It’s a melancholy time in the garden. As we stand admiring the glowing amber and russet leaves while congratulating ourselves for planting new bulbs for next spring, we know winter weather is merely weeks away. Here are a few tasks to keep you outdoors in these last few golden days, most of which focus on putting those beautiful autumn leaves to good use:
• Read how Judith Adam makes friends with all the leaves in her garden. “A gardener’s best friend: Perfectly sized leaves” outlines their benefits.
• Fall is the time to take steps to ensure a healthy, sustainable lawn next year. Here are “5 lawn tips for late fall.”
• “Leaves for dinner” describes listening for worms munching on leaves in the evening. Yes, really.
No love for Norway maples
Not all trees are created equal and the Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is less equal — frankly, less desirable — than almost any other tree I can think of. Read about how the Norway maple is changing the fall palette in Montreal and elsewhere— and not in a good way.
For Stephen Westcott-Gratton’s take on Norway maples: “Viking maples invade Canada.”
Making the case for botanical Latin
New gardeners are often mystified, intimidated or baffled when they first encounter the botanical Latin name of a plant. “Why bother?” they ask. However, in time — and with a bit of practice and research — they begin to learn just how helpful and interesting it is to know the botanical name of a plant. Not only does knowing a plant’s precise botanical Latin moniker lead them to the exact plant they’re looking for, the name often offers clues as to where it’s from, how it grows and more.
The Gardener’s Botanical: An Encylopedia of Latin Plant Names is a new addition to a long line of books published over the years aimed at explaining the relevance of knowing the basics of botanical Latin. “A little botanical Latin self-study might make better use of some of your garden off-season hours than rewatching that TV series you already rewatched,” writes Margaret Roach in her review of the book. That may be a bit harsh, but she makes a good point.
Fun houseplant trivia
Test your knowledge of houseplant history with this article. For example, did you know the Chinese were the first to grow plants indoors (around 1000 BCE) or that a golden pothos can grow 40 feet (12 m) in the right conditions? Helpful, perhaps, if you’re looking for dinnertime topics during Covid confinement.
A little survey from Garden Making
As the gardening year wraps up, we’d like to ask you a few questions to help plan future content. I’m looking forward to reading your answers.