Southern Gardening - Potpourri for November
November 1, 2020 | View PDF
With Fall definitely in the air, we now have low humidity and cool days. What a joy it is to be out of doors basking in the sunlight and soaking up the valuable Vitamin D. Article after article speaks to the efficacy of plenty of our sun’s gift to the world, vitamin D. When the world is experiencing this virus, it is wise to follow the recommendations of our doctors to help keep society safe until we get a vaccine. The wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving may be more subdued this year due to the virus. But that should not stop anyone from celebrating with good food, close family and Thanksgiving decorations. A tablescape of different size pumpkins, different colors and shapes, some raised up along with a few gourds make an attractive centerpiece. I purchased a couple of gnarly, bumpy green and white ones that are so interesting to add to the batch.
The one area of our lives that is not on any lockdown is gardening. We in the River Region live in what is termed Zone 8, which means that in our geographic area plants can withstand a range of minimum temperatures from 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, Zone 10 plants thrive in south Florida where there are not freezing temps. Zone 9 would include New Orleans where there are rarely any freezing temps. These zones which have been a standard designation for the hardiness of plant growth does not measure the amount of heat, humidity or sunlight. Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts along the USDA developed these zones. They are especially helpful in providing guidance to the purchaser of the plants, which will do well in one’s area, and this saves time and money.
How can one make this Thanksgiving a special time since it appears we will be limited in the number of friends and family members who can gather? One idea is to bring fall beauty inside our homes. A large flower arrangement of fall blooming wildflowers, flowering shrubs and garden flowers fits the bill. For example, one can cut Solidago or goldenrod, Celosia, Mums, Roses, Ginger lilies, Canna lilies, Crepe Myrtle, Althea, Marigolds, Cleome, Zinnias. There should be many types of greenery available along with branches of trees which exhibit fall leaves. Eieagnus is another good choice with its silver backed leaves. To be ready for any floral creation, I always have some floral clay which I purchase at the grocery store flower department for impromptu bouquets.
PLANT OF THE MONTH–Helleborus
Its common name is Christmas rose or Lenten rose. Some have referred to these gorgeous plants as the aristocrats of the garden. Their subdued coloring, their bell shaped nodding heads give an enchanting appearance. Their foliage is attractive all year round, but please note that all parts of this plant are poisonous. They are fall blooming, prefer shade and bloom in winter and spring. Hellebores belong to the ranunculus, buttercup family. The newer varieties have upright heads, and are rich in color. Once established, they are drought resistant and long-lived.
Good Gardening and Happy Thanksgiving!