It’s a GREAT Week for Planting!!!

It’s a GREAT Week for Planting!!!

I am going to tell you something that you may not believe: October is the second busiest planting month of the year! We LOVE planting right now as the soil is very warm, the air is cool, there is regular rainfall, and it’s not humid. 

 
Take a look behind the scenes. Our holding area is FULL with our planting jobs scheduled during October.

Plus, you can clearly see what your garden needs and every single plant you put in the ground in October will thrill you in the spring. All four of our crews are so busy with projects that we are astounded. If you look behind the fence to our holding area, you will see job after job lined up. Our red barn is filling up with bags and bags of spring blooming bulbs that our crews have pulled for their clients. I have a challenge for you. I call it    THE 5 PLANT CHALLENGE.   Read below and get inspired. This is the week to get into gear!

 
Montauk daisies are one of the highlights of October. Last year I planted 3 new ones in quart sized pots. This fall I am SO happy I did!
Over my weekend off, I decided it was time to get serious about where the plants that have been sitting next to my driveway are going to go. I dug a bunch of holes and moved a few things around. I widened a border by the road and repotted my houseplants to get them ready to bring in. The frost scare on Friday night really got me going. But now there doesn’t seem to be a chance of frost for quite a while, so everything is back to normal. My broccoli is budding up, my zinnia and dahlias are still producing, my fall green beans are being harvested like crazy. 
As I was widening a bed, I kept finding young grubs under the sod. I am going to bring home a bag of Grub Gone G and spread it in that area. Because it’s going to rain off and on all week, it’s ideal timing. Grubs are in the ground now, growing and munching away on plant roots. Grub Gone G is a completely safe and effective product to control them organically. 
This is a ground cover native aster that is on the list of plants I am adding to my newly weeded bed. This photo was taken in our shade garden by the lower parking lot where we have been trialing lots of very cool new natives. 
I do everything one small step at a time. People always ask me how I get so much done. I have the gift of being able to compartmentalize even the smallest project. Yesterday I widened my daylily border. Last weekend I dug out the lemon balm in the garden behind the garage to open it up for more interesting plants. Today I moved a few self-sown asters around that had just finished blooming before I forgot how out of place they really were. Tiny projects, slow and steady, with an eye on the goal, until the snow flies. 
Embrace the beauty of the colorful foliage of all of your trees, shrubs, and perennials.
It’s hard to get used to seeing plants turning brown or yellow when you have been tending your garden all summer long. At first you try to stem the tide, but 

eventually you have to open yourself up to the natural progression of nature. Perhaps the magnificent, colorful foliage of the trees and shrubs and even the perennials is our reward. But the seed pods and structures of the plants at this time of year can be very architectural. That is one reason why I arrange with dried flowers, pods, and stems. It is a way of memorializing the garden of the growing season that will soon fade away. My design guru Piet Oudolf said it best: “If you make a four season garden you have to learn to accept the decay and see the beauty of it. Its about the texture and shape, the seed heads and skeletons…” 

Callicarpa is called beautyberry. It is SO amazing right now. It takes sun or partial shade and is quite deer resistant.
Speaking of a four season garden, don’t forget to add lots of berry bushes to your landscape. In the spring, most of these look like a great big nothing- bare twigs, perhaps green leaves. But the glory of these plants is now and for the next 3-6 months. We’re talking winterberries (Ilex verticillata or deciduous holly), beautyberry (Callicarpa), Viburnum ‘Cardinal Candy’, and so much more. I grow lots of colorful, twiggy dogwoods- both red and coral. I also grow 

Ilex verticillata is our native winterberry. Every December I harvest armloads of these for our festive porch pots. Grow your own!

‘Flame’ willow with bright orange stems. You may remember these from the beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas arrangements that we make in November and December. In the late fall and winter, you appreciate them and all the beautiful evergreens, but in the spring, all you can think about is flowers, flowers, flowers. Over the years, I have been slowly but steadily adding berry bushes, shrubs with colorful stems, and a wide array of evergreens to my yard. It isn’t until January and February that I give my self that satisfied pat on the back. It takes a bit of forethought and planning, but so does having a fabulous fall garden. You have to realize what you want and GO FOR IT. 

 

Dried flowers are now a big focus inside the shop at Natureworks. When I first opened at our “new location” in Northford back in 1990, the walls were literally covered with dried wreaths. It is one of my favorite things to do: grow, harvest, dry, and decorate with natural dried materials in the fall. This year, we partnered with Once Upon a Farm in Bethany and they grew tons of dried flowers for us. Soon I will be teaching a hands-on class on make a dried wreath (see events below). I also harvest my own grape vines 

and make wreaths and garlands. We sell these organically grown dried flowers by the bunch and gladly take custom orders for wreaths, wall baskets, or arrangements. Be sure to look up when you come inside the store and you will see what I am talking about. 

 
We are SO excited to announce that we now have an official Little Free Library at Natureworks! I wasn’t sure what was going on late this summer when Natureworker Jess started building 

Jess built our Little Free Library from scratch!
Great job Jess!!!

this in the back. It turns out this is a world wide movement and you can register your Little Free Library and get on the map and get an official plaque! We have started adding books that many Natureworkers have donated (including me). It’s called take a book, bring a book. If you have a very special book or two to share for adults or children, bring it in and help us fill our Little Library. And when you come in for a visit this week, duck under the stairs in our kids area and check it out. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The garlic is here! The garlic is here! Our certified organic, hardneck seed garlic has finally arrived. Plant your garlic in late fall. Diane recommends that you amend the soil with Coast of Maine Castine Blend and 

organic fertilizer at planting time. The folks that fed their garlic at planting time, and again in spring have been coming in and remarking how well their crop did. Garlic is treated like a fall bulb. Every clove becomes a head of garlic. You plant the cloves and they emerge as green shoots in the spring. You feed and mulch and water them and they send up scapes (flower shoots) in June. Cut those off and cook with them, they are a delicacy. Then you harvest the garlic bulbs in July. We have many different varieties. They vary in flavor and intensity. Our organic seed garlic sells out fast. Get in here soon for the best selection! 

This week I was reading an article in The English Garden magazine. I grabbed my journal and wrote down a quote: “As the days start to grow shorter, time for enjoyment outdoors is limited and precious.”. That resonated with me, as I am sure it does with you. I find my self wandering outside as soaking up the late afternoon sunshine every day that I can. I walk around my yard, enjoying all of the bees buzzing and the beautiful flowers and colors of the leaves. The garden nurtures me and I want to take advantage of every moment I can to not only work in it, but also to BE in it.  

You may have seen the above picture before. It is the sunset view from my deck a few years ago. That is the golden light that fills our October days. What a wonderful time of year. Soak it up, my friends. Keep on planting. You will be SO proud of yourself next year when the little bit of extra effort that you put forth now pays off. Trust me on that one…

 
I hope to see you this week…
 

 

 
Signature_Nancy
 
 
 
 
P.S.
In addition to all of the beautiful, healthy plants on our retail benches, we do have a 50% off sale area too. The selection changes daily. Most of these plants are past bloom but have good root systems that will take off once planted in the ground and be well established at this time next year. The selection changes and grows larger day by day!  
 
P.P.S. 
One more thing–this is the ideal weather to reseed any bare or thin spots in your lawn. We have really great grass seed! Come in for information on how to overseed areas in your lawn. The temperatures and the moisture this week are perfect! “The best defense against weeds in your lawn is a bag of grass seed!”