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Whistling Gardener Blog

"My October To Do List," by the Whistling Gardener

Have a seat with some sedums.  Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

It is official. As of the 23rd of September, the days are now shorter than the nights and will continue to be so for the next six months.

While that might sound depressing to us, the fact is that Mother Nature doesn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. In fact, there are actually plants that seem to wake up in the winter; bloom and set fruit while the rest of us are hunkered down in our homes. Go figure!

"Creating fall and winter interest in the garden," by the Whistling Gardener

Pansies and violas at Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

For anyone who has followed the Whistling Gardener's columns over the years, you will recognize the following mantra: “If you want year ‘round interest in your garden, you need to go to the garden center once a month and buy something that looks interesting.”

You don’t have to spend a boat load of money, just buy something that catches your eye. If you do this every month, for twelve months, you will have year ‘round interest. It is that simple!

"Fall lawn restoration/installation; If you snooze, you lose," by the Whistling Gardener

Steve Smith preparing his yard for a new lawn. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

Make no mistake, September is by far the best month of the year to plant a new lawn or restore an old one, especially this year.

If you are thinking that you would like to put some new life into your lawn, you need to get with the program while the soils are still workable and warm enough to germinate the seed.

"Time to replant containers for winter interest," by the Whistling Gardener

Planting winter containers requires a paradigm shift. Instead of thinking of flowers as our source of color, we need to shift our focus to colors and textures of foliage. Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Nursery.

It’s always a dilemma this time of year. It’s time to do our fall planting and get ready for winter but the flowerpots and beds are still looking great. In an effort to get our money’s worth out of our summer plantings, we nurse our geraniums and petunias along well into October. But by waiting so long to replant, we miss the opportunity to compose new plantings that will look interesting all winter long and into the spring.

"The Birds and the Bees – all part of a healthy garden," by the Whistling Gardener

There is a whole garden ecosystem that includes microbes, insects, worms, mammals (some less desirable than others) and of course birds.

As gardeners we all know there is more to gardening than just the plants. There is a whole ecosystem that includes microbes, insects, worms, mammals (some less desirable than others) and of course birds. Here are some thoughts on attracting birds and pollinators into our gardens.

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