Leaves are falling outside my kitchen window, and the wind is blowing them across the lawn these last warm days. Last week, I talked about plants that inspire passion in my garden. The post was too long–even for me–so I broke it into two parts.
We’re supposed to have a cold front come through tomorrow. In autumn and later winter, cold fronts push out of Canada or across the Pacific and eventually confront the plains. Some of the Canadian Express types are very strong. Because of Hurricane Sandy stirring up the jet stream on the eastern side of the U.S., Oklahoma has had wonderful weather, and every blue sky reminds me of the devastation. As someone who has watched her state deal with the aftermath of wildfire and tornadoes, my heart is heavy.
If you want to help, consult your favorite charity like the American Red Cross or Catholic Charities USA. Both will take donations with the click of a mouse. This storm was so huge it will take the whole country to help people get back on their feet. The government can’t do it all, and as taxpayers, we’re the government anyway.
It’s nearly time to plant tulips, narcissus and crocus. I already planted my true lilies–not daylilies–where I can keep a close eye on them. I’ve been adding lilies here and there for the July garden when nothing much is blooming. The bed next to the garage isn’t on our watering system. I use my old method of soaker hoses, so I can baby the plants that need it. The soil is basically amended red sand. When we built the garage, sand was brought in for the concrete foundation, and the remainder is what I amend with composted leaves and Back to Nature.
I ordered the following lilies when I went mad one day at the height of summer, and the thermometer hit 104F:
‘Lionheart’ Asiatic hybrid;
‘Forever Susan’ Asiatic hybrid;
‘Conca d’ Or’ Orienpet hybrid;
‘Royal Sunset’ Asiatic hybrid; and
More great plants are mums and asters–now no longer truly designated as either mums or asters. Mums are now Dendranthema, and many asters are Symphyotrichum, which may be more factual at the cellular level, but also unpronounceable. They’ll always be mums and asters to me. ‘Will’s Wonderful’ has started blooming again, and he’s a honey. All of the former asters are pretty much finishing up. These plants are worthy additions to your fall garden, and you can keep them in check by chopping them back a time or two during the growing season. Stop after July 1st to give them time to form buds. I like them so much I added a few more to my garden this year. If you don’t want them to reseed, cut them off after blooming. I let mine reseed with abandon, but that’s just me.
Finally, I am passionate about natives. I really enjoy Oklahoma and Texas natives, and they seem to also love my garden. What would the summer and fall garden be without Salvia greggii? I have the best luck with the pink and red varieties and only limited success with the more purple ones. It’s okay. Every garden has its strong points.
I’m also not prejudiced against other southern natives, and I’m trying Coreopsis integrifolia, Chipola River daisy, this fall. It has bloomed like a champ, and in a protected area, I think it will be a wonderful addition to my native favorites.
So, on this day at November’s beginning in 2012, these are my personal favorites in the garden. They make me say, “Ah” when I go outside. What are yours? If you change your mind later, I won’t hold you to your choices. Please share.