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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

First Aid for Summer Squash

As we enter mid-July with August right around the corner, there are some pretty rough-looking summer squash patches that I have visited around the state in my role as a vegetable specialist. From backyard gardens to commercial growers, everyone that has grown summer squash knows the challenges that the late season can dish out ...

>> read “First Aid for Summer Squash”       #Advice   #Disease   #Pests
A Walk in the Wild

Andrea Rubinstein moved to Louisiana from the San Francisco Bay area in 2004. Her new Lafayette home came with several mature camellias and azaleas scattered throughout the yard, a yaupon holly hedge hiding the front porch and a white rail fence along the sidewalk. “There wasn’t much more to the landscaping when I moved into the house,” says Andrea ...

>> read “A Walk in the Wild”    
Foxgloves in the Southern Garden

The transition from the riot of color during spring’s awakening of the garden to the lazy days of summer is one of my favorite periods. Though the calendar tells us it is still spring, the flowers and the warmer temperatures inform us another spring will soon pass into the record books. It is during this transitional period that many old-fashioned favorite garden plants bloom. Irises, peonies, hollyhock and especially foxgloves make their presence known during this period.

>> read “Foxgloves in the Southern Garden”    
Critter Wars
Dealing With Common Garden Pests

There are two major battles that all gardeners face every season: weeds and pests. I have always said (and will repeat) that there will never be a complete victory in either battle. As long as we have gardens, we will have unwanted creatures that can cause damage and headaches ...

>> read “Critter Wars”    
Wild Quinine

This underused plant has everything going for it: flowers through most of the summer; an upright, beautiful habit; and tremendous fall and winter interest. Wild quinine grows 36-40 inches tall with a spread of 18-24 inches. This architectural plant mixes well with grasses. In summer, the white, flat, mounded clusters of flowers look like summer clouds floating through the garden ...

>> read “Wild Quinine”       #Hot Plants
Going Above Ground
Two Solutions For Amendment-Weary Gardeners

It’s trite but true: You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone. When I lived in Illinois I took soil for granted. With 12 feet or more of black dirt, if you wanted a garden all you did was bury a seed, add some water and step back before the plant hit you in the nose.

>> read “Going Above Ground”    
From Jungle to Jingle
How the Poinsettia Became a Christmas Icon

As the Christmas season draws ever nearer, homes around the world take on the decorative trappings of the season. The symbolism associated with Christmas is deep, rich and ever-changing. Icons of the season – for example the Christmas tree – have been adapted from more primitive cultures. Probably neither a Druid chieftain nor Martin Luther would recognize the modern Christmas tree ...

>> read “From Jungle to Jingle”    
Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening

Like most gardeners in the South, you probably maintain a vegetable garden for three seasons: spring, summer and fall. But if you’re not living in Zone 9, where plants can grow all year round without much protection, you might think that keeping a winter garden is difficult at best ...

>> read “Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening”    
Christmas from Nature

Decorating from nature doesn’t require lists of instructions or rules; in fact, some of the simplest materials and compositions yield beautiful results. Children often make simple ornaments in school from natural objects such as walnut shells or dried seedpods.

>> read “Christmas from Nature”    
Ornamental Envy
Plan for Fall Interest with Ornamental Grasses

Fall is the season when many of us envy our neighbor’s gardens. You know what I’m talking about. One morning, you step out the front door and stroll through your front yard, which is just about done showing off for the year. While you are picking up the morning paper, you see something through the corner of our eye: your neighbor’s garden is still outperforming the rest. Something is swaying in the breeze with its beautiful blooms, just daring you to ask the neighbor, “Where did you learn that trick? What design school did you attend?”

>> read “Ornamental Envy”    
Common Ninebark

You may call it common or Eastern ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), but this native shrub has become anything but common. Ninebark has been to finishing school with several fabulous new cultivars introduced. Bright, colorful foliage – burgundy, copper, gold and variegated – have replaced the standard medium green leaves of the old-fashioned ninebark. The species has been tamed, a lot more compact and less vigorous.

>> read “Common Ninebark”       #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Ornamentals   #Shrubs
Shade Container Recipe

Indoor plants play a large part in this crisp container situated in the heavily dappled shade of an entryway. Alocasia amazonica takes center stage in the arrangement with its strong lines and bold colors, which almost seem to be pointing to the light green, ruffled leaves of the bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus). Echoing the long, narrow leaf structure of the fern is Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’.

>> read “Shade Container Recipe”