Looking Forward to a New Year in the Garden
I am eager to usher in 2013 guided by the great successes as well as the lessons learned from last year’s gardening efforts. Cold and snow provide a frozen window of time to sketch a mindful plan for the months to come.
The first mutually beneficial task on my list is to offer up loving kindness to the houseplants that green my indoor spaces. The dracaena, philodendron, weeping fig, peace lily, Chinese evergreen and spider and rubber plants were selected for their ability to purify the interior air during months when the house is closed up. All are getting a dusting, repotting if necessary and a mild dose of organic fertilizer.
Four Season Gardens Offer Persistent Beauty All Year
Our mild weather is providing us with an opportunity to enjoy the subtleties that contribute to a beautiful four-season landscape even before the snow flies.
Walks around the neighborhood and trips to botanic gardens now include plants wired with lights for evening displays, yet many of these plants still shine in their own unpretentious way during daylight hours. We can understand what the term persistent means as it applies to the lingering fruit on hawthorns, crabapple trees, and other plants. This kind of bonus feature should be included in our plans when designing and purchasing plants for our landscape.
Wrap Up Fall in Your Garden So You Can Settle in for Snow Fall
If fall clean up has not yet begun in your yard, then it is probably just around the corner. Roll up your sleeves and pant legs to get the recommended 10-15 minutes of Vitamin D from sun exposure while tackling your fall garden chores. It’s a sure way to stave off depression that might come with fewer hours of light as the days get shorter and colder.
The city’s leaf exchange program lets you pass your unwanted leaves on to a resourceful urban gardener who is digging them into their soil, mulching with them or collecting this necessary ingredient for the compost pile. Tie up your bags loosely so they can be reused instead of ripped up and tossed into the trash after just one use. Visit http://www.fcgov.com/recycling/leaf-exchange.php for more information.
Last Gasp Autumn Colors Thrill Inside and Out
Autumn has its own gifts beyond the harvest, and we can visually savor the last of the season’s glory both outdoors and in before it fleetingly escapes us. While some plants’ colors and forms will be muted, others will boldly be in our face demanding our attention.
One such plant is the perennial Summer Storm Hibiscus, discovered last week on a scouting trip to the nurseries. I was immediately sold on its dark wine, maple-like foliage that had turned a brilliant fall color. In mid-summer, it has large 8 inch, pink flowers with rose veining and a deep magenta eye that radiates out onto the petals. It gets to be the size of a small shrub at 3-4’ high and wide, best placed in the back or middle of a deep perennial bed.
Delicious Harvest Season Can Last All Year
August is the time to reap the fruits, herbs and vegetables of our labor in a big way. Here are fun, tasty and creative ideas on what to do with all that wealth.
If you’ve planted varieties of tomatoes that include early ripening sweet cherry types, meaty mid-size ones and the larger, later beefsteaks, have a tasting party to compare flavor and desirability. Spreading your wealth over the growing season protects against losses should a pest or disease attack one variety more so than another.