Fall Planting

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So I may have stumbled on something to make fall a bit more hopeful.  One of the things that always makes me a little sad in the fall is watching the annuals die off.  You know they have a limited lifespan when you plant them but they give so much color while they are here.  As the summer drags into fall and they start to give up the ghost, it is an early indicator that we are moving from the time of warmth and color to cold and black/white/grey.

But fall can also be a good time for putting in new perennials.  This is the first weekend of September and we’ve got several more good weeks here before a hard freeze and enough time for them to get settled into their new spots before winter.  Also, fall is usually cooler and with a bit more rain so there isn’t the stress of a hot, dry summer.  And, while perennials do die back, they come back the next year.

We went to a nursery yesterday thinking that they would have the best selection and then we saw the half off shelves.  The perennials that likely have been in their pots since spring and are just a few short weeks away from being turned into compost or whatever it is they do with left over plants.  Kind of looked like the island of misfit toys as several of them were a little scraggly and overgrown.

My wife start talking about plant rescue which is a common theme for us.  I’m not sure she takes it as literally as I do though.  Its that INFP in me again that makes me feel sorry for those plants that weren’t selected early in the year – like the last kids picked for dodge ball.  When you are looking in the half off shelves, you don’t get the best selection but there are a few that look like diamonds in the rough.  Kind of felt bad that we couldn’t save them all but we did get a few and put them in various places around the house.

Figured that was going to be all the planting we were going to do but, today, we stopped into our little local hardware store because she needed a few things.  I decided to take a look in the garden area and there were many of the sad looking perennials in the bargain bin.  I had other ideas for the day and hadn’t counted on planting but some of these seemed to need me and my wife added to it with more talk about plant rescue.

I think the weather really helped as well.  We got there mid morning and there was a nice warm breeze blowing in from the south.  It felt very much like one of the first truly warm days in spring when you can sense the cold air being moved out of the picture to be replaced by the warmth of summer.  I know we are in summer but when you live with four seasons, you’ve got a built in memory bank and it is very easy for a day in one season to feel strongly like another time.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Either way, it felt like a spring day when we’d be planting anyway and there were all these sorry looking perennials that really needed a place to go.

I can’t even be all the broken up if they don’t make it through the winter.  I mean at least I gave them an opportunity which is more than they would have received otherwise.

Well now we have 12-15 plants (don’t have an exact count) that I can watch for the rest of the year and then think about what they are going to look like come next year.  I think it was a productive use of our time.


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