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Garden News, Issue #004 -- Garden Inspiration
September 14, 2006

I just had a wonderful visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington Canada. Although late in the season there were still many beautiful plants to see. Some roses were still blooming, the butterfly bushes were almost on their last, but still attracted some beautiful butterflies. Ornamental grasses were getting ready to seed. Pennisetum alopecuroides, Pennisetum setacium (fountain grass) and Miscanthus sinensis 'Kaskade' made a stunning display.

The gardens had an exhibition of Zimbabwean sculptures. Some striking sculptures made excellent focal points. Owning a unique sculpture and displaying it properly can really enhance to value and enjoyment of your garden. It also emphasises your individuality and personal taste.

I was forcefully reminded of the use of vegetables in a flower garden. The dark purple leaves of beetroot made for a striking contrast to other border plants. At the end of the season there is also an abundant harvest! I have also seen tomatoes between other plants. Spinach also makes an excellent filler.

The rock gardens set in a small valley is my favourite. The small waterfalls and late season color provide a serene ambience. Chipmunks dart between the plants, collecting their essential winter supply. Strategically placed benches invite you to spend some time reflecting on the beauty of nature.

The first signs of autumn were evident in three bright red leaves on a Japanese Maple (acer palmatum ‘Inaba Shidare’). It is a forceful reminder that proper planning of your garden can bring joy to you in every season.

Visit for some ideas and guidance for your garden, and don’t forget to order your bulbs!

Remember… Plant a garden and make the world a happier place!


P.S Below is a checklist for your garden.

September Gardening Checklist for Northern Hemisphere

  • Plant spring bulbs
  • Divide your irises
  • Do garden maintenance
  • Plant late-flowering clematis for colour
  • Establish a new lawn
  • Transplant evergreens
  • Sow hardy annuals for spring
  • Move containers with tender plants indoors, like fuchsias

Autumn planting

Autumn is an excellent season for planting perennials and biennials. The soil is warm and easily workable and the rainfall is becoming more certain. Young plants set out in your garden now, will have plenty of time to establish and put on new growth before year end.

September Gardening Checklist for Southern Hemisphere

  • Lift and divide summer flowering perennials
  • Plant new borders
  • Start a lawn care program
  • Replant container plants in larger pots
  • Cut back ornamental grasses
  • Prune roses
  • Dead head early flowering bulbs
  • Apply top dressing to newly planted trees and shrubs
  • Plant shallots and onions
  • Sow early potatoes
  • Continue pruning fully hardy shrubs
  • Start over wintered tubers of dahlias under glass. Water and bring them into the light.
  • Protect new shoots from slugs, pay particularly attention to herbaceous plants and clematis

Sow half hardy annuals in Spring

Prepare for your summer bedding scheme by sowing half hardy annuals in seed trays or pans. Place these under glass. Compost rich soil should be moist and firm. Scatter the seeds and cover with a thin layer of compost. Leave very small seeds uncovered. Remove the glass as soon as the seedlings break through. Prick out when first leaves have formed. Finally harden them off.

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