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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #016
October 05, 2022
“The link between things grows weaker now.
The twig can no longer support the leaf,
the branch is ready to release its fruit
and the ground turns cold against the root.
Instinctively we resist these separations,
reaching for each other’s hand as we walk
across the frost-strung grass,
then turning quickly back toward home
before night drops.”
Whether your trees lose their leaves
like my darling grandson Lachlan’s tree does,
or one at a time,
Fall is here
and we are on our way
to the most glorious time of year.
I was flattered when asked to show my garden to a group of gardeners
from the nearby town of Sterling, Ontario.
Flattered because I love my garden
and hoped maybe they would too.
Alas, I was visiting my family a day's drive away
and could not be here,
but my gardener-friend Claire
generously offered to be here in my place.
I am sorry I missed them
because they were passionate and friendly
Sadly, due to a few computer glitches,
I am unable to post all their photos,
but here is Claire.
With my sincerest thanks....
A GARDEN TOUR - is a chance to learn, share and “grow” Consider offering your garden for a tour
…. no perfection needed;
it's a great opportunity to share what works for you, or doesn’t
Perhaps you've dealt with a wet corner, very dry soil,
mature trees (like a Black Walnut)
or windy open areas that might be a problem
for another gardener.
…. we all deal with challenges
and being on a garden tour
is about sharing what you did - or wish you had and hadn’t done.
Whether unique, interesting, or quirky
- they all have the ability to teach us,
learning from someone else’s problems and solutions.
Gardeners love to share
- they are kind, passionate and generous
and love to talk gardening to all who will listen.
Time to Plant Bulbs
TYPES of BULBS: TUBERS: Begonia, Lily, Dahia
TRUE BULBS: Tulip, Hyacinth, Allium, Daffodil
CORM: Crocosmia, Acidanthera, Gladiola, Crocus
Buy the best you can afford,
but even the less expensive ones
still want to do their best for you..
.. so buy lots- plant lots
WHEN to PLANT WHAT and HOW....
TULIPS: late fall…. plant deeply ( 8 inches or more)
DAFFODILS, HYACINTH, ETC…. mid October
WHAT ABOUT SQUIRRELS?
If you plant them in layers as I describe on my page on BULBS
( link below)
you should be able to outwit even the most determined diggers.
- mix them up with a handful of compost and spread…
If you are applying mulch this fall,
leave some bare soil, spread your seeds
and then put a very thin layer over it.
… find a way to mark where you planted….
popsicle sticks with indelible marker work
You can use the sam method for bare GRASS patches
and overseed with CLOVER
Be careful with some seeds though,
because you could end up with this...
(I did not plant these
- but the birds love them and
they are so darned cheerful.
Other Fall Colour...
Sometimes, fall gardens can look very green as the green begins to seep back down to the roots, leaving a lot of beige and brown in the garden.
I realized my good fortune when the Fall revealed all this colour from these glorious Heuchera (Coral Bells) and Coleus in my shade garden, usually full of ferns and Hosta.
Heuchera comes in many shades of burgundy, brown, orange, red, and lime green. They love the shade but they tolerate a fair bit of sun too.
The Coleus, although an annual, puts on a fabulous show, especially in the fall.
And the Sedum.. wow,
the low, ground covers
are a tapestry of colour
Although I love this photo,
my last roses do not look like this.
.. sadly, brown and dried
but now that they look like this below.....
it's time to leave them be and let them form hips.
This will signal the rose to stop putting energy into blooms
put its energy into the roots to strengthen them for dormancy
(winter in my case)
The centre turns red
and becomes the hip.
We will talk more about overwintering roses
in November's newsletter
but if you wish,
here is more on my overwintering roses page.
Hostas and Viruses
If you have a lot of Hosta, you may already know
about Hosta Virus
I am not an expert and am not sure I would recognize it...
However, you can prevent spreading it unknowingly
by cleaning your clippers or knife after cutting each one back.
Best? leave them till frost makes them slimy
and then pull leaves off
contact Dawn at
Gardens Plus... she is an expert.
Allergies? Goldenrod vs. Ragweed
I like my friend Steven Leak's image of Goldenrod
Some say they are allergic to Goldenrod
and even though it cannot entirely be ruled out,
it is more likely to be Ragweed
that causes runny noses and sniffles.
Goldenrod flowers contain nectar
and are pollinated by butterflies and bees
so those large pollen bits
stay pretty much on the plant
and don’t get a chance to be airborne …
On the other hand,
Ragweed does not have nectar
in those insignificant flowers which
can produce over a billion pollen grains
that are so light
they can blow several miles overland.
Many of us have always preferred a tidy,
cut-back garden in the fall...
... but consider this:
If we cut it all back, the soil is bare,
erodes easily, dries out, cracks
and becomes an uncrossable barrier
for worms and microbes....
And.... if we don't leave flower and plant stems standing,
where will the little birds and wee beasties hide
when it storms?
and where will their seeds be if we cut them down... ?
Please leave as much of your garden standing as possible...
and if you need some more on fall gardening
... check out this page...
Lately, when I sell a copy of my book for a child who attends a school,
I donate one to their school library.
If you wish to purchase one with another for a school,
please send a note to:
They are in schools in Labrador, New Brunswick,
Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, BC,
Arizona, California, Florida, the UK,
Remember there are still warm days to sit
and revel in the joy you have created.
The tasks will wait.
You have done well.
Until next time, stay warm and safe.
Take care of each other and stay well.
Lucy is not happy
that our decking days
but loves cozy shawls.
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