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A Fall/Winter Planter

September 17th, 2019

Flowering kale has always been a favorite fall plant. They look magnificent when most other things are fading, breathing fresh life into an otherwise waning season. They can be difficult to source, at least I haven’t found them easy to find when needed. A few years ago I bought seeds and started my own. This year I got lucky and found a few on sale at a local greenhouse.

I decided to cut down a birch sapling that was encroaching on a trail and use that as well. As the season progressing into winter, I’ll add some red twig dogwood stems and probably some pine boughs as well.

Do you make seasonal containers? What are some of your favorite plants to use?

Every Year…

September 12th, 2019

Every year I think my hardy hibiscus didn’t make it through the winter. Then, in late June I start to notice that it’s putting up some growth. In late August it starts to bloom and continues through frost. It’s a short sweet season, made sweeter because it blooms in that late season when many perennials are winding down for winter.

The tropical look can almost make you believe summer is still around, especially when the afternoon sun still retains some warmth. This beauty is the perfect plant to end the season!

Do you have a favorite end of season flower?

Finally…..

September 10th, 2019

This year everything has been moving at a slower pace than normal, the cold weather has been the most likely culprit. Usually by now, the tithonias are huge and covered in blooms. This year they’re just starting to show their color.

It’s not a huge deal, at least they are blooming, which means they’re providing much needed late season food for monarchs and hummingbirds as they migrate. This year I planted 20 tithonias in a large hedge across one side of the main vegetable garden in the back. Since they aren’t as large as normal, at least there are more than normal.

How’s the season been in your garden? Early, late, wet, dry?

Friday Favorites: The Pollinator Bed

September 6th, 2019

This spring I added a new pollinator garden by the driveway. It fills a space that was awkward, as well as quite dangerous to mow. I mulched the area heavily last fall with cardboard and compost, this spring I filled it with plants that pollinators love. I took care to select plants that bloomed at different times, so there’s be food in this area all year long. Currently it’s filled with anise hyssop, turtlehead flower, marjoram, echinacea, and Chinese chive blooms.



I’m currently planning spring bulbs to extend the season as early as possible. Deer and rodent proof bulbs are a must, as the deer have been nibbling and tasting what’s in this flowerbed already.

What’s your favorite pollinator plant? Do you have any great early bulbs to recommend?

Allium Sphaerocephalon

September 4th, 2019

Three years ago I purchased a small pack of bulbs on clearance at a local discount store. I think paid .75 for 25 bulbs. They weren’t labeled with a name, so I searched for them when they bloomed the following summer. Turns our they were Allium Sphaerocephalon.

These beautiful little bulbs are loved by pollinators of all sorts. They naturalize readily, expanding stocks of bulbs each season and blooming more profusely. They grow about two feel tall and the bloombs are about the size of an egg. They start off green and mature to a beautiful dark pink. They’re quite inexpensive to buy, you can get 100 for $10.75 from Van Engelen.

Yesterday, I spent some time harvesting bulbs and moving them into the new pollinator bed by the driveway (more photos of this garden coming soon). I planted them among the hyssop as they have small leaves and the blooms should rise just to the height of the hyssop. This should give me a longer bloom time in this small area, providing twice as much food for the pollinators.

Alliums are becomming a favorite flower around here. I currently grow only four or five different varieties, but hope to add more. Purple Sensation is on my list to buy this fall, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this variety (especially that it returns year after year).

What are you doing in the garden this week? Do you grow alliums? What’s your favorite variety?

Seeds and Sundries
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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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