Fall is almost upon us and with it comes the joy of a new planting season. Get your plants in the ground in September or October and they will send some roots out before it freezes (with luck, one can have success in planting right up to freeze-up). In spring, you’ll be ahead of the game with the work done in the coming weeks. The Return of the Native plant nursery will re-open 10 am on Saturday September 1 and will be open 10 am-4 pm Fridays and Saturdays after that until the end of October. Check out the plant list, there are some new items.
How does your garden grow? I have been away for two weeks and have come back to rampant growth – a stark contrast to conditions in Europe, where trees are wilting, lawns are blasted and vegetable gardens have shut down in protest. It’s just been too hot and dry. My feeling is that the baking from the sun has killed off the micro-organisms in the upper layers of the soil so even regular watering, as carried out by my brother in France, has failed to save many of the crops he normally grows. The cucumbers in particular were a sad sight.
Another brother, in England, enlisted my help in restructuring some of his garden beds. He wanted the pink phlox banished and also objected strongly to the orange roses. So the phlox went to the compost heap, a couple of rose bushes were dispatched to a new home, and we were off to a nearby garden centre to do some shopping.
I anticipated little activity and slim pickings in mid-August. How wrong I was – the place was packed! Unlike Canadians who after a few days activity in the spring consider the gardening job done, the English garden all year round. Another surprise was the number of North American native plants on offer – granted, a lot were cultivars in which breeding has tweaked heights and colours, but still, many were ones with which I am very familiar - Black Cohosh, Anise Hyssop, Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod among them. Read more