Friday, March 6, 2009

The Nashville Lawn and Garden Show

From In the Garden

The Nashville Lawn and Garden Show is going on at the Nashville State Fairgrounds off I65 in Nashville. The last day will be Sunday, so hurry if you wish to see some really super fun gardens, buy some great plants, books and what nots for your gardens and spend the day in gardening world.

I had the pleasure of attending with my good friend Vonna yesterday. Geri was unavailable and I missed her so much I kept calling Vonna by Geri's name. Good thing Vonna is such a good sport. I must be getting old or I'm truly a creature of habit and was too used to Geri going to the show with me.

Vonna loves to plant shop and was great fun! I can see us doing this show annually. She is truly a plant addict and purchased a bunch of African violets, some geraniums, and many herbs. She also purchased a few hellebores, as her garden is lacking this wonderful plant. Each time she sees my hellebores she longs for them, so we were quite happy to find some at the show today. She purchased a red hellebore and is such a sweetheart she bought the one pictured above for me-against my wishes I might add. You just can't say no to her though. She knew how much I wanted a 'freckled' hellebore. I also picked up a couple of double hellebores to go along with the one above.
The theme for this year's gardens was something like "Flavor of Gardening". I really didn't spend too much time on the gardens, but did get a snapshot of this child friendly garden. The 'engineer' was present and in costume. He enjoyed participating in this garden show. All gardens had to incorporate some kind of plant that could be used for culinary purposes. His garden had rosemary and a few other herbs tucked into the planting. The 'engineer' himself really had no idea what the plants were; which cracked me up. I think he was there to run the village and train only.

One of the most popular booths at the show has always been The Rustic Greenhouse booth. They are from Sewanee, Tennessee and can be reached at: (931) 598-9059. Linda, the owner, is very knowledgeable and I have purchased numerous plants from her over the years. Her plants are always top quality and good performers. This year I picked up some foam flowers for my new 'Secret Patio' garden. Does anyone recognize this cultivar pictured above? It was simply labeled 'foam flowers' so I did not get the cultivar name.

I also picked up a 'Hummelo' lambs ear, Selaginella (Spike moss)
, Rocky Mountain Penstemon, and a Rose Foxglove from her. Selaginella is usually a big seller at this show. It looks like a moss, but is classified as a 'fern ally'. According to Wikipedia, fern allies are not flowering plants, but also not ferns. They are similar to ferns in that they multiply by shedding spores. They prefer to grow in the same conditions as ferns and mosses. It is a unique plant that looks like a cross between a fern and moss, and one I've not had luck with in the past. Here's hoping to success this time around.
I was absolutely thrilled to find a 'Rainbow' Leucothoe catesbaei (fontanesiana). This shrub is evergreen and is in the Ericaceae family. As such it requires the same growing conditions as rhododendrons, pieris, azaleas and camellias. That is: an acidic, well drained, moist soil in a partly shaded area. The shrub is loaded with buds, which I believe will turn into lily of the valley type flowers, very similar to pieris flowers. My 'Rainbow' is joining the hellebores and foamflowers, foxglove, and penstemon in my 'Secret Patio' garden.

Additionally, a sweet surprise from a vendor at the show came my way. Geri and I each purchased a tree peony at last year's Lawn and Garden Show. My lovely yellow tree peony died. I stopped at the same booth and was looking at them this year when the manager came to talk with me. Surely he was looking to sell me another tree peony. I told him the one I purchased there last year died, so I did not think buying another would be a good idea. He quickly took one off the shelf and gave me a replacement tree peony! Gee, I sure hope I don't kill this one as well. And I might add that this year's tree peonies are a tad more expensive than last year. The vendor earned my loyalty and respect for going the extra step simply because he wanted to.

When we arrived back to northwest middle Tennessee, Vonna and I both downloaded our new acquisitions and I was able to plant almost all of the new plants. Additionally, I checked on my plants under the house. Several were ready to come out and go into a hardening off area in the garden. These included: gerbera daisies, brugmansias, and an agapanthus. All showed new growth even under the house! To say yesterday was a most wonderful day in the garden, would be an understatement. Let the gardening season begin!

One more thing, if you intend to visit the Nashville Lawn and Garden show, you can visit their website and print off a $1.oo coupon. The entry fee is $10. Every little bit helps. There are also lectures at this show, a flower arranging/design contest, many societies are on hand to give away freebies and to answer questions, and much much more than just what I have posted about here. Check out their website for more information. Enjoy and here's to happy gardening!

in the garden....


