Fall Winds

The Compass - - ORTHTE -

Well, fall is here in the form of weather. As crisp winds wipe through my gar­dens like a mini tor­nado snap­ping stems and burn­ing leaves, it is clear to we gar­den­ers that sum­mer is com­ing to a close.

Late sum­mer and early fall is both a happy and sad time for New­found­land gar­den­ers. The grow­ing sea­son is over and with it all our ef­forts be­gin to die away, slowly but surely.

Some plants are still bloom­ing but with the dread­ful sum­mer we have had, those species flow­er­ing now re­ally should have been fin­ished weeks ago!

To look on the bright side we can all sit back and for­get about weed­ing and fer­til­iz­ing once win­ter comes; a well de­served break for many of us.

But be­fore we all sit down and veg­e­tate, as though we were a plant our­selves, we could be plant­ing our fall gar­den. Mums, asters, and fall bulbs go in this time of year and since we’re still see­ing a sprin­kling of warm sunny days we best get to work soon!

In the past I have dis­cussed fall bulbs and how to plant them — re­ally not that com­pli­cated as long as you don’t space them like toy sol­ders, all by their lone­some. Re­mem­ber that bulbs are meant to be bunched.

This week I would like to high­light some unique fall bulbs that could be grown in al­most any New­found­land gar­den. One of my favourite types of fall bulbs to plant in any gar­den is the Tiger, Asi­atic, or Ori­en­tal lily group.

These sum­mer and fall bloom­ing spec­i­mens can come in al­most any colour imag­in­able and grow in zones 3 and greater. They sim­ply need some rich soil and fer­til­izer to pro­duce spec­tac­u­lar flow­ers.

There are nu­mer­ous va­ri­eties on the mar­ket to­day but some of the most spec­tac­u­lar in­cluded: Sali­nas Ori­en­tal Lily ( red­dishur­ple in colour), New Wave Asi­atic Lily (spot­less white), and Yel­low Star Tiger Lily (rich, deeply spot­ted yel­low).

Lilies come in a wide range of heights so plant­ing al­most any­where in the gar­den is pos­si­ble. The stems of these mag­nif­i­cent flow­ers also make them at­trac­tive for windy lo­ca­tions due to their strength.

An­other great bulb group for fall plant­ing is the Orig­i­nal English Blue­bell. These lightly-scented, blue, pen­dant flow­ers dis­play a unique bell shape. As the plants ma­ture, nat­u­ral­iza­tion into the gar­den is pos­si­ble if soils are rel­a­tively rich.

These blue beau­ties are per­fect com­pan­ion plants for Daf­fodils and Tulips as they bloom in early sum­mer, in a solid color sea of blue. If im­pact is what you’re look­ing for then blue­bells are for you. Just make sure to buy lots.

Cur­rently bloom­ing in the Bon­av­ista Pub­lic Gar­den is a mem­ber of the im­pres­sive Al­lium group. Al­li­ums of­fer a wide di­ver­sity of colour, height, and bloom­ing times for any gar­dener. They can of­ten tol­er­ate poor gar­den soil. Once es­tab­lished they will usu­ally nat­u­ral­ize eas­ily.

These flow­er­ing onions make ideal cut flow­ers and brighten the gar­den from spring to late sum­mer in shades of white, pink, pur­ple, blue, yel­low and red. Some of my favourite va­ri­eties in­clude: Drum­stick Al­lium ( Ball-shaped heads of red­dish pur­ple), Schu­ber­tii Al­lium (unique star­burst of red­dish pur­ple), Blue Drum­stick (rich blue flower heads), and the fa­mous Gla­di­a­tor Al­lium with pur­ple blooms slightly smaller than a child’s head!

So, sim­ply be­cause the winds are pick­ing up, and the leaves are be­gin­ning to fall , it does not mean that the gar­den­ing sea­son is over yet. Now is the time to plant for spring and sum­mer 2012, hop­ing that sum­mer will come next year!

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