As Summer Sets

While the temperatures are still in the 90’s, there was a sure sign that Fall is approaching on the nursery shelves today.

Ready or not, its time to think about Fall color and plans for spring…again!  I may still add some perennials to fill in sections that did not fare well while beefing up fall color.

Chrysanthemum is always a fall favorite,

and would compliment the Gaillardia, Coneflower, Lavender, Nepeta, Coreopsis, Rudbeckia and Salvia that should still bloom for a couple of months.

I’d like to experiment with Aster and Sneezeweed which I cannot grow in my own garden. I planting some Aster a month or so ago for an early Fall bloom. Big mistake. Fried.

The Russian Sage, meanwhile, should bloom well into the winter.

Once the heat is past, it will be time to layer in some annuals: Calendula, Iceland Poppies, Pansies and Stock are good options in our zone 8.

It’s already getting late to shop for bulbs. In our area Crocus, Hyacinth and Tulips should be chilled for six weeks of so before planting.

The list of spring bulb options is so long, it’s hard to narrow down: Anemone, Freesia, Ixia, Tritonia, Lecojum and Ranunculus would be beautiful additions as we already have waves of Daffodils and Irises.

Once it cools, but well before it gets really cold and wet, overcrowded plants will benefit from dividing. In our garden that probably means Iris, Coneflower, Yarrow and some Daylilies.

Of course the biggest projects are now staring us in the face:

We’ve begged Ina to expand her Cottage Garden and offered help with clearing and digging (what were we thinking?!)

We’re hoping that Peggy and Steve will apply their Iris growing skills to a half circle near the entrance to the garden.

Paths are planned while expanding the beds and bringing in topsoil for seeding a grassy area in the center section. And finally: the dreaded Blackberry Bramble.

Thankfully, that is best done in the dead of winter, so there is still time for procrastination on that front!