Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fall is In the Air

I didn't think I would be able to blog for a while since I returned to work on Tuesday after vacation all Summer. School is closed for the next 2 days for Rosh hashanah. Being off all Summer is one of the most important perks of working for a school district. I try not to bring home work to do although I will do some things while I'm off that will help make the start of my week easier on Monday. The weather is so beautiful here. Low humidity and cool temperatures especially at night. Tonight and for the next few nights the forecast is for temperatures is the 50's and down to the 40's in the suburbs.

 It amazes me every year that when the date hits September 1st it seems like the temperature immediately changes. The fall equinox is not for a couple of weeks but Fall is in the air. Monday was Labor Day and it was hot. Several days later its cool. Some of my annuals are starting to look different and appear to know that Fall is approaching and their time for blooming will soon be over. They did well. If temperatures get low for several nights, that will be the end of the sweet potato vines I have outside since they do not tolerate cold at all. I won't miss them. They do what they are supposed to do run and grow vigorously. I don't know if I will plant them in my containers next year. I have planted them for 2 years and I think I am ready for a different look, we'll see when Spring comes. They are hard for me to resist and they make such a show with little care. Last year I overwintered many. They did well until I read something about fertilizing them with a dilute fertilizer and it killed them. Never believe everything you read. Temperatures this cool at night are early. Last year they didn't start to die until October near the first frost.

I stopped at the garden center today. I went to get some mums and plants for my office. No office is complete for me without something green and something blooming. I didn't plan on buying anything except plants for the office but I couldn't turn down some of the offerings. The cool season plants seem too early to me or maybe I didn't pay attention to how early plants were in the nursery last year. Although I bought 2 mums for my office for some color, I didn't buy any to plant outside because they won't make it and would be past bloom time when October arrives. 

I couldn't believe that my favorite, pansies and violas had arrived. I didn't buy one. The varieties were beautiful. One of my favorites is the orange. The pansies were already leggy. I think that when I do buy mine to plant I will check several nurseries to see which ones look the best.There was also ornamental kale. Too early for me. I hope there are some available when I am ready. I usually plant in October and the arrangements are fresh until Thanksgiving. After this I add to them with Christmas greens. Pansies survive all Winter here. The leaves will sometimes get burned by frost and wind but survive under snow and on a sunny day peek their head up with beautiful flowers.

 My flowers in the front of the house are still thriving and I wanted to wait until they started to die down some to plant my Fall plantings. Last Fall I planted some perennials in Fall. They did well this Summer. I used this excuse to buy black eyed Susans, garden phlox, and a type of chrysanthemum not like the Fall garden mum. They were really healthy and not over grown and I guess started just for planting in the Fall for Summer blooms. If I plant them soon they will have a long time to establish roots before frost and the ground freezes. Until then I put them in my yard so they can take advantage of rain water since it looks like we may have some showers.

The plants were really cheap. I contained myself and didn't buy half of what I would have liked to. The cone flowers were beautiful and there were so many varieties. There were different types of heuchra, ornamental grasses, salvia, and numerous perennials. I did buy some bulbs, red tulips and paper whites. I really wanted the paper whites because they sell out fast. I also bought bulbs when I was in Georgia. I will show a picture of them and a plant and seeds that I bought back at another time.

I brought this home from my office and it sat on my porch all Summer. It actually did well. It looked worse when I brought it home. I usually don't have luck with spider plants. This will go back on my desk. I hope it survives this school year.
I believe this is a type of Chinese evergreen. I have one on my living room mantel and it's a plant that does well in low light with little attention. I thought it best to purchase something that I haven't yet killed. There were many other plants I would love to have but I have to be realistic and buy what will survive at school.

The bulbs looked healthy but I bought some in Georgia that looked even more plump and healthier. I bought these because they were firm and had good color and not dried out and the price is reasonable. I bought similar bulbs last Fall from the same place and they did real well.

It's time to pay attention to my house plants indoors. Some have been neglected. I need to replant some before winter. They will provide me joy and an environment with living things during the cold winter. I regret not buying a clivia from the flower show last March. I even thought of buying seeds to start. I would like to successfully plant a terrarium that lives. Maybe this Winter. I look forward to the blooms and scent of paper whites, amaryllis, and with the approach of Spring once again, primrose. 

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