Cultivating a Culture of Gardening™

Friday, January 29, 2010

So much fun to see my
Coral Bark maple -Japanese maple 'Sango Kaku', Harry Lauder 's Walking Stick - Corylus avellana 'Contorta', and Witch hazel - Hamamelis Arnold's Promise in the snow. The colors and form are resplendent.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape— the loneliness of it— the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it— the whole story doesn’t show.”
-- Andrew Wyeth, American painter

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Upcoming Events That You Don't Want to Miss!

The Seventh Annual Bloom ‘n’ Garden Expo, April 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2010, is Williamson County’s only Lawn and Garden Show. The Expo is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for a variety of plants and gardening products from hundreds of prominent vendors. Speakers and educational workshops are scheduled throughout the three-day event at the Ag Expo Park, in Franklin, TN -- located at 4215 Long Lane, off I-65 at Exit 61-Peytonsville Road.

Friday & Saturday: 9AM - 7PM
Sunday: 11AM - 4PM

The mission of the Williamson County Master Gardeners Association, Inc is to enhance and improve the quality of life in our community through expanded horticultural educational opportunity and volunteerism. WCMGA, Inc is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and proceeds from the Bloom ‘n’ Garden Expo are used by WCMGA to fund horticultural projects. Online at

Upcoming Events That You Don't Want to Miss!

PLANT - Professional Landscape Association of Nashville, Tennessee


Thursday, Feb. 18th 2010, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Massey Hall

7:30 - 8:00 Vendor Set Up
8:00 - 8:30 Registration & Visit With Vendors
8:30 - 9:30 Landscaping in Drifts of One, Tony Avent, Owner, Plant Delights Nursery

9:30 -9:45 Break & Visit with Vendors

9:45 -10:45 Fantastic Hydrangeas, Old Favorites and Newcomers, Dr. Sandy Reed,
U.S. National Arboretum

10:45 -11:45 Water Wise Container Gardening, Rita Randolph, Owner, Randolph’s
Greenhouses, Jackson, TN
11:45 -12:45 Lunch & Visit with Vendors (Lunch is included as part of the registration fee)
12:45- 1:45 Perennials for Seasonal Interest- Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, Tony Avent, Owner, Plant Delights Nursery, Juniper Level, NC

1:45- 2:00 Break & Visit with Vendors

2:00 – 3:00 Landscape Design Follies, Gary Menendez, UT Department of Landscape Architecture

3:30 – 4:00 Visit with Vendors, Door prizes and Closing

Winter Seminar 2010
Registration limited to 175 people (Friday Februarys 12th is the final day of pre registration).

Advance Registration Members ______ @ $75 Registration @ Door @ $100
Advance Registration Non-Members ______ @ $100 Registration @ Door @ $125


Additional Registration Names___________________________________________________________
(Please list all names so badges can be made…use back of sheet for additional name) Please print


City ______________________________State___________________ Zip ________________________

Return to: PLANT Winter Seminar, P.O. Box 280496, Nashville, TN 37228 or call 615-244-3478

Upcoming Events That You Don't Want to Miss!

Celebrating our 20th Year

The Shape of Things to Come

This year we celebrate our 20th year of bringing renowned international and national experts in antiques, gardening, the various fields of design, and art to Nashville, TN. The Show's three days are filled with educational experiences, great ideas, and of course, fabulous shopping opportunities. Since 1989, inspired by the fine design sense of one of the Show's advisers, Albert Hadley, Inc. of New York, the Show has grown in stature to become one of the Southeast's most anticipated yearly events.

The Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville is the largest show in the country that combines gardens and

antiques in one spectacular show. Since its founding, it has served as a prototype for major shows throughout the country. The Show reaches a broad audience from across the country and abroad: ardent antiques collectors, avid gardeners, those who follow the latest trends in interior design, and every

one who enjoys a breath of spring in the middle of winter. Attendees can purchase anything from plant materials to museum quality antiques from over 150 Antiques and Horticulture Dealers and attend lectures from world renowned gardeners and antiques dealers. Our National Advisory Committee Members include: Lisa Newsom, Albert Hadley, Bobby McAlpine and Alexa Hampton.

This year's featured lecturer's are Michael S. Smith, decorator to the White House; Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland, Jane Percy, gardener; and Ryan Gainey, our Entry Garden designer. Past lecturers include: HRH Prince Edward, Albert Hadley, HRH Princess Michael, Bunny Williams, Dominique Browning, Colin Cowie, Viscount David Linley, Leticia Baldridge, Stephen Lacey, Frances Mayes and Martha Stewart.

The Show benefits the Exchange Club Charities, Inc. (Child Abuse Prevention Programs) and Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art. In the past nineteen years, over $4,500,000.00 has been raised by the Show for these charities.

