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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

Are you interested in the unusual, or even the bizarre? If so, your curiosity (and that of your neighbors) might be piqued by the uniqueness of the contorted European filbert, a plant fondly known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick ...

>> read “Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick”       #Hot Plants
Outdoor Benches

Placing a bench in the garden is not a simple matter of carrying it from the delivery truck to the patio. To really incorporate it into the overall garden landscape, there are a few basic considerations.

First, you should determine whether or not you really intend to sit on the bench. Are you showcasing it for garden tours, or do you want the bench to serve as your own private retreat? Do you see it as place to exhibit containers, or a spot to write a letter to a friend? Answering these questions will help you determine appropriate size, design and materials.

>> read “Outdoor Benches”    
Plenty of Pecans for the Holidays

California has its almonds and Florida its citrus. But from Thanksgiving through Christmas, the southern U.S. has its own legendary horticultural crop: the pecan ...

>> read “Plenty of Pecans for the Holidays”    
Find Out Your Garden I.Q. Quiz
Are you gardening savvy or gardening challenged?

Are you a garden expert, a weekend gardener or just a novice? Challenge your gardening knowledge by taking this short quiz — you may be surprised to see where you rank. Answers are posted at the end. Good luck!

>> read “Find Out Your Garden I.Q. Quiz”    
Branch Rot of Annual Vinca

Branch and stem rot can be a major disease problem for annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) once the disease organism has been introduced into the residential or commercial landscape environment. This disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Phytophthora parasitica that can persist in the soil for several years. Under conditions of overhead watering or heavy rainfall, this disease can spread rapidly in a vinca planting. The fungus is often ...

>> read “Branch Rot of Annual Vinca”    
The Rudiments Of Roses
Don’t Shy Away From Growing Roses!

Truly there are varieties available for even the most timid or inexperienced gardeners. All roses require some attention, but numerous types are more self sufficient, thriving for years with minimal care.

>> read “The Rudiments Of Roses”    
Recipes for Winter Vegetables

Common belief seems to be that winter vegetables are those that grow in the cool days of late fall into winter or that begin their growth spurt in the still cold days of winter and come to harvest in early spring. Many of the vegetables in the cabbage family often show up on lists of winter vegetables, as do lettuce, spinach, kale and a number of leafy greens ...

>> read “Recipes for Winter Vegetables”    
The Traditional Scarecrow

I was halfway through my childhood before finding the nerve to watch The Wizard of Oz without hiding at some point during the film. I suppose it was the witch (the wicked one from the west) — it would be an understatement to say that she intimidated me. The scarecrow was a much more pleasant fellow but, truth be known, he was also a bit unsettling to me ...

>> read “The Traditional Scarecrow”    
Edible Chrysanthemum
They're yellow and they're tasty. Try the Chrysanthemum

Every family in the Gu's village where I spent my childhood had a row of edible chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum nankingense) along the north side of their house and very close to the wall. Starting in early summer we pick the tender tips, about 1 inch long, and use them in stir-fry or soup. It has a very refreshing taste. This continues until early or midfall, depending on whether we want flowers. Picking encourages more growing tips (and flowers later on) and keeps the plant short and rounded. It flowers in late fall if picking stops around early fall. In late fall, tons of tiny, 1/2 inch golden yellow flowers cover and fill the plant. [Edible chrysanthemum brings sunshine to the landscape in late fall.] Edible chrysanthemum is the most shade-tolerant and pruning-tolerant chrysanthemum that I have ever seen. It not only flowers on the outside, but also the inside of the plant canopy, probably because of its shade tolerance.

>> read “Edible Chrysanthemum”       #Hot Plants
Rescue or Theft

There is a movement among many garden enthusiasts to “rescue” the wonderful heirloom bulbs, shrubs and wildflowers of our ancestors’ time. Many areas where they grow are being bulldozed for construction of homes, businesses and highways, while other areas are getting so overgrown with trees, vines and weeds, the plants are unable to survive without the necessary sunlight. Although saving these bulbs for future generations is a noble activity, it does not give us the right to take something that does not belong to us. Let us be clear about this fact. All land belongs to someone.

>> read “Rescue or Theft”    
Prime Perennials for Shady Areas

A shady garden is much more than a place that is not dominated by sun. A leafy ceiling, a soft brown floor and pretty plants that come and go with the seasons make a shade garden an irresistible spot to relax and feel the cool beauty of Mother Nature as she likes things to be. After all, if we did not need open spaces for our houses and roads, the forests that once covered the South would slowly return.

>> read “Prime Perennials for Shady Areas”    
Create a Hummingbird Habitat in Your Own Backyard

You can create a hummingbird habitat in your garden, providing nectar and shelter for these beautiful, tiny birds.

>> read “Create a Hummingbird Habitat in Your Own Backyard”