John Zvirovski / Sun Garden Editor
So far the November weather has been quite mild, and I consider us to be quite lucky to have these amazing days to extend the autumn season. Yes, many of the days have been quite a few degrees above normal, but in our area we deserve the treat for payment for what is to come. With the warmer weather, I also field a great deal of questions from people wondering what this might be doing to the gardens and if it is detrimental to the plants before the winter season.
Every fall seems to exhibit a new activity to pay attention to. It is the season when the birds begin to migrate, and the deer start to scatter due to the season. There are also those animals that need to store their food stockpiles so they can survive through the winter months. Some of these animals hibernate while others just plan ahead. Some will feed all winter long within the garden on one resource or another. One of the most devastating can be that of the beaver.
Afavorite dish of the Swedish is rose hip soup. It has been created for many, many years and they literally consume the hips by the tons! What are these items in which the Swedes enjoy so much? Every autumn I notice the beautiful rose hips on the roses in the yard. They never really come to mind until the green hips turn a delectable, shiny red or orange color and almost scream to be noticed. Usually from year to year, I leave them on the shrubs for the birds to eat during the winter months. This year I decided to use them for my own purposes.
The autumn season can be beautiful in the northern parts of the country with all of the beautiful colors.
Autumn is a good time to see various plants stand out due to their foliage color. Many things turn yellow or gold and some also turn orange, but there always seems to never be enough red coloring in our area for the fall season. Outside of trees and bushes, there is an excellent vine called the Virginia creeper.
It’s amazing how quickly the summer season seems to go and then we notice the autumn season fast approaching. This past week was our first brush with lower temperatures nearing the freezing mark. It gets all of us to start thinking about sweaters, jackets and bringing the plants back indoors that we want to save over the winter. This can always be a challenging task as to when you bring them in and how one should condition them for their new environment.
During the warm days of summer, when you are out in the garden, it can be very refreshing to view the cooling colors of blue. So often we plant colors of red, yellow, orange, white and pink along with sporadic shades of purple in our displays. Rarely do we get to witness the relaxing colors of true and refreshing blue flowers.
You just can’t say enough about the lilies that bloom during this time of year. They flourish in our warm summers and are affected by very little when it comes to disease or insects. They come in all heights, colors and sizes and bloom at various times during the summer months. For this article, we will strictly focus on the winter hardy lilies for our area and avoid ones such as calla, eucharis and crinum lilies.
It’s that time of year again where you get to take the opportunity to look into the backyards of other people’s gardens! Yes, that is right, we get to go behind the scenes and see what they have been up to in their world of plants. It is the time of year that I look forward to as I enjoy seeing other people’s creative edge in the garden. There are always so many new ideas and creations, not to mention, oftentimes new plants to look at.
We have waited for this season for months, and the time has come where the garden is in full gear! All winter we make our plans on what we are going to do, using frozen or canned products from the year before that came from our gardens. The supplies begin to run low and we begin to think about those fresh fruits and vegetables that we can harvest and begin to consume once again.