September 2014

Hey, I did it! One post for each month of the summer. Better late than never, I say.

September is the time of grasses. A couple I planted last year are doing well. These are next to the mailbox, a sunny, dry location that also gets a salting over the winter.  A young milkweed is hiding behind them in this picture. I’ve been nurturing that little guy for a full year, because I took it into my head that we should have one for the Monarch butterflies, and because they’re pretty. Gardening is not a rational activity, as Margaret Atwood pointed out. We’ll see if if comes back next year.

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This next grass is very delicate. I’d like these plants to be in a place where the sun is behind their seed heads in the evening, but you can’t have everything. Or can you? I wonder where I could move them?

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Speaking of moving things, that’s the big activity this time of year. With help from my stalwart nephew, I found a new home for most of the hostas that were crowding the wedding veil spirea. I kept a few to try out in the Buddha garden.

I dug out the ferns along the back of the stone wall garden beside the driveway, as I decided they were too busy as a backdrop for the heuchera.

I also potted up a few plants to enliven the house during the winter. Some are just annuals that grow pretty well on a windowsill. Even if they don’t make it through the whole winter, they’ll be cheerful while they last.

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Some plants need to winter indoors if I want to have them next year. This is the first time I’m trying to overwinter a dwarf papyrus. I foolishly planted it in the same pot as a hardy native plant. Space inside the house is limited, so I have to divide them. The black plastic thing in the picture is the handle of the saw I used to separate the two plants. I discovered just how tough papyrus roots can be.

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As the garden winds down and Dan and I begin to cut back dead stems and foliage, the neatness of early spring returns, on a more melancholy note. Dan’s ripe purple peppers are quite ornamental right now.

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And the butterfly weed proves its worth yet again with its striking seed pods.

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I was complaining in July about the morning glories. They never attained anything like lush growth, but they are finally managing some blooms. Not bad for a bed that almost never got extra water in this dry summer.

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The ferns turn a nice shade of gold before turning into a tangle of brown stems and crumbling to dust.

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