Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love the colors, the fragrances, the cooler weather, football, everything apples and pumpkins!
I love spring too, when everything is sprouting and coming to life; poking through the dirt like little praying hands being raised up to the heavens.
But for the autumn months, everything beautiful is preparing for a long nap. To rejuvenate for another display of beautiful blooms next spring.
And for this to happen, there is a lot of work! Plants need to be cut back, or divided, and some just snipping off stems and keeping them rooted in water. The plants that I want to snip and place in water, will sit on a windowsill until early spring and then potted. Sometimes I’m lucky and they survive, and sometimes they do not. But nonetheless, I can still enjoy them for the winter months ahead.
Last year I put all of my potted geraniums and my hibiscus plant in my basement. I cut them back, placed them in the basement still in their pots and they did great! Around late March early April I started to lightly water them, then I brought them up from the basement and as soon as the days were warm enough, I put them outside.
Unfortunately, 2 of them started to grow but then died. The rest survived and have been beautiful all summer. A friend of mine told me that her Mother used to dig them up and hang them upside down by the root ball in the basement. Might have to give that a try this year, some of my pots are too big and heavy for me to try to move.
I’ve already cut back a few plants. We had a very hot, dry spell for a few weeks and it took its toll on the red veined dock and day lilies. The flowers of the day lilies were done blooming but the beautiful leaves became dry and then died so they got a haircut! New leaves have since sprouted new growth though. And the red veined dock is starting to come back too.
All of the cone flowers I’ll try to leave alone, the goldfinches LOVE sitting on them and nibbling at the seed.
The potted spider plants I will not bring back inside. I’ll trim off all the babies and root as many as I can but the momma plants are HUGE and in large pots that I have no place in the house. I try to find homes for them but my friends are in the same situation, no room. This is where a large gorgeous greenhouse in my yard would be great to have!
This is my first year for a Eucalyptus plant, I love cutting the stems and drying them to hang in the shower. This plant is due for a trim and then I’ll bring the pot inside. Hopefully it will do well as a potted plant inside for the winter months.
The purple plant on the left, I think, is a variety of a wandering “dude” but I no longer have the ID card. That entire pot is all from cuttings from last year. The coleus on the right, I’ll take cuttings from that and hopefully be able to pot it next spring.
My beautiful Limelight Hydrangeas, these are my favorite. And by March and I am impatiently watching them, waiting for the buds to pop on the branches. I try to dry lots of bouquets and then share them with friends. I also like to keep dried stems as well, using them for arrangements or wreaths. I like to get a bucket of water, and add some dish soap, then as I cut the stems from the plant, I dip the blooms in the water to kill any unwanted spiders or other bugs that I don’t want inside my house. For the most part this does work but on occasion I do find a survivor!
Another gardening chore is to finish cleaning my fence. I started in the spring and have about ¾ of it done but the heat got to me and I put off the remaining panels for cooler weather. I scrub it by hand using a solution of vinegar and dish soap and it works amazingly well!
I also like to clean out my shed, it’s FILTHY right now. Tons of grass clippings, potting soil, and spider webs. It needs to be reorganized too. And, go ahead and laugh but… I like to give my trash can a good cleaning too. That usually just involves some cleaner being poured inside and then powerwashed.
This year I have lots of spring bulbs to plant too. I’ve been in this house for 5 years now and the only spring bulbs I planted have been the Easter hyacinths my kids gave me.
I have a bunch of dahlias too, those bulbs should be dug up and put in the basement but I don’t, come back fine every year. They make beautiful cut flowers all summer, I’ll miss them!
This is just one of the five butterfly bushes I have.
My butterfly bushes I try to keep going well into October if possible. We will still have some butterflies, especially the traveling Monarchs. So I keep them going as long as I can. Then they get cut back to ground level. I’ll those beautiful blooms too.
This purple plant, cannot find the ID card, I will take cutting of it as well and hope for the best for next spring. The hanging plant is a creeping jenny, it comes back each year! This is the third year in that planter. And I was able to snag 2 sections of it to make 2 new hanging planters this year.
What plans for you have for your flower beds? Get out there in play in the dirt!