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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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Amaryllis start-up time

When should I start new amaryllis bulbs in pots to have them on display through the winter?

'Flamenco Queen' amaryllis is from Colorblends.

‘Flamenco Queen’ amaryllis is from Colorblends.

Start potting them up now! The big, luxuriant amaryllis flowers generally begin to bloom six to eight weeks after the bulb is placed in potting mix and watered. Start several bulbs at weekly intervals, and you can have those tropical blooms on display from the December holidays on through winter.

An amaryllis is a large bulb, so select a pot that is a little larger and has a drainage hole. Add good quality potting mix to the container along with the bulb (pointed end up, of course), leaving about a quarter to a third of the bulb exposed. Water it well and place it in a spot that’s warm and sunny. You probably won’t need to water again until the soil feels dry, or when you begin to see growth from the top of the bulb.

Amaryllis comes in a range of colors, from white to soft pink to blazing red, bi-colors, giants and miniatures, some with double flowers — sure to brighten up any winter day. The  amaryllis pictured here is ‘Flamenco Queen’ from Colorblends, a Connecticut-based flower bulb wholesaler that sells direct to home gardeners.

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