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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Hairy Wood Mint
Blephilia hirsuta

Hairy wood mint (Blephilia hirsuta) is a wonderful native plant that can be grown in a rock garden or in light dappled shade at the edge of the woodland garden. Like most mints, it is fragrant, and the small, tubular flowers are dotted with purple at the edge of the lip. It has unusually hairy stems, opposite leaves and whorls of small flowers ...

>> read “Hairy Wood Mint”       #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Ornamentals
Dawn Redwood

Closely related to bald and pond cypress (Taxodium spp.), the dawn redwood is a fast-growing beauty that not only makes a dramatic horticultural statement, but is also bound to spice up the neighborhood gardening chatter. This is definitely an “Oh, wow” tree, but be sure to keep its plant tag handy because most people don’t believe dawn redwood grows anywhere other than California.

>> read “Dawn Redwood”    
Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs

If you drive through any small town across America, you will find either (or both) Mexican or a wide variety of Asian restaurants. Where burgers, pizza or fried chicken and mashed potatoes were once all that was available to choose from for supper, a huge variety of flavors have cropped up. Today, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Guatemalan and a vast array of other ethnic restaurants exist throughout the country ...

>> read “Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs”    
Camouflage Gardening
Three Ways To Conquer Problem Areas In Your Landscape

Maybe you didn’t look for it when you found the house and didn’t even notice it right away. Then one day you pulled into the drive and saw nothing but the utility pole, or the air conditioner or the gas meter. How could you have missed such a spoiler? No matter if you move to the hills, the valleys or the plains, you will eventually find problem areas in your landscape.

>> read “Camouflage Gardening”    
Pink Velvet Banana

The cinnamon scent, exotic leaves and exceptional fruit color of Musa velutina (pink velvet banana or hairy banana) will add a tropical flair to any garden and are hard to resist once you have seen them. With adequate winter mulch, its cold hardiness makes it possible to be grown outside tropical zones.

>> read “Pink Velvet Banana”    
Make A Fairy Chair for Your Garden

Gardens are magical places. They’re even more magical when you invite fairy-folk to visit. With an old chair, a basket (or chicken wire) and a few flowering plants, you can make a charming focal point for your garden that fairies can’t resist ...

>> read “Make A Fairy Chair for Your Garden”    
Whitewater Red Bud
Cercis canadensis

Cercis canadensis ‘Whitewater’ is a “hot plant” out of North Carolina and a North American native tree too! This small, deciduous tree with beautifully variegated white and green leaves was developed by Dr. Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University. It’s a good choice to incorporate into your garden where contrasting foliage color is desired. Traditional magenta-pink flowers of the redbud emerge in the early spring on bare branches ...

>> read “Whitewater Red Bud”       #Hot Plants
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
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”    
Sweet Alyssum Wonderland Series
Lobularia maritima

Sweet alyssum, as the name hints, is certainly a sweet-smelling annual, but it’s often grown in such small quantities that the smell is overlooked. Butterflies are drawn to the fragrant small flowers that range in color from blue to lavender, pink, yellow and white.

>> read “Sweet Alyssum Wonderland Series”       #Hot Plants
Is it OK to prune roots?

When you prune a plant, whether you’re pruning stems or branches aboveground, or roots below ground, you’re wounding the plant. A wounded plant will attempt to seal off or compartmentalize the wounded area to prevent decay. This process forces the plant to use stored reserves (starches, etc.), and thus has a depleting effect. Pruning can also stimulate new growth, but for this new growth to occur, additional stored reserves must be used. Therefore, even though top and root pruning can be, for certain objectives and at certain times of the year, beneficial to a plant, the plant does pay a price...

>> read “Is it OK to prune roots?”    
The Ways of Water
Keeping Your Water Garden Beautiful in the Summer

A water garden is exciting in every season, but ponds and streams are most beautiful and dynamic in the summer. The water and its surroundings teem with life — thriving plants, growing (and always hungry) fish, serenading frogs, colorful birds and industrious insects. The often brutal heat in the South drives many folks indoors to air-conditioned spaces but ...

>> read “The Ways of Water”