The Leaflet

~ August 2023 ~

Summer is moving fast, and I hope everyone’s vegetable gardens are overflowing with produce! My tomatoes have done OK after adjusting the supports from all the storms.

The Robertson County Fair is less than a month away. Have you decided to make an entry? I would urge everyone who lives inside the county to try and enter something in the fair. Some great categories (Departments) are Flower Show, Garden Products, and Orchard Products. Or maybe you captured your favorite flower or tree or garden insect in a picture. You can submit those as well.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the workday at the Greenbrier Historical Society Library and Museum. I hear it is looking good and the shrubs are recovering from the winter freeze. 

There is always thyme for gardening!

Shawn Herman, President



August 24, 2023

7:00 p.m.

(Social time:

6:30-7:00 p.m.)

Highland Rim Research and EduCenter



Fall Gardening


Bates Nursery


 The Robertson County Master Gardener Association meets the fourth Thursday of every month

Pollinator Corridors: Eliminating “Deserts for Insects”

by Nola Hastings

With its cyclical droughts, incentives to remove non-functional grass in California have been enormously successful. Water districts offer programs with catchy names such as, “Cash for Grass” in which they pay homeowners to kill off their thirsty lawns and replace them with “climate appropriate” plants. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the last few decades incentivizing homeowners and businesses to rip out water-thirsty lawns. In the most recent drought cycle, incentives were as high as $5 per square foot of grass removed. As grass is a water-intensive crop, turf removal is a great way to reduce outdoor water use and has proven to be a great tool in California’s water conservation toolbox.

When we arrived in Tennessee, the large, beautiful swaths of well-maintained lawns, growing without supplemental water, were an absolute joy to behold. So, imagine my surprise when I started to read about efforts to replace lawns with native plants. I was intrigued – for a state that averages 55” of annual rainfall, this certainly wasn’t a water conservation effort!

An article in the February 2023 Tennessee Conservationist magazine shed some light on grass removal efforts. In 2013, Edgar Evins State Park’s Resource Manager, Mark Taylor, pitched an idea to remove the long strips of mowed grass leading into the park, which he refers to as “deserts for insects”, and replace them with “pollinator corridors.” It took some time for his project to come to fruition, but in 2021 the park finally removed the grass and hydroseeded the roadsides with a native mix of 21 different wildflower species resulting in a 2-mile long, 2.5-acre pollinator corridor which hosts more than a dozen native bees, four native fly species and a dozen-plus butterfly species. Earlier this year the park was recognized by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation with an award for Excellence in Resource Management.

Hopefully, this project at Edgar Evins State Park will serve as inspiration for other state parks and maybe even homeowners. If you’re not already familiar with Doug Tallamy, an entomologist at the University of Delaware and founder of the Homegrown National Park effort which promotes biodiversity and encourages land owners to remove grass, tune in to: to learn more. 

Photos courtesy of Mark Taylor, TN State Parks

2023 Fall Gardeners’ Festival is Scheduled for August 29

UTIA Press Release

Home and Commercial Gardeners Are Invited to Attend This Annual Event

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is excited to provide information throughout the year to make gardening a success for many home gardeners. This year’s Fall Gardeners’ Festival is even bigger and better than before with 15 scheduled presentations. UT Gardens, Crossville, in collaboration with UT Extension Master Gardeners will host the day-long event at Plateau AgResearch and Education Center. The event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT, with registration beginning at 8 a.m., for those not pre-registered.

“We have more speakers, additional presentation space, and expect an even bigger crowd than ever before!” said Shalena Durkot, garden coordinator at the Plateau AgResearch and Education Center. “There will be something for everyone at this free community event. Whether your interest is in edibles, ornamentals, wildlife or sustainability, we’ve got it covered.”

Featured at the event are a variety of presentations, educational workshops, exhibits, wagon tours, garden vendors and opportunities to Ask-the-Expert. Entomologists and plant pathologists will once again be available to answer questions. Mark Windham, UT professor emeritus of plant pathology, whose research heavily focuses on the rose rosette disease, will be on hand to discuss this most destructive ornamental disease in the U.S.

The Fall Gardeners’ Festival is free to attend and food is available for purchase. The Plateau AgResearch and Education Center is located at 320 Experiment Station Road in Crossville, and you can visit to learn more about the center’s work and field day events. Online registration for the event is encouraged but not required. To register, visit

More information on the Fall Gardeners’ Festival presentations will be available closer to the event date.

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

Garden Education Series at Cheekwood

by Stacey Haag

Cheekwood Estate and Gardens is expanding their educational offerings for adults interested in horticulture.

Beginning in September, a wide array of classes geared towards the lifelong learner seeking information about how to better care for their garden beds and indoor plants at home will be offered. Classes are for adults 18 years of age and up. If you're a Cheekwood member, you'll also receive a class discount.

Classes start in September, and registration is required. View the catalog here.


From the Garden!

Lemon Berry Trifle

by Rose Bedwell


12-16 oz frozen strawberries, defrosted, or use fresh

12-16 oz frozen blueberries, defrosted, or use fresh

3/4 cup sugar

Juice and zest of one lemon

Cookie Crumble:

2 cups coarsely chopped cookies, reserve a few whole cookies for garnish (I used Lemon Oreo Thins)

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Creme:

1-1/2 cups lemon pie filling (I used a whole can)

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 cup whip cream mixture

Whipped Cream:

16 oz frozen whipped cream, thawed

1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

3 Tablespoon sugar

2 t vanilla

Prepare compote by combining all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat and cook until most berries thicken. 10-15 minutes on low. Set aside to cool.

Prepare cookie crumble by combining ingredients and toasting on parchment paper lined sheet pan for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Stir halfway through and set aside to cool.

Prepare lemon creme by placing all ingredients in a bowl and mixing well.

Prepare whipped cream by mixing the sugar and fluff with a fork. Slowly, add the whipped cream and vanilla using a whisk, mix well. This may be a bit lumpy, but not to worry!

To assemble, place crumble in bottom of glass dish, add compote, lemon creme, and whipped cream, then garnish with a few halves of saved cookies.

Upcoming Events

August 29: Fall Gardeners' Festival

UT Gardens, Crossville

September 16: Science Behind Composting

Goodlettsville Public Library

October 28: Companion Planting

Goodlettsville Public Library


Contact Us



Shawn Herman

(615) 948-4376

[email protected]


Vice President:

Nola Hastings

(714) 296-2740

[email protected]



Holly Brooks

(760) 861-4833

[email protected]



Sandy Williams

(615) 969-7656

[email protected]


Master Gardener Coordinator:

Bob Ary

(615) 384-7936

[email protected]

Instagram Administrator:

Kathy Doss

(615) 636-5410

[email protected]



Julee Orr

(615) 838-5772

[email protected]


Facebook Administrator:

Shawn Herman

(615) 948-4376

[email protected]


The Leaflet Editor:

Stacey Haag

(615) 389-4663

[email protected]

Robertson County Master Gardener Association
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