Garden Journal

Get your flower on: Think you’ve grown the prettiest flowers this side of the Mississippi? Then enter the flower-show contests at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair, Sept. 5 to 14. Or instead, you can eyeball the best flowers other people are growing and ask the experts how you can do it. The shows will feature entries in dozens of categories—perennials, annuals, herbs, flowering/berried trees, cut foliage and flower design, to name a few. The Western North Carolina Dahlia Society and the Blue Ridge Rose Society will also display their best in show, and master gardeners from the Buncombe County Cooperative Extension will be on hand in the flower-and-garden tent to answer your questions.

For more info, visit and click on competitions. For entry and fair questions, call Tamara at 687-1414, ext. 210.

Cover-crop primer: Even home gardeners can quickly improve soil structure, retain nutrients and prevent erosion by planting cover crops such as clover, hairy vetch and others. Most cover crops are planted in early fall, then tilled into the soil come spring. When you leave your soil bare, valuable nutrients and topsoil can be lost over the winter. Learn the basics of small-garden-scale cover-cropping on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m. at Reems Creek Nursery & Landscaping, 70 Monticello Road in Weaverville (visit for more info). The primer is free, but please pre-register. Call 645-3937.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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