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Old 08-03-2008, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
603 posts, read 1,416,760 times
Reputation: 258
Default Perennial gardening in Middle Tennessee

How is perennial gardening in the Nashville area? I've heard conflicting information-some say it's great because of the long growing season but I've also heard it's difficult because of the soil and the hot summers. I'd love to hear about your gardens!
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Have you been to Cheekwood? They have a extensive perennial garden.

There is also a Perennial Society that meets at Cheekwood. I've never been to one of their meetings, so I can't say what it's like.

There are a number of perennials that do well here, and some that don't. It's relatively easy to correct the soil for a small perennial garden. Of course, there's not much that can be done about a hot summer except to water the plants. I used to garden more than I do now. I had both good luck and bad luck with perennials. My mother grew all sorts of perennials; generally the large type of plants.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Franklin, Tennessee
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All I plant in my yard and garden are perinnials...they do fine. And my soil seems to be great and full of nutrients. I'm a huge fan of perinnials so I have all kinds...from tulips and iris to snowbell vibernum and azaleas.

During the summer, watering is important, especially now while it's scorching hot!
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Hendersonville, TN
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I think as long as you do some prep-work on the flower bed (and most importantly, keep it watered!), you should be fine with a perennial garden. Daylillies seem to do well in my yard, as do phlox, tulips (in spring), and hostas in the shade. About the only thing I've had problems with is salvia. I think it's just too hot for it in my yard.
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Old 08-04-2008, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Great! We did get to Cheekwood during our visit and it was beautiful. We didn't see many yards as we were in more urban parts. Is Middle Tennessee zone 5-6?
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Nashville
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So much depends on you as to whether you'll do well with perennials or not. As others have stated, soil preparation is most important. Plants require varying amounts of sun so pay close attention to labels and the specific plant's growing proficiency during its first year. That will give you clues as to whether or not you need to move something. Nashville is basically in Zone 6b which basically means things will freeze so don't get happy with tropicals unless you're able to nurse them indoors during the winter. I have much success with iris, 30 varieties of daylilies, hosta (these are iffy sometimes), peonies, cone flower, moonbeam coreopsis, perennial salvia, canna, many varieties of tall grasses (read these labels carefully, esp. the red grasses...they may not be 6b hardy). Then, there's the columbine, the daffodils and tulips, the elephant ear (mulch HEAVILY in winter and keep your fingers crossed), clematis, Russian sage, various sedums. You imagination is really the key.

The best thing to do if starting a perennial garden is to get the soil right first, start now. Then, in late September, go to the garden centers and buy the awful looking perennials at pennies on the dollar and just wait for spring. You'll be well-rewarded. Just don't expect anything out of them until then.
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