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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 – September

    Cut the dead tops of coneflowers, but leave enough for goldfinches to enjoy the seeds.

    Plant cool-weather vegetables for a fall crop: spinach, mustard and turnip greens, radishes, leaf lettuce.

    Start a new lawn of cool-season grass, such as fescue, or refurbish or repair establish lawns.

    Don’t let the soil of newly planted grass dry out. New grass needs about an inch of water per week.

    It’s still warm, so continue to water and weed garden beds as needed.

    Remove dead foliage, spent flowers and other garden debris; replenish mulch as needed.

    Continue to harvest produce, which may be getting a boost now from slightly cooler weather. Keep watering sage, rosemary and other perennial herbs so they’ll be in good shape to get through winter.

    Prepare to bring houseplants back indoors: remove dead leaves, scrub soil from the sides of the pots, treat for insects. Bring tropical plants in before nighttime temperatures dip to 55 degrees.

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Plant your Easter lily

QUESTION: Can I plant my potted Easter lilies outside? When? What is a good location?
Easter lilyYes, you can plant Lilium longiforum (the botanical name for the Easter lily) outdoors for it to bloom again next year – and the next and the next. You shouldn’t put it in the ground until after the chance of frost has passed, but care of the bulb should begin while you still have it in the house.
Indoors, keep the plant in bright, indirect light and away from cold drafts and heat sources. Water it when the soil feels dry, but don’t overwater. The blooms will last longer if you remove the yellow anthers – the pollen pods – in the center of each flower. Remove the blooms as they wither.
When it’s time to plant, cut off any old flowers that remain but leave the stem and leaves. Select a sunny location with good drainage, plant the bulb (stem and leaves attached) at the same depth it grew in the pot and water it well. The stem and leaves will die back in the fall, and at that time you can cut it at soil level and cover with mulch. It should come back next year, so remove the mulch when it begins to grow next spring.
Remember, too, that the lilies available at Easter were forced into bloom at that time; the lily’s normal bloom time is not until summer, so don’t expect your lily in the garden to bloom before then.
By the way, some experts recommend not planting Lilium longiforum in the same bed with other lilies, as Easter lilies may be susceptible to a variety of diseases that may be transmitted to other varieties.
This lily, with it’s large trumpet-shaped flowers, is also known as Bermuda lily. The cultivar most commonly grown for markets in the U.S. is ‘Nellie White,’ named for a lily grower’s wife.

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