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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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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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