Well-behaved goldenrod cultivars are useful plants to have in mid-autumn. Goldenrod combines well with gaura, a compact cultivar.
Making a Garden
Autumn is the time to look in garden centres for bags of the best fertilizer for your lawn. October is the month to get it spread across the lawn.
Roses and ornamental grasses in the front garden continue to bloom and prolong the seasonal display, much appreciated in autumn
Two gorgeous blue perennials in bloom — great blue lobelia and willow gentian. They look particularly vigorous this year, no doubt because of the rain.
Joe Pye weed has attractive wine-red stems and dusky purple flowers in late summer and early fall. Now, there are short versions useful for small gardens.
Garlic begins making roots in fall, just as soon as it’s buried in soft, rich soil. A big garlic clove on planting day make big heads next summer.
When clearing plants in the fall, two little goldfinches have reminded me that birds are dependent on seedheads for their autumn diet. Leave seed for birds.
At the Stratford Festival garden in Ontario, I was surprised to find tall thick stands of culver’s root and turtlehead, two old-fashioned Zone 5 plants.
To plant late lettuce in the fall, you can search out any lettuce seed packets you have hanging around or order online with fast shipping.
Saving seeds can be as easy as collecting and drying pepper seed, and safely packaging them. It is a bit more complicated to save tomato seed.
My bugbane — the simple black snakeroot — stands tall, with white flower wands extending high above attractive ferny foliage. Its best show in 20 years.
This year my backyard has visits from species I’ve not seen before in this garden, such as jewelwings, broad-winged damselflies, dragonflies. But few bees.
One of my impulse buys was Sparks Will Fly begonia. Its bright tangerine-orange flowers look dazzling against bronze leaves with light green veins.
This year’s winner is Mighty Sweet grape tomato, a tomato with a robust flavour, crisp fleshy walls and no cracks, even after all the rain we had in July.
Favourite among my ornamental grasses is variegated Moor grass, a small clump-forming grass that grows to 18 x 18 inches.
That crunching sound you hear is Japanese beetles making a meal of my roses. It’s hard to do an accurate count on beetles per square foot of garden
Order snowdrops now to get them safely planted by the end of September. Snowdrop bulbs require early planting if they’re to flourish.
The ‘Golden Jubilee’ anise hyssop in my garden is standing straight, with no signs of stress or damage, and blooming like every day has been a piece of cake
There’s still plenty of growing time left in the season, but some deadheading is necessary if plants are to resume good form and continue to bloom.
Most of the hostas are showing signs of abuse from the weather, but fortunately the yellow hostas have weathered the storms quite well.