  1. Great day and lovely post Tina.

    We have a garden fair here in Stockholm this weekend too, but guess who is working :-(

    xoxo Tyra

  2. Hi Tina, how fun, and sorry your friend Geri wasn't there, even though you were calling her name! About the tree peony, that was amazing that he gave you such an expensive plant, were there other people around watching? I have killed several of those, and both instances were due to not enough watering the first year. I kept the watering can next to a survivor to remind me since it was by the knot garden at the top of the hill, the white one. I watered it everyday, especially during the summer and it survived while the others died. Now it gets no extra water, even with the drought of the last two years and seems fine. I need to water it more though, and mulch. Yellow would be so pretty too, much sought after color. I went one year to this show and had fun, although at that time it was heavy on the home and light on the garden displays, 1996! HA

  3. Sounds like you had a filled day. Spring must be springing down there, 40's today up here, 50 tomorrow! We're cooking now!

  4. What a great day and sounds like you brought home some wonderful new additions for the garden! That seller giving you a free Tree Peony has learned a thing or two about customer satisfaction. :)

  5. Tina .. I'm so jealous girl ! But it sounds like a wonderful time was had : ) I don't know why but Kingston has dropped the ball for the last two years with a garden show .. it is so frustrating .. but I will live through all of the gardeners here that get to go to shows ! Thanks girl !

  6. sorry for the long way, I think it's great ! have a nice weekend !!! Kathrin aus Bremen

  7. Intriguing to hear how shows are organised elsewhere. Best of luck with the tree peony! I love them, but haven't tried to grow one yet.

  8. Tina,

    What a wonderful day! Don't you just love getting out and about to see what's happening with other gardens, gardeners and products?

    Great post!

  9. Tina, I love garden shows--sounds like you had a perfect day! I appreciate sellers like the one who gave you a replacement tree peony--I would definitely buy again from someone like that. I've never heard of a fern ally before; I hope you'll include a photo some time. I hope all your new plants grow and thrive in your garden.

    We have spring-like weather here today, so I'm antsy to get outside. But the ground is still so wet and rain is forecast for the weekend, so about all I can do is a little trimming or clean-up.

  10. Good morning Tina! What great customer relations giving you a new tree peony! I'm impressed. I hope the new one thrives in the garden.

    Sounds like you had a great time at the garden show. I'll be attending Chicago's for the first time. Can you believe I've never been to the garden show? I'm really looking forward to it.

    Have a wonderful time enjoying spring weather in the garden.

  11. It looks like you had fun up there! The tiarella is very cool but I don't know the cultivar. It looks very similar to my 'Stoplight' heucherella with the red and green coloration.

  12. Good morning, Tina. Sounds like a fun trip. I'm still trying to make up my mind about the Chicago Garden Show. It's going on now, which is way to early in my opinion;) It should be held in April.

    Sounds like you picked up some really nice plants.

  13. Tina,

    You lucky gardener...having two friends in town with whom you can garden shop. My best garden shopping friend (here) won't go to these shows and the other one lives over the mountain! I love the rainbow leucothoe and 'Hummelo' lambs ear. Is it possible the foam flower is Iron Butterfly?


  14. Hi Tina.
    Sounds as tho you had a fantastic time. I'm sure there was plenty to see. It's always more fun if you have a friend to go with you.
    I've never been to a show of this sort. I sure would love to go to one.
    Hurray to the person that gave you a replacement. Enjoy.

  15. Good morning all!

    Tyra, So sorry you have to work. Maybe next year?

    Frances, No, not too many folks around. He was awfully sweet too. Remember when I got mine last year? I paid good attention to yours. It was sited next to a herbaceous peony and should've done fine. I am scared to plant it this year. Right now it's in the greenhouse, might find a home in a pot with irrigation.

    Dawn, Don't get a sunburn:)

    Racquel, He was very nice!

    Joy, That is bummer no garden shows there. This time of year they are truly welcomed.

    Kathrin, Und Sie!

    Emily, Thanks! I'll need the luck for sure.

    Cameron, Yes, I love seeing all gardens, but mainly enjoyed the different plants at very good prices as compared to nurseries. I look forward to this show each year.

    Rose, Trimming is important. Your new Sophie is such a sweetie. Have fun with her in the garden trimming and what not. I will post a pic sometime of the selaginella. I really like it but if it dies this year-that's it!

    Linda, You'll do great on your garden talk at the show. Have the greatest time. Your garden looks so lovely in summer with your grandson there.

