Happy New (School) Year!
Here we are at the end of the second week of September. It’s the beginning of a new school year; new activities, new routines. So many hopes, dreams and promises wrapped up in these first few weeks. I love September for so many reasons (ok, yes, I’m happy the kids are back in school and our routines are becoming, well…routine!).
September is a month where we have the best of both worlds. The days are still warm enough to kindle summer dreams but the nights are now cooler for a good night’s sleep. Many of our summer flowers are still blooming, as the larger trees begin to show off their fall colors.
This is a great time to walk through the garden and give it a hard look. What hopes, dreams and promises do you have for your outdoor paradise? There is still lots time before the ground freezes to divide perennials, move plants or make any additions. How did your outdoor garden rooms work for you during your entertaining this summer? My philosophy is that ‘if it doesn’t make you smile, it has no place in your garden!’ Are their plants that restrict your view when they should be enhancing it? Are your plants in the right spot? If not, now is the time to move them to a better location.
This has been an interesting year in my garden. We have some great family memories this summer, spending time at home with the kids and entertaining extended family and friends; from watching soccer games from the deck, sandbox parties, extensive sidewalk chalk drawings, tea parties, bedtime stories in the garden, sleeping outside in a tent, cooking many meals outside, and so much more.
My Garden Challenges:
The crazy spring weather with a last frost and snow in April resulting in a loss of about half my plants. It broke my heart to see the many holes in my garden.
– 4-in-1 apple tree bloomed too early and the buds were hit hard…no fruit at all this year 🙁
– some of the newer coneflowers didn’t survive along with some rudbeckia, coreopsis and delphiniums
– my clematis has been struggling all year with only a few blooms and hardly any growth; most of it is brown now (it doesn’t make me smile and will be removed with the fall clean-up!)
– the summer drought wreaked havoc on my lawn and it looks like we will need to do some major repairs
My Garden Celebrations:
Like so many gardeners out there…this is just a blip in the garden path, a learning curve if you will. The gaping holes in my garden are slowly being filled with new plants that otherwise I wouldn’t have thought of!
– Blue Merlin Rose of Sharon has been blooming like crazy even though a violent storm flattened the branches…it’s just covered with flowers!
– the apple tree, although no fruit has been lush and green with lots of new growth and hardly any pests. The birds are so happy in that tree!
– my dinnerplate dahlia has exceeded the suggested height and has been blooming for the last two weeks…beautiful!
– the rudbeckia seedlings that were started by our Sunday school have found a home in a future butterfly garden and doing very well
– the consistent rains have brought back my annual containers, and we will enjoy them for another week or two before adding some fall plants
– the veggie garden has been yielding an amazing amount of tomatoes, peppers, HUGE carrots, broccoli and so much more…we are definitely loving our local harvest!
My biggest celebration is in the return of the hydrangeas. (Recap :: my Hydrangea Saga!) The PG Hydrangea Standard and the Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea are beautiful and are covered in large blooms.
I will be pruning them this fall and letting the blooms dry for my winter displays. The real celebration is the Endless Summer Hydrangeas that I almost gave up for dead. Both of them are not only growing well, but one is about to bloom!
This is the kind of stuff that keeps me going…the hope and promises of gardening!
What is the biggest challenge in your garden? Is it something you can be working on before the end of the season? And most importantly, I am curious to know what plants surprised you the most!Fergus ON, summer flowers