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From the Impatient Gardener


Photo by Da Da Ace

Fall is here and here are few things you might want to consider this year that I am working on too. We all know that we do not need a “dirt” doctor to tell us if our turf is ailing. There are signs that the grass is unhappy such as thin areas and weeds taking over. So the very first thing I want to do is fertilize. But there are so many choices and which one is the best? Well, I trooped down to my local County Extension office (we all have one in our area) and picked up the boxes and paperwork for doing a soil test so I will KNOW exactly what to use. I did this a few years ago and it was very enlightening. The report details the nutrients in my landscape and where I need to repair it and what to use. And voila! No more guess work and the bonus is saving time and money by using the wrong things.

The next thing I want to do now is find some fall favorites to put in the landscape so as garden expert P. Allen Smith advises I have “perennials you add to your garden now that will bolster autumn’s tapestry”. What are some favorites he suggests? Here are just a few: Goldenrod “Fireworks”, Aster “Alma Potchke”, Salvia vanhoutti (oh, one of my favorites!) “Paul”, Japanese Anemone, Hardy Begonia, Arkansas Amsonia, Autumn Fern (and this take little to no care!), Autumn crocus, Lycoris and Nerine.  Personally living in the South I love Spider lilies this time of year as well.

Another thing I do year after year is buy mums and just sit them in a  pot or right inside a pumpkin I have carved out (if you rub the carved out interior with Vaseline will aid in keeping it longer). Then you can either replant later in your garden or send them to the compost pile!

Fall is my favorite season. I love putting the garden to bed for the winter and the changing season, but I still want some interest in the garden. They are things that are important to me so I am smart about my gardening. What is Smart Gardening? It is “When you practice the techniques of Smart Gardening, you will conserve water and energy, save time and money, improve your yard and garden, recycle yard waste and kitchen scraps, reduce waste going to our landfills, and help preserve the environment. These simple practices do not take much time, and help you develop healthy and beautiful lawns and gardens to enjoy.”  http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/sg/gen_info.cfm

Time is one thing we all do not have enough of but, our landscape is important because it represents our home. Ease of time and smart gardening are the best ways to garden for all of us! How does your garden grow this year? I am busy separating and dividing Spider lilies, Day lilies, Irises and Roses. What is great is to be able to share all these with other gardeners as well! Soon my garden will nestle in for the winter and I am looking forward to seeing my plants come alive in the spring.

Ah, Fall!

My favorite season! It has the colors, the coziness, wool sweaters, crackling fires, aromatic baking…

With the expected hustle and bustle of the next couple of months it is important to “leaf” plenty of time for fun.  With the day-to-day scramble to stay ahead it is more necessary than ever to find moments in the small things. So grab a nice “cuppa” tea, some leaves, glue, paper, scissors and an iron. Get creative!! As boomers we have learned there are few to impress but ourselves. Well, we care to possibly impress our grandchildren.

A couple of activities that are enjoyable for old and young alike include collecting fall leaves and making leaf rubbings on construction paper, or using an iron to press your leaves between two pieces of wax paper.

Another great thing to do in the fall is November is “National Novel Writing Month”. You can log on to www.nanowrimo.org to submit a 175 page novel within the month of November. This is a good way to take the time out to be creative.  And for us that love to fill our homes with the smell of baking, here is my Pumpkin Roll recipe.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin
1 t. lemon juice
¾ c. flour
1 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
½ t. nutmeg
1 c. chopped nuts
powdered sugar as needed

  • Beat eggs on high for 5 min. then gradually beat in sugar. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. Add rest of ingredients. Spread in greased and floured cookie sheet top with nuts. Bake @375F for 15 min. Turn onto towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll on towel, cool & unmold.

Frost with:

1 c. powdered sugar
6 oz. Cream cheese
4 T. butter
½ t. vanilla

Blend until smooth. Spread on cake, roll and chill

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Fall is here from the Impatient Gardener

Fall has finally come and the trees are turning, so where is the best place to see beautiful color this time of year? Since the trees need cold nights to change here are few places you might consider.

The New England area always comes to mind when considering the fall foliage. Possibly Massachusetts, New Hamphire or Vermont?

I live in Alabama and we’ve got some fantastic views at the Cheaha State Park. October – November is peak season for this park which is surrounded by the Talladega National Forest.  The drive is breathtaking any time of year but in the fall …

So slip on that sweater, grab some warm drinks and head out to enjoy the trees. Except for gas to get there it is virtually a free escape from all the cares of the day.

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