Fall is in full swing. Here in the South it means having hot days, cool days, warm days, cold days, and a wishy-washy string of weather. This past week was like summer with afternoon highs in the mid-80′s. As I am typing this post, a front is coming in and the temperature will drop 20 degrees or more. 75° one day and 55° the next. Wondering what to wear each day is one thing and figuring out what to do and when to do something in the garden is a challenge.
What is the call of Fall for you? Pumpkins? Baking? Pulling out the sweaters and pants? Cooking soups and hearty stews? For me, it is a time to get the yard/garden ready for the winter. I have been busy this last week and taking advantage of the beautiful weather to get my yard and flower pots/beds ready for the cold. Leaf blowing, fertilizing, putting out weed preventer, killing weeds, and winterizing my lawn are just a few of the measures I am taking to keep my landscape happy and healthy over the winter. I have started changing out the annuals in my flower pots, replacing faded summer annuals with winter annuals. I also put some plants in the ground (peony, gerbera daisies, poppy mallow) because fall is the best time to plant perennials.
The beauty of nature inspired me again as I was doing my fall gardening. There are so many lovely sights of the season. I did my best to capture both my new and past efforts blooming around the house. The above photo is violas in a clay planter I found at my local nursery. They only had one. I asked for them to check to see if they could get two more. There is something about the planter I really like and I hope to have a couple more to set on my deck rails. I also bought some more violas in red, yellow, and purple which I planted together in a pot. When they grow I want the bright, vivid colors to mix and create a striking display:
The array of colors of pansies at the nursery was overwhelming. This year I wanted ones with darker and saturated colors. I want a big display of color in the bleakness of winter. Why have white and light pink when you can have a fiery red or orange? For another pot I choose red with dark blotch and yellow with a red blotch. As I sat the pot on the stand I noticed how my dark pink double impatiens are still blooming. A symbol of the hot/cold times of fall in the South.
One other pansy caught my attention. Dark and light purple, with a yellow center. I decided to plant a few next to some thyme:
My chrysanthemums are starting to bloom. First is a deep orange/red with yellow outside:
Red mums are beautiful. This one is a bright red with a yellow center:
Salmon mums are quite pretty also. They almost match the salmon color of the stucco on my house.
The summer perennials are not giving up yet. Next to one of the mums is a daylily that had to put out two final blooms.
The nandinas are bursting with berries. These are great to clip and use for fall arrangements in the house.
What are your favorite fall/winter flowers? Any particular color? I still have several flower pots to change out. Next will be the greens like ornamental cabbages and kales. Stay tuned…