For most gardeners, when we talk about spring-blooming bulbs our minds go to the fields of tulips and daffodils we can see just north of us in the Mt Vernon area in the months of March and April. Or maybe some of you have journeyed to Canada and the Butchart Gardens and seen their amazing displays of color.
Keeping our landscapes changing is so critical to keeping our interest in gardening. With change, there’s the anticipation of something new and exciting. With change, our garden compositions take on whole new personalities.
I don’t know about you guys, but I can hardly believe that it is October already. With all this climate change I am beginning to think that maybe October will be my favorite fall month. I read somewhere that our rains are coming later and ending earlier, even though the total rainfall is about the same.
One of the treats of a fall garden is enjoying the sight of clusters of different colored berries on our shrubbery. In my own backyard is a delightful Beautyberry, called “Profusion,” that has the most incredible purple berries later in fall.
It has always puzzled me that there are plants that bloom in the fall, or stranger yet, in the winter. Here are three bulbs that bloom this time of year and can usually only be found and planted in the fall.
September is a glorious month in the northwest - the days are warm, the nights cool, the shadows long, and the lawns are coming alive again after their dry summer slumber. The garden wakes back up for about six to eight weeks before it shuts down for the winter and it is an excellent time to get some serious gardening done.
It always seems a bit odd to me to be talking about fall and winter gardens when we are still very much into late summer, but “fall is in the air” and now is the time to make some changes in our containers and plant some fall veggies while the soils are still warm and conducive to good root growth.
I love summer tropicals. The drama they create is unsurpassed by anything the northwest has to offer. Take my red Abyssinian bananas for example. I always plant a couple of pots up with a red banana in the center as the focal point of the container.
Forget for a minute that I am a professional horticulturist and have worked in the field for over 50 years… try to think of me as just an ordinary home owner that moved into his house 30 years ago and inherited a rather neglected landscape. This is the story of one of my gardens.
A funny thing happens to me this time of year… As we move from the glory of spring to the doldrums of summer, I often find myself in a state of mild depression. I call it my “gardener’s post-partum depression.”
I think it is fair to say that for a lot of us, our vision of a shady garden area is one that is mostly green with a few varieties of plants such as rhodies, a couple of ferns, and a hosta or two. The thought of a diverse mix of plants with colorful foliage, contrasting textures and even some flowers is a reach. Well, I am here to tell you that nothing could be farther from the truth.
Everybody loves hydrangeas. After the cacophony of spring has passed and all the rhodies and azaleas are out of bloom, hydrangeas pick up the baton and continue with the parade of color in our gardens.