John Zvirovski / Sun Garden Editor
The autumn temperatures are slowly beginning to cool and those nice 60-degree days are becoming a thing of the past for this year. Soon we will be looking at the 30s for the daytime highs and watch it drop from there until spring arrives. As it becomes colder, the birds in the outdoors and in our gardens begin their search for food so they can survive the season ahead. Our gardens serve as a place of protection and as a place for food. Birds feed on the seed heads of coneflowers and sunflowers, on ornamental grass-seed heads and on crabapples along with the hips of the rose.
One of the most common questions I get during this time of year is whether to cut back the plants in the garden before winter or not. I try to answer people with an open-ended response so they can determine what is best for their situation.
Some people are really crafty when it comes to using dry products from the garden. I am not one of them. But this is the time of year when products that are used in many dried arrangements and other crafts are readily available. With the nice days that still lie ahead, why not go and enjoy the outdoors while creatively collecting numerous natural products that exist both in the garden and in the countryside. There are so many things available to collect in nature that your head will fill with new ideas with each new and exciting item you find. Who knows?
After a long season of beautiful and lush green lawns, the season for mowing two to three times a week and all of the watering is coming to an end. The cooler temperatures are causing the lawn to absorb nutrients to bank up until next spring when it can come forth again for a new season. Many people ask what they should do now in order to maintain a healthy and vigorous lawn when spring arrives. If you ask me, lawns are high maintenance and I say dig them all up and replace them with gardens!
One of the things that I enjoy most about gardening is that it is an ever-changing environment. There is something new going on all the time. Each day of the year that goes by can be completely different as things grow. There are flushes of color that catch your eye, even when you do not think you notice them. Daffodils, followed by blooming trees and peonies in the spring, then the summertime is filled with a multitude of annuals only to be outdone by the glorious colors of autumn. Color not only comes in the form of flowers, but it also comes in the form of grasses, trees and bushes.