This weekly column is being reproduced with the permission of Steve Smith, The Whistling Gardener, and owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that I would be glad to see it rain in October?
This has been an incredible month for gardening with so many dry days to get out into the yard and prune and plant and generally enjoy our gardens. And how about that fall color? I don't think I have ever seen such splendid fall color on trees and shrubs and even perennials as I have seen this month and all because of the lack of rain which usually ruins our fall color shows.
But when I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of rain drops on the window sill I couldn't help but feel a sense of relief. This has been an unusually dry month with less than half our normal rainfall and our gardens (and containers especially) have shown signs if stress.
Now I am not saying that we can put the hoses away just yet but at least I feel a little less driven to harp on the subject as much. Continue to check moisture in areas that are sheltered from rainfall like under the eaves and especially beneath large evergreen trees.
WOWZERS-what a great turnout we had for my talk Saturday on winterizing our gardens.
Over 70 of you came out to listen and share your thoughts on all the little chores we can do to make our gardens healthier and hardier for this upcoming winter. The forecast is for a neutral winter pattern (heard one forecaster call it a La Nada) which means wetter than normal but no harsh temperatures.
Time will tell of course and we all know that it only takes a few days of below 20 degrees to clobber some of our plants so be ready with those frost protection blankets and bubble wrap just in case.
WATCH FOR OUR NEWSLETTER THIS WEEK-coming to your inbox.
This week is our November newsletter which will of course include my monthly check list of garden chores and a listing of our classes for the month. We've got some great classes lined up for the month and as we near the end of the month we will begin our wreath making.
If you have never made a wreath with us then you are missing out on a fun and unique opportunity. We will have all the supplies, all you have to do is call and make an appointment and we will show you how to do it.
This is also a wonderful group activity and for groups of 10 or more you can reserve our wreath room and make it a party with food and libation.
IT'S A DOUBLE HEADER-on November 16th we are offering two classes, our ever popular pruning basics at 10 am featuring yours truly and in the early afternoon a class on growing Hellebores with the effervescent Annie Reiss from Skagit Gardens.
I am currently toying with the idea of serving hotdogs in between the two classes so you won't have to leave and come back. Stay tuned for final details. (Personally I think HOT DOGS AND HELLEBORES should go hand in hand.)
FINALLY, a big thank you to the customer who shared her unique technique for controlling moles in her yard. You had to be there to appreciate it but I can tell you that it had something to do with dog poop. Nobody can accuse gardeners of not being resourceful.
Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org