    Dave, Yes, my thought exactly but it is tiarella. Can't find the name:( I plan to attend Bloom n Again too. Hope to see you there. I am going on that Saturday or Sunday as weekdays don't work. I like this show for the wildflowers. NOT the master gardener plants. Who would in their right mind sell gooseneck?

    Marnie, You should go! It will be fun and while it takes effort, you'll be happy you did it.

    Gail, I am SO lucky! And I ran into other friends at the show too. I have the best friends, gardening and non-gardening. Life is great. I don't think the cultivar is Iron Butterfly. I did look this one up. Mine has quite a bit of coloring that looks like a heuchera. I need to do further digging but thanks so much for helping out! Those guys need to work today, no rain due. The leucothoe is my favorite next to the hellebores. Not sure on the Humelo as I am so sun challenged here!

    Lola, Surely there are garden shows nearby? You really must visit one. They are so fun, slow paced and a great spot to meet others with your same interests.

  16. Our Home and Garden show is coming up soon but not sure I will attend it. They are more into home improvements then the garden aspect of it. I recall only seeing a couple of booths with plants for sale! Now that is not my idea of a Garden show. There may be a big one in Atlanta for me to attend some time. I have been having my own garden center fun though. The Garden Centers have been stocking up the past few days. Yippee… I have been out and about finding bargains galore on new additions to my garden. Now I must get the Saint to help me load Castle Rock for a new planter to put them all into! lol...

    Calling for 75 degrees today and 80 the following 3 days so not much computer time for me the next few days....

    Everyone have a great weekend!

  17. Tina, we are on here at the same time! lol

  18. Hi Tina, Sounds like there was a lot more plant material for you all at your Lawn and Garden Show than what we had. I was going to say the foam flower looked like a Tiarella, but not sure what variety. Dave seems to know what it may be.... a Heucherella or a Tiarella. I love tree Peonies...a yellow one just sounds wonderful.

  19. The freckled hellebore is very pretty. I love garden shows and love reading about them. Wow, that's a great set of plants you got. Good luck with the tree peony.

  20. I was happy to hear about the replacement tree peony. I love it when nursery owners go the extra mile for us plant-lovers. Two summers ago, I kept checking our local nusery for a blushing bride hydrangea. They finally arrived, but only in $40 5-gallon pots. I hemmed and hawed over the purchase, and the owner offered a special 'sale' price of $32 for me! I bought it - unfortunately it hasn't bloomed, unlike the $14 1-gallon version I got from Home Depot last year. Hmm. But I still smile to think of my own sale! - VW

  21. oh how wonderful you got a new peony tree, good luck with it. i am going to a craft show this weekend with my oldest daughter so not sure i will make it to the garden show. but thanks for the info.

  22. That really sounds so fun. It sounds like you found some great plants for your Secret Patio. They will look nice all planted together. It's fun to have a friend that enjoys plant shopping too.
    Your new hellebore is very pretty, what a great friend!

  23. Sounds like a good show. The Foam Flower would be pretty hard to id as there are some many that look very similar. Maybe Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly'. It may be more evident when it grows more and gets some stronger sun. Nice plants Tina!

  24. How cool - we have one of these shows and I've never been but reading other people's accounts of their visits around the country has made me vow never to miss another one. I love that little children's garden. Maybe that's what I should do with our old dollhouses. Maybe a woodland children's garden?! See how your blog inspires me?!

  25. Did you know you can use old coffee grounds to add acidity to your soil? I bet you did.

    I think I'd like a tree peony, but our budget's tight this year. I even had to cancel my trip to the Philly Flower Show. :~(

  26. Enjoyed your stories and pictures--and now I will be investigating fontesiana to go with our rhododendrons and camellias.

  27. I'm going tomorrow! I've been looking forward to it for awhile. Thanks!

  28. Fancy getting a free Treee Peony! I hope he gave you some advice on growing it as well

  29. Thanks everyone! Yup, got some advice on growing the tree peony, I may still kill it though, I hope not! The vendor was very nice. The leucothoe is a very well recommended native plant. It is lovely and evergreen! I hope everyone is out in the garden this weekend enjoying this great spring weather. It is so neat to talk to folks all over who are enjoying the same weather as me and doing the same things too!

  30. That first photo is absolutely breathtaking! Looks like fun!

  31. Well, that sounded fun. I love armchair travel! :)

  32. That certainly was nice of that vendor to replace your lost tree peony! Does he have a shop you can frequent?

  33. Brenda, Thanks!

    Monica, Me too!

    Hi MsRobin, Not sure to be honest with you. Kind of sad on my part huh? He does come to the lawn and garden show each year so I'll be sure to stop by their booth.