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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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About this site

Gloria Ballard

Ten years ago, when I was an assistant features editor at The Tennessean, I had the chance to start a weekly column about my hobby, gardening. I called it The Garden Club, and wrote that it was “a place for readers who enjoy gardening to share questions and answers, tips and other items of interest.”

I’m a freelance writer now, still a gardener (Middle Tennessee, USDA Hardiness Zone 7a), and still writing a garden column, though it only runs once a month in The Tennessean as a garden calendar.

But gardeners always have something to learn and something to share, so I’m inviting readers to come to The Garden Bench to find answers, discuss problems and share success stories and information.  I’ll post weekly, as many questions, answers and comments as time allows.

As I told readers back then, gardening is my hobby; my background is in journalism, not horticulture. But there are plenty of horticultural experts in Middle Tennessee, and I call on them, and reach out to the vast stores of information in books and on the internet, to answer your questions, and some of mine, too.

So if you have questions, just ask. I’ll try to find the answers. E-mail me at gloria.ballard@comcast.net.

(And if you want to see what’s happening in my back yard, click over to my garden journal, Turning Toward the Sun.)

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