I am an elementary school media specialist (librarian) and a new mom. My daughters (born 12/27/2010 and 6/27/2013) are teaching me all kinds of new things every day. One thing they have taught me is that sometimes, there just isn't room for much else besides learning. If you're not sleeping, eating, talking, blogging, or whatever, it might just be because you're TOO BUSY LEARNING!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Getting Ready for Autumn Gardening

My summer garden went rather well and was fun. Around the beginning of May, we pulled up the pansies (that survived all winter!), and I planted petunias and marigolds. Tyler planted vegetables in the big garden, and he sprayed out an area for me to plant an herb garden. Today is beautiful and breezy, and I can feel fall coming on. In another month or so (maybe sooner), I'll have to pull up and trim back the summer plants and get the autumn garden ready to go.

At the moment, the brick planter by the front door is brimming with pink petunias, which kind of clash with the house, but I don't care. I think these may last a while yet. However, if I was going to pull them up, I think I might replace them with three or four chrysanthemums in different colors. I already bought one chrysanthemum, but it got run over by a wayward soccer ball at our last cookout and hasn't been doing real well. It may recover, but for now, no blossoms.

The front walk flower beds are housing marigolds at the moment, but they are a little past their peak. Still blossoming, but definitely not as prolific lately, some of the plants have started to die one branch at a time. I guess pansies are the best option for winter flowers in the beds, but I may check into some other options too. Any reader suggestions? Especially if you live in my area, what flowers work well in the fall and winter? I'd like to try something new and interesting if I can.

The herb garden is probably ripe for harvest, but I've never had one before, so I'm not sure. Any tips from my herb gardening friends? Left to right (but pretty hard to distinguish), I have chives (potted), parsley, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, and purple basil. We've had fun using these in our cooking over the summer. Tyler is much better at incorporating them on the fly, but I will use them when recipes call for them too. I think what I need to do with these is clip them back and dry the harvested herbs so that they can come back next year. They should all come back except the chives and parsley. The basil definitely will. It's already trying to take over the world. I wouldn't be surprised if it came back well before true spring, in fact.

Here's my wish list for my autumn yard:
  • two rocking chairs or a glider for the front porch
  • plant stand/table for the front porch (great place for a jack-o-lantern!)
  • chrysanthemums galore
  • something other than pansies for the flower beds
  • a wheelbarrow (because it would be fun to haul dead plants to the compost pile in that instead of carrying them because it just seems more garden-y)
What are your autumn plans?


Sonja Foust said...

I planted baby mums in my flower box this weekend. I have a hanging basket of petunias that are purple, white, and red (very patriotic) that will go in the garbage soon. I don't quite know what to replace them with. I don't like pansies at all so I always try to find something different to plant. I haven't been very successful though. Seems like all anyone has in the fall are mums and pansies. Bleh.

For your herbs, you can clip them and then spread them out on a towel on your car seat, then roll up the windows and park someplace sunny. That dries them out fast and makes your car smell nice. Then grind them up and store them. I store mine in little bitty ziplock bags, labeled with the herb name and harvest date.

Emily said...

What are these winter-flowers you speak of? Wouldn't they get covered by snow? ;)

amanda and jon said...

I had the same issue today when trying to pick our next flowers...pansies are so awesome and hardy, but i just remember UNCG always using the purple white and yellow ones to look like our school colors all over campus.
My brother got married last weekend and my mom decorated the rehearsal dinner with mums. I'm going to try HANGING BASKETS with them! And as far as the front porch, scour craigslist the minute you get home from work...i got some cool wicker chairs for free, and our working hours are good for swooping in on stuff!

lauramarie100 said...

I've always wanted a glider too. It seems like such a nice way to enjoy the outdoors while reading a book and just relaxing. It looks like you're making good progress.