2010 Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville

February 11 – 13, 2010
Nashville Convention Center

Upcoming events that you don't want to miss!
Artistic By Nature
The Horticultural Association of Tennessee will present the 21st Annual Nashville Lawn & Garden Show on Thursday, March 4 through Sunday, March 7, 2010 at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Tennessee's premier horticultural event, the Nashville Lawn & Garden Show attracts more than 22,000 people annually and is one of the largest gardening shows in the South.

Centerpiece of the Nashville Lawn & Garden Show is a naturalized presentation of more than 20 outstanding live gardens created by professional lanscape designers. Most of the gardens include water features, ranging from small fountains to large waterfalls, and elaborate structures such as rock walls, terraces, pergolas, and gazebos. A series of 20 free lectures is presented throughout the 4 day show by expert horticulturists and garden designers. The show also includes 250 exhibit booths of horticultural products, services, and equipment for show and sale; in 2008, vendors from 12 states participated in the event. The show's spectacular floral design gallery features the work of more than 25 of the best designers in the mid-south region.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Fresh Look at Community Gardens

Some neighborhood friendships start over coffee, some start on playgrounds, and some start over the garden fence; my friendship with Jean, however, started over weeds. I was entering my second hour of pulling weeds, having just rescued my remaining crocus from being pulled up by my eager-to-help five year old son, when Jean drove up beside me. Rolling down the window she hollered out, “Seems like those weeds just come up overnight no matter how much you work.” I looked up into the smiling eyes of a kindred spirit and was soon enjoying a few minutes of banter about herbicide, rabbit control, and five year olds who mistake crocus leaves for wild onions. A conversation with strangers is not that unusual as I garden along my neighborhood street, and it was a few days later before I learned that this kindred spirit was my neighbor’s mom who had just moved in one street over.

Jean stopped by again to ask about garden shops and stayed for a good hour as we walked through my garden inspecting what was blooming, what was coming, and what had already shown all its glory. She was just starting her new garden and was learning our schizophrenic hardiness zone, but she had been a gardener for decades. She held a wealth of practical knowledge in growing things that spilled out from her as we talked. During that first year I was able to enjoy Jean’s impromptu visits as she passed by on her way to see her daughter. And every visit I’d learn a little something about gathering seeds or dividing plants (wait until it’s warm to divide your daylilies) or which plants attract birds (Echinacea and rudbeckia for bringing in goldfinch; hibiscus and lobelia for hummingbirds).

Over the following years Jean began hiring my sons to water her garden or mow while she was out of town. I would come over to inspect their work and enjoyed watching the progress of her developing landscape. Late one July she helped me divide my iris, taking a few to add to her perennial bed. One fall afternoon I found a ziplock bag full on envelopes containing seeds that Jean had collected from her summer garden. Dianthus, poppies, larkspur, and various other collections came complete with instructions like, “Don’t plant until after the last frost.” Encroaching age had limited my friend’s long distance driving, but allowed me the opportunity to drive her to garden shows, stuffing my car so full of plants we literally had them in our laps as we traveled home from our horticultural escapades.

As a retired headmistress in a metro area school area, Jean could easily slip into her school marm shoes to chastise me for watering my plants too late in the day (or forgetting to water them at all!) Her reprimands mirrored her concern for lost potential, having seen in her years of education the importance of nurturing those things we value. Our gardens became an alternative “schoolhouse” – a place for discipline, instruction, dealing with garden bullies (invasive plants), seeing beauty come from something others thought hopeless (she was always bringing home neglected plants from the back shelves of big box stores), or just persevering year after year because that is simply what one has to do to get the job done.

My friend has slowed down a good bit in the last couple of years, my five year old is now 17 and a highly skilled weeder (but don’t tell him that you heard that from me), and Jean’s empty courtyard is a flowering paradise complete with secret garden. Somewhere along the way we discovered the broader meaning of community gardening. In the sharing of seeds and plants and advice and manual labor, community found its place in each of our gardens.

Photos are plants in my garden shared from a friend.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Never Dreamed I'd Want a Green Christmas

Everywhere I looked there were signs of a green Christmas. And I'm not talking about global warming. Decorations gleaned from the landscape, practical gifts given and received, homemade gifts. One of my favorite signs of going green was the wedding of David Peake and MaryBeth White. Chris Peake, the groom's mom, agreed to host both the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception mid-December on their farm in south Georgia. With the economic pinch, Chris needed a low budget plan for decorating. The pictures here show her creative use of greenery gathered around the farm, her only expense being the purchase of a few distinctive white flowers.

Chris used lots of potted containers to decorate which will last throughout the winter on her porches.

Several containers were gifts to the new bride and groom to decorate their new home.

Santa brought practical gifts to the Wise clan like flannel shirts and bike tires for riding to classes in the middle of the winter.

Even Santa goes green - new summer santa shorts so he can keep the AC up when delivering gifts to the tropics.