Still Blooming!

It’s been a warm, dry fall so far, and the bees and butterflies are loving it. Here are some pictures from today.

Rudbeckia 'Denver Daisy'

Rudbeckia ‘Denver Daisy’

Vernonia 'Iron Butterfly'

Vernonia ‘Iron Butterfly’

Aster 'Bill's Big Blue'

Aster ‘Bill’s Big Blue’

Vernonia and Butterfly.

Vernonia and Butterfly.

Vernonia and Bumblebee.

Vernonia and Bumblebee.

Gaillardia 'Arizona Apricot'

Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’

Posted in bees, butterfly gardens | Tagged | Leave a comment

Behind the Scenes — Moving and Planting

There’s a lot to do in the nursery this month. All the perennials and shrubs need to be moved to their spot in the cold frame where they’ll spend the winter. Shade cloth needs to come off, and white poly goes on. The white poly is protection from wind and slows the temperature changes. It doesn’t allow the houses to overheat as they would if they were covered with clear poly. It does mean an extra step, because in March that white plastic has to be removed. Luckily we’re able to reuse it over and over for many years.

All the tender plants that we want to protect from freezing need to come inside. There’s a three-tiered shelf in the office where most of the pelargoniums (still called geraniums, though they really aren’t) will go. The pellies often bloom all winter if they get enough light. They can really cheer you up on a dark, cold day. Sadly, there’s only so much room inside, and I can’t keep everything!

In addition to all the moving that is going on, there is still some planting to do in the gardens. We have a number of shrubs and trees still to plant, and then there’s the garlic! Garlic is so easy to grow, you just poke the bulbs into the soil, water, and wait until next July to harvest! We work compost into the heavy clay soil here, before planting. They need to be watered when you plant, and then if it doesn’t rain, watered again before the soil freezes.

Our good neighbors, Maureen and Alan, gave us these cloves to plant. I’ve never had either of these varieties, so I’m pretty excited to try them.  Not only is garlic a necessary culinary spice, it is often used in companion plantings, to deter aphids.  I’ve planted garlic cloves from the grocery store with pretty good results, but getting garlic grown especially for planting is the best bet.

Separate the bulbs into individual cloves to plant.

Separate the bulbs into individual cloves to plant.

Hummingbird at Agastache 'Joyful'

Hummingbird at Agastache ‘Joyful’

Instead of 30 or 40 hummingbirds at the feeders, we now have one or two! We’ll probably still see a few stragglers for the next week or so, but the hummingbird season is drawing to a close.

Posted in agastache, Hummingbird plants, hummingbirds, vegetables | Tagged | Comments Off on Behind the Scenes — Moving and Planting