We are working our way down our list of autumnal chores. First, we took the shade cloths off the greenhouses. We put them on in the spring to cut down on the amount of direct sunlight coming into the greenhouses. This makes it more comfortable for people and also the plants. Without shade cloth, it would be too hot and sunny for many of the plants during the height of summer. Next, we cleaned out the vegetable garden and buried our potted stock plants in the ground. This is how we winter over perennial stock plants. Next spring, they're lifted out and I divide and repot them for new plants for the spring season. It only works for perennials that are easily divided. Others I start from seed or purchase rooted cuttings and pot them up.
I've spent the past week admiring everything that's still blooming in the gardens. Frost is imminent, and most things will go--certainly with a hard freeze. For mid-October, I was amazed at how much was still blooming--lavender, pineapple sage, heliotrope, nicotiana, roses, mexican bush sage, catmint, calendula, marigolds, strawflowers, sedum, zinnias, snapdragons. I'm hopeful that the snaps will survive a while longer. They always look so good at the end of the season and they are long lasting cut flowers. I have both the dark wine-red 'Black Prince' variety and pink 'Apple Blossom' - so pretty in combination.
I've cut the last of the tender plants I want to dry and cut a big bunch of basil. I keep it in water on the kitchen counter to extend my season for fresh basil. What a treat for in spaghetti sauce, pasta dishes, etc. After frost, we'll do final clean-up in the gardens and let them go until spring.
Now, I'm working in the shop getting things ready for the holidays--stocking holiday items, making arrangements, etc. Also, working on the fall newsletter. Be on the lookout for that in mid-November. Remember, the shop is open five days a week, Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Christmas. And mark your calendars for our holiday open house, Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5.