The arthritis in my hands is playing up. I finally realized it was from a full summer of holding the hose. Wow - wasn't that the summer?
Our grapes outdid themselves and we are freezing tomato sauce by the quart for winter enjoyment. The zinnias are bright neon spots in the garden, and my husband's dahlias are reaching for the sky. We lost a few hanging baskets early in the summer, it was just too hot for them, but the petunia one, which received a bit of shade, is still motoring on.
My feet are aching from the constant wearing of flip flops (the podiatrist's nightmare) and the tan lines on my feet prove it. The housework seldom got done, it seemed such a waste to work inside when you know the rains of fall and winter are just hovering around the corner. I can see why they call them dust bunnies as they seem to multiply like rabbits.
The raspberries were tasty and plentiful - we enjoyed several raspberry pies (my waist line is anything but slim) and our blueberry bushes finally proved their worth. We took the advice of one of the speakers who came to the Garden Club and whacked them back by 2/3 last fall. They weren't that large to begin with, but they were bonsai'd by the time I finished with them, with a warning that if they didn't produce they were 'outta here'! They heeded the warning and this year they showed the signs of producing the way I thought they should.
Right now in the garden we are cutting back - the heat has pushed the garden flowers faster and what we would cut back in late September and October is ready now. We have already tidied one bed and the painting of the house means a few clematis and things will have to 'lose their heads' a bit earlier than usual.
It is time to stop the fertilizing of perennials and shrubs and let them slow down a bit before winter. You don't want to encourage new growth that will get nipped by the frost when it comes. You can continue to fertilize your hanging baskets as annuals do love to be fed, and keep dead heading. If you have barrels or containers of annual colour you might consider replacing some of those annuals with something a bit more fall orientated - those bright coloured mums or grasses.
Now is an excellent time to plant grass and fill in those empty spots that may have occurred in your flower beds over the summer. Take note of what was drought tolerant, as some say hot summers may be the norm in the years to come. Most nurseries have great sales on, and so if you have coveted your neighbour's plants, now is the time to buy some for yourselves! See you in the garden.... Deb Brodie is a local gardener and a member of the Richmond Garden Club. She can be reached at: email@example.com.
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