plants, heirloom tomato plants and a selection of native plants for sale, along with pressed-flower art, cards, jewelry and gifts, handmade scented soaps, homemade sweet and yeast breads, spice mixes, sauces, jams and jellies and other items. Admission is free (https://thefuun.org/herb-craft-fair).

    May 7: Middle Tennessee Hosta Society sale at the Maryland Farms YMCA in Brentwood. Information about the Hosta Society is atwww.mths-hosta.com.

    May 21: Master Gardeners of Davidson County Urban Gardening Festival -- Exhibits, demonstrations, vendors, information sessions, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Demonstration Garden at Ellington Agricultural Center. Admission is free. https://mgofdc.wildapricot.org.

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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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