Color, Color EVERYWHERE!

Color, Color EVERYWHERE!

Is your garden filled with color? If not, it COULD be! My garden is a pollinator paradise and is so filled with color that I have a hard time tearing myself away to go 

Aster cordifolius ‘Avondale’ attracts so many pollinators.

inside for dinner. I walk out in the morning to go to work but make a detour to do a quick stroll first. This past week I have talked to many friends and read many articles about the decline of bees, insects, and consequently, birds who rely on insects to feed their young. You wouldn’t know it in my yard. It’s actually BUZZING with life right now. My asters are absolutely covered with pollinators. Now my perennial mums are all starting to open up and they are providing nectar as well. The dahlias are amazing. I left up the zinnias (even though the leaves look yucky) as they keep attracting migrating monarchs. Everything is feeding something.

 The flowers on my arugula that has gone to seed always have bees on them. I took a photo of a bee on a dandelion on the front lawn, and then, to my amazement, my husband mentioned how many bees he saw on the dandelions! My October garden is also feeding the birds with the seed pods I am leaving up just for them. See my article below about what to cut and what not to cut right now. It may make you think a little differently about tidying up too much.

Perennial ageratum and perennial mums look so pretty this week, and we have a nice selection of both here on the plant benches!

I am so proud of the way Natureworks looks this week. We work so hard to stock a wide array of really interesting, colorful plants for your October garden. And it’s not only about flowers. It’s also fascinating to watch the leaves turn on the perennials and shrubs as well. 

The leaves on boneset are turning such a pretty shade of pink. 

The other aspect of the garden that is starting to really take center stage are the berries. I still have leaves on my orange and red winterberries and on my purple Callicarpa, but the berries are huge and abundant. I am suddenly noticing the twigs on my red and orange twiggy dogwoods. Even the evergreen foliage in my perennial gardens is starting to get my attention- Hellebores, Bergenias, burgundy Ajugas… As one aspect of the garden begins to fade, other aspects begin to shine. I have also been eyeing my evergreen trees and shrubs, realizing that in a month we will begin to harvest boughs for filling our pots and windowboxes for the NEXT season. (Remember we stay open through Dec. 23rd!)

Don’t resist! Pick five plants and plant them.
That’s what I did on Saturday. It all started with the “bee magnet” Aster ‘Avondale’. then I added the Heuchera ‘Blondie’ with the amazing flowers that I had been admiring all week. See the red tags? Those plants were half price. Don’t resist…keep planting!

Last week I challenged you to “pick five plants” and plant them. Did you do it? I came into work on Saturday morning and all I could think about was the fact that I was finally going to get the giant pile of plants that I had been stockpiling for months into the ground on Sunday and Monday when I was off. “I can’t bring another plant home until I do that” I said to myself. Then I picked up the Aster ‘Avondale’ and, well, I started a pile. Oh well. So I kept on going. I ended up with exactly five more plants. All the while, I kept saying to myself “DON’T RESIST!” That is because planting NOW really makes next year amazing. Lucky for me, both of my days off were sunny and gorgeous. I did get most of the plants in the ground and I completed the renovation project I started last week. 

My newly renovated bed. I had to remove a tree that died and that got me to rethink this garden. I divided, rearranged, added some new plants, and labeled everything with permanent metal labels. The urn is sitting on the tree stump and will be filled with flowers next spring. 

As the plants begin to lose their leaves and get cut down, spaces become visible between the crowns of the plants. THAT is where the bulbs go! I asked Diane which bulbs she was in love with this year. She took the following pictures of two categories that she thinks EVERYONE should try…species tulips (they are true perennials) and March blooming miniature irises. 

You MUST try species tulips. They are unlike anything you have ever grown. Everyone will ask about them and they will come up year after year… we have 10 types!


These are Diane’s picks of two categories of bulbs you need to try!
These miniature iris bulbs come up in the middle of March, just as Natureworks opens for the season. Everyone wants them in March, but they are planted this fall-be sure to try some!


Diane also asked me to mention that it is the LAST CALL for planting grass seed this fall. Seed and FEED now. Seed CAN be put down later-this is called “dormant seeding” but this is the time of year it can still germinate and get growing now. 
Look closely and you can see the grass seed growing beautifully up through the shredded straw in our newly seeded strip along the road. We carry 3 and 10lb bags of a tall fescue grass seed blend, perfect for CT conditions.

My husband and I had our front lawn overseeded. Here at Natureworks, we seeded a long strip by the road and it is growing in nicely. If you seed now, you will be all set next spring and, if you are trying to control lawn weeds, you can then add corn gluten next spring. When you seed in fall, you get very few weeds competing with the grass. In the spring, it’s the opposite. Weeds grow fast in spring and make establishing grass seed much more difficult. Plus, think of the regular rainfall we are having- so much less watering to be done! Seed and feed the lawn now.

Tune in to Facebook this Thursday and learn how to Design with Bulbs. I did a really fun workshop a few weeks ago and I have decided to try and condense that information into a 15 minute video. It will really inspire you to use bulbs to double your color in your garden for next year. You may be interested to know that we now pre-record our videos (due to sound issues this works best), put them up on our You Tube and Instagram TV channels, and THEN put them up on Facebook at 4 pm on Thursdays. A lot of folks have commented that they like this better because the video quality is better on You Tube and not everyone is on facebook. 
We have so much going on right now. Make a Dried Wreath with Nancy is this Saturday. Playing with Pumpkins is Saturday, October 26th. See below for information on how to register. 
This Saturday morning, I am teaching a fun, hands-on workshop:
Make a Dried Wreath with Nancy. I LOVE working with dried flowers- planting them, growing them, harvesting them, drying them, and then decorating with them. This morning I arrived with a big basket filled with flowers that I had dried in my back garage. We have been hanging flowers in the shop all summer long. This is a craft that helps you transition from summer to fall. Make a wreath for yourself and then you will have the skill to make them as gifts. Handmade. Locally grown. Those are the best gifts…
Don’t forget to pick up your organic hardneck seed garlic this weekend. Eliza packed the tent last Sunday in her garlic growing workshop, and luckily she ordered a ton of garlic bulbs so we have plenty left! When you plant garlic, be sure to feed the soil as well in order to get the biggest bulbs next summer.
You will notice many changes to the shop when you visit. All kinds of new gift items have arrived- cards, ornaments, pretty pots for your houseplants… We have restocked our microgreen seeds and have set up a display showing just how easy they are to grow in a very small space. Microgreens and baby greens are packed with nutrition. They can be planted and harvested all winter long. 
Grow microgreens and baby greens- they are nutritious, delicious, and so easy! We can teach you how. We have seed starting soil, trays, humidity domes and seeds!
Be sure to make some time for a visit to Natureworks this week. I hope to see you very soon…

New cards are here! Many new styles!