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Don't Miss Pages Two, Three and Four

Monday, September 19, 2005

Autumn- A Season For Surprises

Because autumn is full of surprises, it is my favorite season of all. Last year, I planted black-eyed Susan seeds that grew into the fabulous plant that you see in the photo. Black-eyed Susans bring back memories of my childhood in Maryland where, as descendants of wild plants, they grew in open fields and beside the roadways.

Rudbeckia in general are cold hardy, heat- and drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. You can propagate them by seed or division; left alone they are effective at self-seeding. Members of the aster family, black-eyed Susan is grown as an annual in colder climates and as a perennial elsewhere. The many cultivars allow different heights, bloom sizes and colors. Rudbeckia attracts butterflies and makes an excellent cut flower. Does well in USDA zones 3-10. Plant in sun or part-sun and enjoy.

The pink Coreopsis that you see in the background of the photo is also a perennial member of the aster family. The red poppies are amazing; they aren't supposed to be blooming now. Today I also discovered a tiny frog, about one inch long, that has taken up residence in my side garden bed. "Froggie's" appearance shows me that the absence of toxic sprays is  a win for my health and a win for the many creatures that find safe haven in my garden.

 

3:06 pm pdt

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Beginning To Think of Planting Bulbs
 
Hurricane Katrina's devastation has affected us all. I am finding that sharing with friends, relatives and other Americans is helping me to sort out my feelings and to take action. Making donations to charitable organizations, installing organic landscapes, and working in my own garden is helping to heal my personal feelings of shock and pain.
 
This is the beginning of the fall planting season for us in Southern California. In the next two or three months we plan and begin to plant for the winter and spring blooming seasons. It is a blessing to be able to work in sweet-smelling earth. Begin to look for spring-blooming bulbs (check the Seasonal Checklist Page). Also, since this is the time for winter vegetables, I am excited to have discovered Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants .  Check out her website. She grows a wonderful variety of plants organically. If you live nearby, you can even pick up your order as I did. Laurel ships plants all over the country. I brought home five plants and they are all doing wonderfully. "Ugly" (yes, that is really it's name) and "Black Cherry" already have produced baby tomatoes. I missed not having "Green Zebras" this summer (due to shipping problems). I have a feeling that the fruit from Laurel's transplants will be a shared surprise for many friends and associates this winter.
 
2:27 pm pdt

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All articles and photos unless otherwise credited are© by Elaine Wilson.
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