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September Potpourri

The lazy, hazy days of summer are coming to a close, and fall is upon us. Where has this year gone?

With much anticipation for football season, Labor Day, county fairs, Halloween, back to school, and cooler temperatures, we turn to the garden with our creative juices flowing. Some of us like to have perhaps a theme either in our choices of color, or in the plants we choose. For instance, red, white and blue for Labor Day, or deciding to redo a bed with nothing but herbs or perennials. One good idea would to be fill the garden beds with flowers and herbs which are bee friendly. With the bee population being stressed and decreasing, it should be every gardeners' duty to include some of these plants in their beds for the bees to gather nectar.

1. Monarda or Bee Balm

2. Lemon balm

3. Sage

4. Rosemary

5. Echinacea or Cone flower

6. Chives

7. Basil

8. Butterfly Weed

September is also the transition month between summer and fall when we need to pull out spent annuals, acquire winter annuals and perhaps perennials, which will be bigger and better next year. Perennials planted now will increase their root size before we have to cut them back after the hard freeze. If you can acquire some biennials such foxglove, holly hocks, and delphiniums, even better. As I have stated in the past, fox glove (digitalis) puts on quite a show when featured in pots. A grouping of holly hocks and delphiniums add height to the beds, and also interest. Many varieties need to be staked, but a few of these plants go a long way. This labor of love will reward you with quite a show in the spring.


Cypress Vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) by all accounts is one of the easiest plants to grow. It is an incredibly fast growing vine that is tough, easy to control, and constant flowering from spring to frost. One can see it growing on guardrails off highways, on fences, and up trees. The fern like foliage that is a mid-green is a contrast to its red tubular shaped flowers. Since these vines are annuals, they re-seed with small black seeds. Hummingbirds and butterflies flock to these flowers. They like moist well drained soil, very little fertilizer, and tolerates sun and partial shade. To extend the beauty of these red flowers, plant a moon vine in with these, and now you have double the blooms in red and white. If you do not see the plant in garden centers, most catalogs carry the seed. One can also gather the seed from the vines one sees on the side of the road.




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