Our new north border in spring. At this time of year, all you see are shrubs and perennials. Bulbs are the answer for early spring colorMany customers over the weekend did just that, realizing that once my crews start pulling bulbs for jobs, the coolest stuff goes fast. We have many new varieties this year and I will be sharing my favorites with you each week. NOW is also the time to plant Colchicums and saffron crocus. They like a head start on the season, time to root in, as they will bloom this fall. Our first Colchicums burst into bloom last week. Be sure to check them out in the garden in front of the shop when you visit. Bulbs double the color that you can achieve in any garden bed. They are tucked in between the crowns of perennials and planted at the base of plants that sprout really late and look like dead sticks in the spring (think hydrangeas and butterfly bushes in April and you can envision what I mean).
Asters, Parthenium, and Sanguisorba all in bloom this week
I need to address an important misconception. Fall begins on Monday, September 22nd and I keep hearing people say that the flowers are fading and things are winding down. That is SO NOT TRUE. What is fading are the summer blooming plants and the summer vegetables. In our gardens, things are bursting into bloom, just different plants from the summer season. Asters galore, perennial ageratum, sedums of every size, Vernonia ‘Iron Butterfly’, perennial sunflowers, perennial mums that get bigger and better every year, Sanguisorbas, Gentians, and so much more. My Heptacodium tree is in full flower and covered top to bottom with bees. The Callicarpa is about to display its brilliant purple berries. Persicarias keep on flowering, grasses are in their glory. And there are plants that won’t even think about flowering until October. Each year I plant lots of new fall blooming plants. When I see a gap, I fix it. It takes a year for that work to pay off but it is a sure fire way to build a magnificent garden. Right now I am SO glad I did. My gardens are exploding with color.
My veggie garden harvests are coming on strong. Sunday I planted an entire bed of radishes and realized that, other than garlic, it was the last crop I was planting for the year. I relaxed into the process on such a beautiful day, soaking up the sun. As the tomatoes are finishing up and filling my freezer, my escarole, broccoli raab, carrots, lettuce, and chard that I sowed in late July are just starting. Just as with the flower garden, the edible garden has its changing seasons. As I harvest the last crop from a raised bed I am going to plant cover crops this year to help build and loosen my clay soil. We are finally carrying cover crop seed, by popular demand. For information, consult the article in the lower left sidebar.
NOW is the time to focus on your organic lawn management practices. Beneficial nematodes are in stock now and the grubs are in the ground feeding. THIS is your window of opportunity. You can use corn gluten as your fall feed and this will not only help the lawn grow a thick, healthy root system for fall, it will also help inhibit many weed seeds from germinating for next year: dandelions and plantain to name a few. The opposite approach would be to SEED your lawn now (remember, you can’t seed if you are applying corn gluten). Seeding will fill in the bare spots and out-compete the weeds next year. If you seed, feed with Pro Gro or Cheep Cheep.
Our dried flower workshop was awesome last Saturday. We filled the tent with crafty folks eager to learn how to work with our new stock of dried and burlap flowers. Bring back your spring wreaths and let us freshen them up for the fall season. While you’re at it, let us freshen up your pots as well!
Yard too small for you to keep chickens? Put them in your fairy garden instead!
When you walk in the door of Natureworks, you will notice that my staff has moved and completely reorganized our miniature gardening/fairy department. It looks enchanting. Air plants will arrive at the end of the week from a new supplier we met in Chicago. These young men were total air plant geeks. We are also getting live Spanish moss as well. You just won’t be able to resist when you walk by…
Winter hardy pansies are in stock- plant them now.
Did you ever wonder why we stock so many pansies in the fall? Think about it. As the weather gets colder, the pansies get happier! Plant them now, watch them thrive and then, as an added bonus, they will live through the winter and come back very early next spring twice as big. I did this last year on the south side of my house and I am totally sold on this method. If we have winter thaws you may even see a few flowers.
We are stuffed to the rafters with bulbs and all kinds of pretty plants and garden decor. I hope you can stop in this week for a visit. Remember, we are now open seven days a week, including Sundays! See you soon…