All good things …

… aren’t coming to an end just yet!  Just because school buses are stopping traffic and old fashioned fashionistas are shooting poison daggers at anyone who dares to wear white, it doesn’t mean summer is over.  Not by a long shot.  Or at least a good month on this edge of the world.

Full color Cutting Garden

Orb-web spider off its web in the North GardenI know I’m not the only one who’s starting to lose steam and wanna-garden energy but truly it doesn’t get much better than September. The days are apple crisp, the light is in an intensely golden slant and the garden has never seemed more colorful or full of wild vibrations.  Why then is my own garden at home a good thing thing that has come to an end?  Why am I sick of it and ready for fall?

We’ve had a lot of comments in the last couple of weeks from Blithewold visitors including one from a green industry professional about how much color we still have in the gardens.  Truth is, we still have a color riot because we use plenty of annuals and tender perennials that stretch their full glory right up to a frost.  The visiting professional (for whom summer was evidently already over) referred to annuals/tender perennials as “a necessary evil”.

Louise deadheading in the North Garden

We have the means (a greenhouse) to take cuttings, start seeds and grow hundreds (thousands?) of plants for the gardens over the winter.  Without those plants, these gardens might look as over with as my garden at home.  The “evil” in annuals and tender perennials is that they are almost as expensive to buy (as grown plants) as any hardy perennial that might survive 10 years in your garden.  The reason to have them is that their season is now – just when the garden and we should be enjoying a second wind.  Plants like dahlias, salvias, lantanas and zinnias are really worth every $8.00 because they make such excellent technicolor companions for late blooming perennials like anenomes, caryopteris, roses, and asters.

North Garden mix of hardy and tender perennials and annuals

In a way it feels like September is the moment we’ve been working towards all summer.  We still have to keep up with the watering, deadhead a little, and edit here and there but our biggest job now is to revel in the pretty of it.  I don’t want to be tired of my own garden this time next year – I want to be proud of it.  So I’m making myself a promise for next year:  I will, at the very least, throw some money in the direction of dahlias and throw some zinnia seeds in the direction boring places in my garden!

Dahlia ‘Willie Willie’

Do you get tired of your garden by this time of year or are you still madly in love with it? Do you make room in your garden and budget for annuals and tender perennials?

…Please stay tuned for even more thoughts on seed annuals and possibly Possible Propagation and if you need a hit of color and September inspiration, come on over.  Gardener’s Day is coming up September 20th – save that date and hope to see you here!