Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fall Garden

Even though it means that I am nearing the end of my gardening season. I have a lot of chores to do. As usual, I probably will put off many clean-up jobs until next spring. Did I mention that I am a lazy gardener?

I like to leave some plants up for winter interest: Autumn Joy sedum, garlic chives, echinacea, Goldsturm blackeyed susans, various grasses, and even the tall garden asters. The birds have a great time picking at them during the winter months and they look so pretty with the snow covering them.

This is the first year since I have live in this house that I haven't planted any bulbs. I thought that I would feel lost, but I don't even really feel a desire to plant them. What is wrong with me? I have this feeling that I will have an overwhelming urge to plant a couple hundred at the end of October- like when all the stores try to get rid of the bulbs they have left and I just can't pass up such fantastic deals!! Then I'll be out there in the cold scrambling to get them in the ground. I'm sure some of you know what I am talking about.

I bought some isulated covers for a few plants: my two rose bushes (this time, I will NOT kill them!!), the Plum Crazy hibiscus, and the experimental Astilboides tabularis. I have been debating covering my rhododendron since it is the first year and I have had bad luck keeping them alive. Any of you cold-weather gardeners have any suggestions?


Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

Good photo for showing off lots of great fall colors.
Here in Zone 7 I'm no help to you on your question, but thanks for turning me onto the astilboides. I'll be googling it myself to see if I can grow it here. Susan

10/18/2005 5:16 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Just this: Your hibiscus will come up very late in the spring. You will be on the brink of despair and then you will look one last time before replacing it with something else, and there will be the tiny little green shoots.


10/19/2005 10:16 AM  
Blogger jac said...

I too cant help.

10/19/2005 1:34 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Takoma Gardener, I will let you know if mine come back next spring. I do know that they need lots of water. I think I was told that if I wasn't planting it in a moist place, that I should water it during the winter too. I have it under a big white pine- probably not the wisest place to put it, but I have other water hungry plants under there and they are all doing just fine.

Jenn, I know about hibiscus. But I still have managed to kill a few of those too- I think that we didn't get enough snow cover. That's why I'm covering them this year. But what about rhododendrons? I got one with the house. All my neighbors have them, but everyone that I have planted has died. HELP!

Jac, that's OK. Just enjoy the great fall transformation of my garden.

10/19/2005 2:14 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Have you asked a local nursery on some rhodo advice? I'm sure if you mulch them well and kept them out of a really windy site they or some varieties should do fine.

10/20/2005 7:18 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Sandy, that sounds like a good idea. I thought maybe my problem was not enough water. They seem to do great in mild, rainy areas, so mulching and watering a ton might help.

10/20/2005 8:13 PM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

I'm just the opposite - I'm planting bulbs again after a many years hiatus. I'm really excited about getting them into the ground if only the darn leaves would fall so I can "hide the evidence" from the squirrels!

10/22/2005 1:56 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

Sylvana - perhaps your soil it too alkaline for the rhodos. They need an acid soil with plenty of humus and mulch.

10/22/2005 3:17 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

OldRoses, you can lay down chicken wire over the planting area to keep the squirrels out of your bulbs. I usually lay it an inch under the soil if I want to keep it there permanently, otherwise I just use landscaping staples to pin it to the ground. Then you can pull up the wire when you think that it is safe.

Alice, welcome to my blog! I have thought about that. I have mulched them with pine needles and even planted them right under pine trees- no luck. I might try testing the soil and using an additive if necessary.

10/22/2005 9:42 PM  

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