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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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Transplanting roses in the ‘wrong’ season

We are moving from one home to another this summer. We have a rose bush in our garden that was a gift for a special occasion that we planted about three years ago, and we’d like to take it with us. Is it possible to transplant a rose bush? It’s not very large, but it has a few blooms on it now.


The best times to transplant roses are in early spring or in the fall, but if, for whatever reason, mid-summer is when you have to do it, then give it the best care possible. Here is advice from Marty Reich, a consulting rosarian with the Nashville Rose Society and American Rose Society:

Dig up the rose with as big a root ball and as much soil as you can, and move it into a large container, disturbing the roots as little as possible. Move it to its new home, but don’t plan to plant it right away. Instead, trim the long canes back to 18 – 24 inches and keep the rose in the container in a sheltered spot where you can water it every day.

After about a month, begin feeding it with an all-purpose fertilizer (Marty suggests “something like Miracle Gro”) every couple of weeks. In fall, when the weather is reliably cool, is the time to put it in the ground in its new home.

When the time comes, prepare the planting hole in a spot that gets full sun. Garden experts at the Gardening Know How website suggest this method: Dig a hole about 15 inches deep and wider than the root ball, mix plenty of compost into the soil, then build up a small mound of soil in the center of the hole.

Remove the root ball from the container, place it on the mound and spread out the roots so that the bush sits slightly above ground level. Fill the hole with soil about halfway, water it thoroughly, then backfill with the remaining soil. Marty Reich, the ARS consulting rosarian, advises to mulch around the canes and over the bud union. Water the newly planted rose throughout the winter as needed, and watch for new growth next spring.


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