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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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Rosemary may suffer indoors

QUESTION: We received a potted rosemary plant as a Christmas gift. According to the plant marker, it is a variety called ‘Arp.’ It was fresh and green when we got it, but now the leaves are beginning to turn brown. What is the best way to take care of it?

RosemaryThose rosemary topiaries and the miniature rosemary Christmas trees are popular gifts for cooks and gardeners during the holidays. Unfortunately, they don’t always live as long as you might expect.

Some sources with information on houseplants say that rosemary is one of the culinary herbs that can be grown outdoors in summer and brought in during winter. But rosemary has specific needs that are not easily met in some indoor environments.

To grow well indoors, a rosemary plant, which is really a tender perennial shrub, requires bright light — four or more hours a day of direct sun, or about 14 hours of supplemental fluorescent light. In addition, it likes warm temperatures in spring and summer, and cooler (45 – 70 degrees) in fall and winter. It also likes fairly humid conditions, and the air in an average home may be too dry for the plant to thrive.

While you have it indoors, give the rosemary as much light and humidity as possibly (a daily misting may help). Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings, but don’t let it dry completely.

‘Arp’ is one of the hardiest rosemary varieties. Plant it outdoors in early spring (full sun, but it also does fine with a little bit of shade), in soil that drains well. If you plant it in a sheltered location, there’s a good chance that it will last in the garden for many years here in Zone 7a.

Garden events in Middle Tennessee

Feb. 16: Backyard Sustainable Gardening workshops sponsored by Hands On Nashville and led by Cliff Davis of Spiral Ridge Permaculture. Day-long mini-course introduces the theory behind permaculture and offers hands-on training. Learn the basics of permaculture. Workshops will take place at the nands On Nashville Urban Farm, 361 Wimpole Drive. Learn more and register here.

Feb. 19: Perennial Plant Society meets at Cheekwood, beginning with plant swap and refreshments at 6:30, program at 7 p.m. Guest speaker is Marshall Allen, founder and owner of Allen Landscape Management; the topic is “Design using hardscape, various types of plants and other features of interest.” No charge for admission, and the public is invited.

Feb. 20: Orchid Society of Middle Tennessee meets at CheekwoodBotanical Garden. The program is on Phalaenopsis orchids. Refreshments at 6:30, and the program begins at 7 p.m. There is no admission, and the meeting is open to the public. No admission to Cheekwood and the meeting is open to the public.

Indoors gardens for inspiration at the Nashville Lawn & Garden Show.

Indoors gardens for inspiration at the Nashville Lawn & Garden Show.

Feb. 28 – March 3:Nashville Lawn & Garden Show at the TennesseeState Fairgrounds. More than 20 live gardens (all indoors!) by local landscape professionals; a series of free lectures by expert horticulturists and garden designers, and 250 booths of horticultural products, services and equipment for show and sale. Hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Feb. 28, March 1 and 2, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. March 3. This annual event is produced by the Horticultural Association of Tennessee. Learn more here.

March 16: Backyard Sustainable Gardening workshops sponsored by Hands On Nashville and led by Cliff Davis of Spiral Ridge Permaculture. Day-long mini-course introduces the theory behind permaculture and offers hands-on training. Learn the basics of permaculture. Workshops will take place at the nands On Nashville Urban Farm, 361 Wimpole Drive. Learn more and register here.

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