Perfect weather for gardening

Perfect weather for gardening

Want to create a fantastic fall garden? By now, your yard might be looking a little neglected. We all think of spring and summer as times to make our yard and garden areas shine, but why not fall? Leftover and sad looking plants in mud-spattered, tilted containers and summer flowers on their last leg are easy to replace.

Our weather is perfect right now for a good general cleanup outdoors. Begin by emptying most of the summer annuals from their containers. Be brave — just throw them away or, better yet, put them into a compost pile. Remove or trim any pitiful looking plants that have braved all summer with you. Cut near the base of the plant, down in the foliage, to keep plants looking tidy. After your clean up is completed, then you can go shopping!

Just by putting some fresh bright garden mums in cleaned up containers near the front door, you have begun celebrating fall. Nothing says fall like pumpkins. Dozens of varieties of cheery pumpkins, gourds and squash are available at stores all over town. A huge Cinderella pumpkin or two will add color to your entry. Stack up three or four flatter pumpkins with greenery in between for a fun look.

Create a focal point with one dramatic addition to your front yard or possibly to the patio area. Choose a tall plant that will not mind cooler weather to add architectural interest. Unexpected options such as super tall fountain grass in a container will be a refreshing addition to your space. These tall grasses are usually cold hardy and showy in the fall.

Impatiens will still give us color until our rare freeze, but adding kale and pansies to the area will give it some punch. And when the impatiens are gone, the others will live on. Don’t be afraid to add in some vegetable plants to your landscape plants. Most lettuces, spinach and beets produce loads of good-looking greenery and you get the bonus when part of the plant is in your kitchen. Working in the garden this time of year is an absolute joy.

Joette is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. To share your gardening news with Joette, call (409) 832-1400 or fax her at (409) 832-6222. Her e-mail is joreger [at] msn [dot] com.