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  • Upcoming Garden Events in Middle Tennessee

    March 1 – 4: Nashville Lawn & Garden Show, Fairgrounds Nashville: The annual all-indoors garden event that features live garden displays, lectures, vendors, floral designs and special programming Wine Festival featuring Tennessee wines is Saturday (March 3), noon – 5 p.m. For more information on the events and the complete lecture schedule, visit www.nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com.

    April 7: Perennial Plant Sale hosted by the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee annual Perennial Plant Sale at The Fairgrounds Nashville. Find newly released and hard-to-find perennials along with a wide range of tried and tested varieties, all from top local nurseries. The sale opens at 9 a.m. and usually sells out by early afternoon. For more information, visit www.ppsmtn.org.

    April 14: Herb & Plant Sale hosted by The Herb Society of 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at The Fairgrounds Nashville Sports Arena building. The sale offers common and rare varieties of herbs and heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery and herb markers by artist Roy Overcast for sale. For more information and a list of available plants, visit www.herbsocietynashville.org.

    April 21: Herb & Craft Fair hosted by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, 1808 Woodmont Blvd., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Top quality perennial and annual herbs, heirloom tomato plants, native and companion plants, along with food and craft items reflecting an interest in the homemade and homegrown: fresh homemade sweet and yeast breads, spice mixes, barbecue sauces, jams and jellies; knitted and sewn items, homes for birds and bees, and art, jewelry and more made from pressed flowers. Visit www.thefuun.org.

    May 12: Hosta sale hosted by the Middle Tennessee Hosta. Proceeds from the sale support the club’s activities. More information about the MTHS is at www.mths-hosta.com.

    May 19: Urban Gardening Festival, hosted by Master Gardeners of Davidson County, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden at Ellington Agricultural Center (5201 Marchant Drive in Nashville). The free event includes information about a variety of gardening methods and techniques, local artisans, exhibiters, growers and more. For information, visit www.mgofdc.org/ugf.

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Prune boxwood in winter

Our boxwoods are quite large – too large for the space they’re in. I meant to cut them back last summer but never got around to it. Is it too late to prune them now?

boxwoodMost boxwoods don’t require regular pruning unless you’re keeping them sheared in a formal garden space, but if you need to control the size of the shrub, now – or late winter to early spring – is actually the best time to do the job.

Rather than shearing it back to a smaller size, though, consider the more precise process of thinning the shrub to control its size. The editors of the Mid-South Garden Guide, a hefty volume originally published in 1954 by the Memphis Garden Club, include an extensive description of the care of the boxwoods, including best practices for pruning these traditional landscape shrubs.

Begin to reduce the size of an old shrub by removing 6” – 8” of growth over the entire plant, and thin down into the interior stems to a point where new growth is visible, they suggest. Is some cases, it may be best to do this in stages over a two- or three-year period.

To thin the shrub, reach inside the plant with a pair of loppers or pruning shears to remove some of the older and longer limbs back to a branch point or to the main trunk. This reduces the overall size of the shrub, but it also produces a healthier plant by opening up the interior to more light and air circulation. The more flexible stems won’t break as easily under a heavy load of ice or snow.

In general, boxwoods do well in good, well-drained soil and light or dappled shade. They do best where they receive plenty of moisture all year.

Garden event in Middle Tennessee: The annual Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville kicks off for a stylish weekend Feb. 3 – 5, 2017. This year’s keynote speaker is acclaimed interior designer Nate Berkus, and the four gardens promise to be spectacular. The story in The Tennessean.



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