That Time of Year

The Goofy Gardener is up and at it again. Time to lose the shorts as the temps drop.

Get out the rakes all. Yesterday was a barnburner for the wind, with gusts of 45 mph. I know that is nothing for you guys in the Northeast and Canada as Earl roared up the coast.

But, I always cringe a bit when I see the leaves ‘a falling this early.

So out came the mulching mower this morning and I made short work of it.

The big Norway maples on our street always make life miserable in the fall. Some years they earn their keep with gorgeous displays of color, but not every year. Occasionally, the leaves look like a fire ravaged the canopy.

Not sure what to expect this year. Many of the trees are in maple decline and have small, distorted leaves anyway. Branches are always falling during windstorms.

This morning I was out in the garden checking the damage and picking the annuals to cull. Took a few photos of the annuals and perennials ‘fore both the anxious gardener with the spade and ominous clouds rolled in.

The two standards are hanging in there, but the rose was on its side this morning. The wind toppled it. The Duranta is still pumping out little racemes of flowers, but should be starting to produce berries as the weather cools. Both will move to the garage in early December. The alyssum and impatiens are quite happy and I will not be pulling them for a while yet.

Feeling bad, but..

Tomorrow, the Osteospermum will be composted and the front beds will get a tilling. If I am feeling up to tackling the lily bed, iris will be split and the bed composted. Pretty unlikely, but I can always dream. Bulbs come in around October 5 or so, and I have time, but still want to be ready early.

Some plants are going gangbusters, like the coleus to the left. There are two hydrangeas in that pot getting eaten alive. One lone flower is sticking out. They are planted in a large copper tub and I have never seen coleus this aggressive. This has been a strange year for plants. Look at the Ipomoea below. Not one flower all year on six plants climbing skyward. Never before has this happened. Vines eating vines.

We have had little insect damage, and few insects at all. I do not treat with chemicals, so I am not sure what is going on. Lots of bees, so at least they must be rebounding.

I would love to say that I have been successful with integrated pest management and make Cornell proud that one of their Master Gardeners is following recommendations, but I know I am not the best practitioner. I have seen very few beneficial insects because there are no destructive ones either. I am going to have to investigate this further. We have been too bug-free this year. I am ready to buy my ladybugs.

Or, maybe they are hanging out high up in the trumpet vine. I will be eventually getting up on the garage roof to trim the beast soon. As pretty as it is in summer, in fall it needs work. Loads of work.

In gardening, the work is never done, and our Goofy Gardener is getting in gear. See what he is up to tomorrow.

Have a great Labor Day and Happy Monday to All.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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15 Responses to That Time of Year

  1. Ginny says:

    I think your bugs came south to my yard! About half of my plants have leaves full of holes. I never spy the insects doing the damage but there must be a million of them.
    That coleus is amazing and your standards are beautiful!

    • No doubt the bugs stayed put. Some of my neighbors are lamenting bug damage, but I doubt it is as bad this year. My garden is always filled with creatures. Only the big ones have been spotted. I could photograph squirrels all day. They are so common here. But within the last two years, black squirrels have migrated from Canada. How they got here is beyond me, but they are overpopulating the street. Must be displacing the grey ones. I have a black squirrel living in my pear tree. They apparently are not as smart as they grey ones, because they risk the Red Spire splitting in great wind storms. I watch in winter as his little nest gets blown back and forth.

  2. Dave says:

    Your coleus is fantastic!
    I’ve never seen one get that large without becoming leggy. A beautiful picture.
    Thanks for visiting our blog. Glad you enjoyed the plant catalog terminology-lol.
    I can’t wait for the winter catalogs to arrive….these new descriptions should make the reading a little more humorous.

  3. I noticed the leaves on a tree turning colors the other day, too. It’s way too early!

    Your flowers look like they are in great shape yet. My coleus got big like that, too.

    Thanks for the advice about the mulberry tree. I need to ask the owner of the property if it’s OK if I let it grow. I still want to see if there is a way to keep it from getting too big. I keep forgetting to look it up.

    • Mulberries are beautiful and the birds get funny drunk on the berries, but the roots lifted my garage floor, by burrowing right through the foundation. The acidic leaves ate through the garage roof. I had to replace both. This is my neighbors tree, and all I could do is sue to rectify the problem. Not going to sue BTW.

  4. Mary Ellen says:

    All of the bugs must have visited my yard this year.I have holes in my hostas, my rose bushes, my tomato plants, my morning glory vines-I could go on and on. I refuse to use chemicals-and yes where are the lady bugs!!!!!! The lady bug is my favorite bug. Your garden is too beautiful. The coleus are gorgeous, and as always your blog is so interesting.

  5. Karen says:

    What a gorgeous garden! All of your plants look so healthy and happy. Our trumpet vine seems determined to take over the universe; it keeps popping up here and there, but is is pretty when it blooms; you’re right, they are a lot of maintenance.

    Nothing about this past summer was normal for us here in WI, either, yet I am sorry to see fall coming on. Summer was way too short.

    • Same problem on the trumpet vine. And it is my fault for not being better about cutting it back or cleaning up after it. Summer did seem short, but we are to get back in the 80’s this week. Lat few years, not much could be as expected. Years of rain was different for us. The 90 degrees days too. Never had so many in one year.

  6. Cyndy says:

    It’s been an off year for the japanese beetles here in Connecticut, and for certain other plants too. We are still needing more rain, and many plants are showing signs of drought. So much in your garden still looks very fresh in this different kind of year!

    • I have beds that are dry and crispy as well. In the picture of the cleome, there are dry sticks on either side. The daylilies are almost flat on the ground. Since my yard is small, I was able to keep up with watering, but now I have pretty much stopped. I will water good before we head into winter though. Last year I was slack on this and the boxwood all got winter burned. I will try to remember to give them a good drink before the frost. Japanese beetles off here as well. Had some early, but not like other years.

  7. Your garden is very colorful – not like mine this time of year. Our first signs of fall here – California sycamore leaves are turning golden and brown – and poison oak is lighting up with raspberry red leaves. I love poison oak this time of year. Not only pretty – but pretty visible too!

    • Leaves here are just starting to color. The poison ivy climbing the bald cypress on the property behind me is just beginning the changeover to yellow, then red. Poison oak is just as lovely and a pain too. I have seen it on properties that I design. As much a nuisance as these plant are, it is beautiful to see them in fall. I like extending the season with fall bloomers. Most are just starting, like the clematis.

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