Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


April 28, 2014

PLATEAU GARDENING: April showers bring May flower sales

CROSSVILLE — First, let me correct a typo in the previous "Plateau Gardening" write-up. Details on the UT Gardens-Crossville Spring Plant Sale, which is open to the public Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., were correct in that article but info on the Friends of UT Gardens pre-sale was not. The date of the Friends sale is Friday, May 16, from 3 to 5 p.m. As a proud Friends of UT Gardens card-carrying member for more than nine years, I plan to claim my 10-percent member discount at the May 16 early-bird sale. (Friends membership card is required to participate Friday.)

My trip to the 2014 Spring Plant Sale at UT Gardens-Crossville/Plateau Discovery Gardens on the Grounds of the University of Tennessee Plateau Research and Education Center will be a shorter one than the trek to Spring Plant Sale at UT Gardens-Knoxville in previous years. Click on the Cumberland County Master Gardener website home page ( "Plant Sale May 17" link to find driving directions through Google Maps.

That is also where you will find a list of available plants with the price of each. Glancing through that roster, I spotted Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ coneflower, an award winner I’d love to own but wonder about Echinacea ’Pow Wow Wild Berry’. These selections sound like bargains at $4 each. For those with shade, there are lots of hosta varieties and ferns like Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamonea) and Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris).

University of Tennessee horticulture staffers along with Tennessee Master Gardener volunteers will be on hand to help those shopping for quality plants find the right ones for their landscapes at both the Crossville sale and UT Gardens-Jackson Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale scheduled for Saturday, May 3, from 7 a.m. until noon at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center, 605 Airways Blvd., Jackson. The Jackson location might be convenient for our Smith County readers. Check the UT Gardens Jackson Facebook page for beautiful plant photos as well as great gardening tips. Many of the plant selections shown there will be included in the May 3 sale.

Mother’s Day weekend (May 10-11) has become the traditional time to celebrate Blooms Days at UT Gardens-Knoxville. Educational sessions, music performances as well as strolls through the original UT-Gardens flowerbeds or rose gardens with waterfalls and pools of Koi are all included in the ticket price ($8 per day or $10 for a two-day pass; children 12 and under get in free). Special activities are planned for Mother’s Day. The marketplace extends beyond plants alone. Taste the food and shop for garden art or other treasures, too.

A reader email asked about a website to illustrate pruning or thinning boxwood and Japanese hollies. Unfortunately, that request came in just after the early March class titled "Proper Pruning Tips and Techniques," with demonstrations by Crossville’s UT Extension Ag Agent Gregg Upchurch, took place which would have provided an in-person answer to pruning questions rather than just an online illustration. There timely topics are presented throughout the season, many providing hands-on experience at UT Gardens-Crossville / Plateau Discovery Gardens classes. Check the list at the by clicking the link ‘2014 Classes at the Gardens’.  Learn something new. Many classes are free of charge while the fee for others is minimal– just enough to cover handouts or supplies.

On Saturday, May 10, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. — ‘"Plant Propagation" will be presented by Master Gardener Jewel Wilhoite ($10 charge). Participants take home a plastic prop box with cuttings. Pre-register for this and other classes at the gardens, which are held at 320 Experiment Station Rd., Crossville, by calling Glenda Wisdom at 484-0034.

• • •

Plateau Gardening written by Master Gardeners for gardeners in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Region. Contact UT Extension Cumberland County at P.O. Box 483, Crossville, TN 38557 (484-6743) answers to horticulture questions, free publications and to learn about the Master Gardener program. Send email comments or yard and garden inquiries to Master Gardener Rae (

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