Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


April 23, 2012

Plateau Gardening: Flowering shrubs and upcoming events

CROSSVILLE — In recent years, there has been a lot of interest in shrubs that rebloom (when a plant flowers more than once in a season, it is said to be "remondant"). A good internet resource on flowering shrubs of all kinds is The Plant Hunter at Check out three 2009 articles by Tim Wood at that website by mouse-clicking "old posts" then selecting "2009" and the "Reblooming Flowering Shrubs" three part series.

You will see photos of Boomerang Purple Lilac, Ghost Weigela, the Abelia x grandiflora "Bronze Anniversary" (one that hummingbirds and butterflies love), Daphne translantica (D. caucasica), and  a number of hydrangeas - the pink mophead Hydrangea arborescens "Invincibelle Spirit,"  Forever and Ever, Let’s Dance and one of the top hydrangea introductions of all time Endless Summer. I also recommend Wood’s online article "Why Madonna Loathes Hydrangeas."

Not to spoil the surprise, but this text names varieties that won’t make gardeners mad because they fail to bloom. I wish I had a nickel for every home gardener who has asked me why their hydrangea hasn’t flowered again since the season they brought it home and set it in the ground. I would be rich!

Those who want to learn everything there is to know about hydrangeas and see them in garden settings should plan to attend the Hydrangea Symposium sponsored by the University of Tennessee (UT) Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at the West Tenenssee Agresearch and Education Center (home of UT Gardens Jackson location), 605 Airways Blvd., Jackson, TN 38305; their phone number is (731) 424-1643. Cost is $80 for both days. Advance registration is required by May 4.

Friday’s schedule from 3:45-7:30 p.m. includes dinner and workshops on  propagation, pruning each species the correct way, arranging and drying hydrangeas and more on pruning by gardening columnist Jimmy Williams who will cover tips on the best cuts for boxwood, holly, azaleas, crape myrtles and Japanese maples in addition to hydrangea trimming.

Saturday’s program starts at 8 a.m. with tours of three private hydrangea-filled gardens and runs through 7 p.m. After the tours have lunch and hear speakers such as Linda Lanier, president and co-founder of the Mid-South Hydrangea Society, horticulturist  Mike Sikes, whose topic is "Hydrangea Mania: Newest, Best and Beyond," also hear UT experts like horticulture specialist Carol Reese, who will treat those attending to an entertaining talk with pictures titled "Garden Vignettes: Hydrangeas and Companion Plants."  Included on Saturday afternoon is a tour of UT Gardens Jackson. There will be a plant sale both days. Learn more at

This weekend home gardeners will find landscaping ideas, vendors selling plants, birdhouses, statues, greenhouse, tools, honey and more home and garden related items as well as many informational talks/clinics at the Cumberland County Master Gardener 2012 Flower and Garden Show. The show runs Thursday, April 26 (noon until 5 p.m.); Friday, April 27 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Saturday, April 28 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) on the grounds of the Cumberland County Community Complex (fairgrounds).

Visit the ever popular Ask a Master Gardener booth with your plant inquiries. Daily admission to the show is $3 (children 12 and under free). Clinics held the day of admission are available to attendees at no extra cost. Topics on April 26 will be Ponds and Water Features (1 p.m.), Roses and More - New Varieties (3 p.m.); on April 27, Bouquet of Ideas (11 a.m.), All About Daylilies (1 p.m.), Basic Landscape Design (3 p.m.); and April 28, Shrubs - The New and Not So New (11 a.m.), Perennials That Work on the Plateau (1 p.m). Learn more and get a locator map for the show at 


Plateau Gardening is written by Master Gardeners for gardeners in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Region.  UT Extension Cumberland County at P.O. Box 483, Crossville, TN 38557 (931-484-6743) has answers horticulture questions, free publications and details on how to become a Master Gardener. Send email comments or yard & garden inquiries to Master Gardener Rae,

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