The end of July is here, can you believe it? August signifies the beginning of the end of summer. Next thing, along comes Labor Day and seals the deal. Our flowers are still looking good but a little more rain wouldn’t hurt. Those of you with children are likely stretching out the good times before preparing for them to go back to school. It certainly seems like there are lots of things that need to be done in the autumn of the year. Last minute projects before winter sets in are probably not the priority just yet as we enjoy what remains of summer.
In the garden most of the planting is probably done and there shouldn’t be any serious maintenance required. Hopefully you have been “deadheading” your flowers and keeping up with weeding somewhat regularly. It’s time to look at your garden with a critical eye. Are there any of your flowers that exceeded your expectations? Did some do so well you want more of them? It is likely that most performed as expected but were there any that did not do as well as expected, like being in the afternoon sun? I have seen Hostas suffer with burned leaves from this. Are there any that did not get enough light? Even the Daylily, probably the hardiest perennial around, will not bloom in it’s full glory if it is denied sufficient sun.
If your Daylilies have created an abundance of new cultivars you may want to dig up the clump, separate the individual plants at the base and replant so they have a chance to become established before winter. Once the gardens are cleaned up and everything is where you want it it’s time to mulch. Many people like to feed their plants at this time. While the Daylily does not require it, it certainly will not reject the food. It is also important to remember that these perennials do need watering during the winter if you find there isn’t enough snow or rain.
If you live in an extremely cold area you may want to dig up those plants that are grown from bulbs like Gladiolas and Canna Lilies. If you have gone through winter with your plants you should know which can survive the winter without having to dig them up. Some even will grow tropical plants, like a banana tree, and take it down for the winter. By the first frost, and sometimes after, the plant is taken from the ground, the dirt is removed from the roots and it is stored in a cool dry place like in the crawl space of your home or the garage. It will winter over in this state of hibernation until there is no longer danger of frost and it is planted again.
Enough about gardening tips for the moment, lets take a walk through Smokey’s Gardens. I just had to show you this picture, the butterfly on a butterfly bush, it just seemed so right.
And here are views from our show gardens.