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Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.

~ Mrs C.W. Earle ~

From the GTG Garden and Greenhouse

Fall planting time is nearly here. The new plants will be arriving shortly and I am looking forward to the cooler temperatures. New iris have already arrived and been planted; peonies, crocus and hellebore should be here in the next week or two.
One of the tasks I had put off has been tackled: Web site updating. New plants have been added, and it's now a bit easier to navigate. Come over and take a look!

Have a wonderful Labor Day, Belle
Green Thumbs Galore LLC

Fall Bulbs 101

by Dava Stewart

As the growing season slowly comes to a close, and we begin to anticipate cooler days and colorful leaves, it feels a little strange to be planning for spring blooms. But, right now is just the right time to be thinking about bulbs! I’m considering putting out quite a few spring bulbs in the next month or two, and it’s fun to sketch out different plans, and to look at all the different varieties of bulbs there are now.

I’m a huge fan of what I think of as “old fashioned” flowers. My grandmother grew tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths in a little circle around her concrete birdbath, and all of those flowers make me smile today, although my plans look quite a bit different than her beds looked.

Clusters of blooms create splashes of spring color, and there is a dizzying array of colors to choose from. Hyacinths from pale pink to grape purple, and tulips from creamy yellow to darkest plum brighten up everything after weeks of dreary, late winter weather.

In my mind, spring flowers are all low-growing, so I definitely want to plant some Alliums to change that strange conception. Two others I’d like to try are Glory of the Snow and Anemones. While I am almost always ready for whatever season comes next, it’s fun thinking about early spring during the early fall, in much the same way it’s nice to daydream about summer gardening in the middle of winter.

Besides planting some bulbs for spring blooms this year, I’m also going to try a small winter vegetable garden. I’ve talked about trying a cool weather garden for years, but this is the year it will happen. In Tennessee, the winters tend to be pretty mild, so spinach, kale, and turnips do just fine right up until December, and sometimes even longer. Garlic, onions, and maybe even some broccoli will be part of my early winter dinners.

There are lots of dates and temperature ranges available on the internet to help you know when to begin fall planting, and of course there are plenty of bits of useful advice on soil preparation, fertilizer and so on. Here are a few general thoughts from a lazy gardener (that would be me!):

  • Plant bulbs when the leaves are turning. You want to aim a time when it’s cool at night - between 40 and 50 degrees - but the ground isn’t freezing yet.
  • The soil you plant bulbs in doesn’t really need any kind of special treatment. It should be rich with organic matter, but so should the soil you plant anything in. Planting will go easier if it’s a bit on the soft side.
  • Planting depth is not as important as some resources seem to indicate. Bulbs have root ‘hairs’ on them that sense the depth, and will contract and pull the bulb deeper if necessary. Isn’t that cool?
  • Any-side up! You might have read that you need to plant the bulbs “pointy side up” but bulbs really don’t care and know in which direction they need to grow - another interesting bulb fact!
  • If you put fertilizer in the hole, put some soil over it, so that the bulbs are not sitting directly on top of the fertilizer.
As fall is rapidly approaching, it’s time to mention the Green Thumbs Galore semi-annual driveway sale! The Fall Sale will be October 6-7, the first weekend of October, and if you are near or planning a trip to Chattanooga, we would love to meet you! It’s always fun to meet other gardeners in person, and hear about your gardens and learn what you love. So, if you get the chance, come on by and visit with us. We will remind you on our Facebook page, and in the next newsletter, but it’s time to start planning.

September in the Garden:

Winter Jewels Hellebore:

Red Sapphire

Sparkling Diamond

Golden Lotus

Cotton Candy