Ah August, time to start getting the garden ready for the coming fall season. I've been away from my garden for a few weeks, first it's been too hot to work outside and second I was busy with my son's wedding. Now it's the time to get rid of spent blooms and dead plants etc. I worked all morning cutting back my Shasta daisies and yarrow. I like the large yellow yarrow plants because they can be dried for fall arrangements and also they don't over take the garden like some yarrow. I also cut back my lavender plants to promote stronger plants next year. I love growing lavender not only does the plant make a wonderful garden edge but you can cut the lavender and use it in cooking or dry to scent your linens. All that I did today will make the plants stronger and help my plants get through the winter and reward me with wonderful blooms next year. If you want a beautiful garden you have to dead head, prune, fertilize all season long. It's not enough to just plant and watch the beautiful blooms, taking care of your plants is just as important. I find as I've said before working in the garden so peaceful and as beneficial as doing yoga for staying in the present moment and enjoying nature, and not to mention a great workout, all that bending and pulling..
A guilty pleasure of mine is reading all the flower catalogs, my favorites are White Flower Farm and Dutch Gardens. I have used both 30 plus years and have never been disappointed with the quality and price of the plants. I especially like buying bulbs and peonies from these companies. I can look into my crystal ball and say unequivocally that plants from these two companies will be arriving at my door in the fall.
One plant that comes into wonderful bloom from mid July until September is the Hydrangea Paniculatas. I first bought this hydrangea as a tree and I paid about $100.00 ten years ago. Since that time I have bought the scrub form and cultivated the plant to grow as a tree for very little money. On day I found a sad and almost dead plant at Home Depot and purchased it for about $10.00, now eight years later I have a beautiful tree. Over the years I purchased more and let them grown as a shrub. I now have good luck taking cuttings from these shrubs and cultivating the cuttings into new scrubs. My garden is now filled with these beautiful plants and I plan to grown more this year.
Two things that I could not live without when I work in the garden is Off Clip on Mosquito Repellent. The mosquitoes love me and this is wonderful because I can just clip and be protected. The second is a Nettie pot. After the garden my allergies would be out of control if I didn't use the Neti pot two time a day!
Off to getting a relaxing Sunday dinner together.