It’s Planting Season: Take 2

It’s Planting Season: Take 2

I write this email on Tuesdays and this morning, I was a couple of hours late to get up to my office as I had to help unload truck after truck of fresh, fall plants. 

Three shipments in 2 hours and now, there are no parking spaces left. They are all filled up with plants and pumpkins! Don’t worry, when we open on Wednesday all will be sorted out. But we are SERIOUS about the slogan Fall is for Planting. Never had we had a more perfect combination of temperatures, rainfall, and cool air. The soil is still very warm and when you plant in September, the roots just take off. Plants establish quickly and your watering diminishes, as opposed to spring when your watering increases as the weather warms up. 

It is hard to come to work when the bottom of my veggie garden looks like this. White Aster umbellatus, purple New England asters, ironweed, Joe Pye weed, diamond grass, Solidago, Rudbeckias… this border is buzzing with life.
Vernonia is an absolute magnet for butterflies. We have 3 varieties and all of them are amazing fall bloomers.

At Natureworks, we do fall quite differently from everyone else. Being total perennial plant lovers, we put a major focus on hardy perennials that will fill your garden with color and fill your heart with joy for many falls to come. And not only are these plants pretty, they are useful too. Pollinators adore them. Migrating butterflies depend on them. You can cut them and make fresh flower arrangements for yourself and your friends. 

Butterflies and bees love ‘Bolero’ perennial mums
It’s time to put out the welcome mat for migrating monarchs. Both Amber and I had “clusters” of monarch butterflies in our yards yesterday. That is a large group (I stopped counting at 15) who fly in and take advantage of all of the 

floral resources we have worked so hard to supply them on their journey south. I also have had tons of painted lady butterflies for a week along with buckeyes, a meadow fritillary, and others. And the bees. It’s just insane how alive all of my plants are. I was trying to sit and read on the deck yesterday afternoon but I just couldn’t keep my head down, there was so much going on. Our goal is to help you have the same kind of Happy Habitat in YOUR yard, no matter what size it is. We still have lots of caterpillars and chrysalises in our monarch exhibit at the shop. We are bringing them to the Durham Fair for 4 days at the end of September. Until then, stop in and bring your friends. 

Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’ is called the smooth aster. It is just about to burst into bloom in our gardens. It is fine in partial shade as well as sun. It’s one of our faves for garden designs.
One of the most important plants to build a healthy fall habitat are asters. We 

ADORE asters. They are very reliable perennials. They come in all sizes and colors. Although we do carry some that bloom in late summer, most are fall flowering and, with a bit of planning, will carry your garden until nearly Thanksgiving. This week we got in so many unusual varieties: ‘Lady in Black’ had burgundy foliage and thousands of tiny white flowers with a raspberry center. ‘Snow Flurry’ is a ground cover aster that blooms in October with gazillions of tiny white flowers. Shown at the top of this email is a pink New York aster. We have these in so many colors. They are dwarf plants, growing 12-15″ tall, ideal to fill in the front of the border. 

Mammoth mums are arriving this week. This is ‘Yellow Quill’, a very long bloomer and one of the most popular varieties
Another way that Natureworks is very different from other garden centers at this time of year is that we are absolutely obsessed with perennial mums. If you only grow annual mums (we call them grocery store mums) you don’t know what you are missing. By the end of the week we should have close to 16 different varieties! Read the article below to find out why we love them and learn about some of our favorites. 
We are your fall organic lawn care headquarters. Let us teach you how to ditch the poisons and go organic!
September is also the very best time to renovate your organic lawn. Rake it, 

STOP using toxic poisons! There is a safe solution…

add compost and seed, cover it with shredded straw, and water regularly. It is so much better to do it now as there are way less weed seeds as opposed to spring when they are prolific. Now is also the time to use organic grub control products. The beetles are now back underground in grub form and munching on lawn roots. We carry Grub Gone, a really effective product that is very easy to apply. 

It’s time to repot your houseplants!
Another thing on the agenda for this time of year is to start thinking about which houseplants you are going to bring inside for the winter. This is a gradual process for me as we won’t get a killing frost until mid-October at the 

The spider plant and the geranium in this pot will each be potted up separately into their own clay pots and brought indoors for the winter. 

earliest. I summer all of my plants outside. Some are in individual decorative pots, others are planted into larger porch pots and mixed with annuals. I am also starting to REPOT many of my houseplants to prepare them for the transition to indoors. We have wonderful, all organic potting soil and tons of clay and ceramic pots to help you make your winter windowsills very beautiful. With the days getting shorter (the actual first day of fall, the autumn equinox will be at 3:50 AM on Monday, Sept. 23rd), it is so important to do things that will help us adjust to the lower light. Houseplants are the answer! And potting up hardy bulbs for forcing is also a great way to assure January and February are happy months. They can then be added to the garden in the spring. 


Fall also means it’s time to start working with dried flowers that have been harvested and hanging all summer long. We have such a great selection this 

year, as we partnered with Once Upon a Farm in Bethany to grow them for us. This Saturday Leslie is offering our first Designing with Dried Flowers workshop. There are spots available. Click Here and register with a friend or two. How fun! Amber has also been hard at work putting together the cutest dried arrangements. They would make such a perfect gift and can sit on a desk or bedside table and require absolutely NO maintenance!

And let’s not forget that fall is for planting BULBS as well as plants! And we have the best bulbs ever… We work as a team to select the bulbs we carry. Many go into our client’s gardens. In the retail store, we spend a lot of time helping our customers figure out which bulbs to choose, how to plant them, and how to weave them into existing garden double, even triple your color. Read the second article below to learn about a few of MY favorites at the moment. 


Take advantage of what looks like a stunning weather week and weekend ahead and get in here! Whether you are fallscaping, pumpkinscaping, or just finally getting back to the garden after a busy summer, we will INSPIRE you in ways you have never imagined. 
My friends, EVERY YARD MATTERS. No matter how small, no matter what you do, it all adds up. Thank you to everyone who has planted milkweed and Asclepias plants over the past few years. It’s working! This weekend you will see climate action marches all over the country. Do your part to help. Plants take in carbon dioxide and give us back oxygen. How cool is that?  
 Happy Fall and see you very soon…  

P.S. If you missed the Native Plants for Migrating Monarchs workshop last Sunday, you are in luck! Eliza will offer a condensed version on Facebook Live. Tune in this Thursday at 4 pm.