Edible Gardening

Sept 27 – What’s Happening?

Chestnuts

Every September seems to be a crazy time again in my gardens. The temps & humidity drop, the rains come the grass turns green and I celebrate everything that survived.  I’m still picking loads of eggplant, okra, cucumbers (replanted), peppers, and raspberries …and now my first CHESTNUTS!  Those prickly green pods have started popping open and there are the sweet nuggets that Mom used to always use for stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey. They are delicious sauteed with pancetta (or bacon) and sliced brussels sprouts. My arugula, collards and bok choi are  ready for harvest too.

Helianthus & Canna Australia

September is also when I start looking at every part of my garden with a critical eye. My zinnia bed is now too shaded by my neighbor’s Leyland cypress so I have to find them a sunnier spot.  Then another dilemma – what to plant in their place? The 26 Forsythia bushes originally planted from bare root sprigs, will require constant pruning (and look awful) if I try to keep them within the 4’ space between my driveway and the fence.  The Magnolia grandiflora I planted 5 years before I decided to add the tropical garden is continuing to encroach.  And of course, I taught you  how to read a plant tag, really.   So it just happens, the perpetual design and redesign, although hopefully a bit less from year to year.  There is joy and satisfaction in the process as well as the outcome.

Today I spent the entire day with 3 macho guys, chain saws and a big chipper, limbing up trees and removing saplings including my tall yellow cypress that had turned mostly brown from too much shade and not enough water. I was trying to be ruthless. Suddenly there was more SUN!  The garden paths got new chips!  And removing the brown actually uncovered more green.  Sometimes it is what you take away that can work magic on your landscape.

So actually, the next class (Oct 10th & 13th) is all about the Fall and Winter Garden AND Garden Design Principles and Strategies.

Camellias are already starting to bloom, the pink muhly grass & sedum are gorgeous, the fragrant white butterfly ginger is still blooming and there are so many asters that have yet to put on their show. We will talk about more fall & winter bloomers, plus how to design your garden using evergreens, colorful bark, bulbs, stone and textures to keep your fall and winter exciting and beautiful through the dreariest days of the year.  (2 hours)

We all know we are supposed to mulch our plants, but what is the best kind to use, how much and why?  Fall & winter garden clean up is especially important for preventing bugs and disease in next year’s garden.  You will learn what to cut back and when so you do not jeopardize next year’s blooms. (1 hour).  Please RSVP if you have not done so already.  I look forward to seeing you in the garden soon!

Be Happy.  Ellen

Mums & Muhlenbergia

2 Comments on Sept 27 – What’s Happening?

  • Linda Krebs says:
    September 30, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Hi Ellen

    I would like to plant some bulbs around our a white oak tree in our wooded area and was thinking about Scilla…sibericas “Spring Beauty” to be exact. I wanted something that easily naturlizes, does well in dappled shade, stays short and is deer and rodent proof. Do you have any experience with these bulbs and if so what do you think about my choice? Do you have any other suggestions? I looked at Brent and Becky’s and they had them for 1000/$480. Found another source Van Elgelen where they were only 1000/$135.75. Wondering why there is such a big difference in price. Would appreciate your thoughts.

    Linda

    Reply

    • admin says:
      September 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      Linda,
      The scillia are wonderful spring bulbs and they multiply so FAST that you probably will not need to order as many as you think. Mine have occasionally gotten nibbled by the deer, but that is easy to control with a one-time spray in late winter. (Muscari are beautiful blue spring bloomers too, but deer do LOVE them too much!) I cannot explain the difference in price unless it is the bulb size. Worst case, the less expensive bulbs may be smaller and take an extra year to bloom.
      Ellen

      Reply

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