Love Your Landscape – September 2017

Summer is winding down, but I think we would all agree there’s something special about the back-to-school season that’s filled with the promise of new beginnings. This time of year offers fall colors in bloom, and the bounty of harvesting fruits and vegetables from backyard gardens.

With the trend in consumers becoming more and more interested in where their food comes from, home gardens are increasing in popularity. It’s great to come into the kitchen with bags of salad greens, veggies and berries without having to go to the grocery store.

According to the National Gardening Association, nearly 20 million people planned to grow their own vegetables in backyard gardens, as seed companies continue to see sales growth. Some backyard growers even sell their excess vegetables at local markets, profiting from their own gardens. It can be a unique part-time cash-flow infusion for an individual or family with an abundant harvest and an entrepreneurial spirit.

As summer fades into the beginning stages of autumn, people don’t want to give up their fun in the sun, and there’s a legitimate reason for that: The waning sunlight might actually make you feel less energetic in the months to come. One of the unique features of living in Southern Oregon with an incredible climate is the ability to enjoy growing winter crops during the darker colder days of winter. Remember that there’s always something to be doing in the garden all year long.

Let’s also remember the beauty that arrives this time of year with fall-blooming perennials. One of a group of great native plants in the daisy family, helenium, offers its blooms at the end of the season. This is one tough plant that’s easy to grow. Another favorite is Russian sage, with its airy blue flowers and silvery foliage. It’s tough as nails with nice foliage, blooms and a great scent.

A quintessential autumn plant, sedum, bursts into bloom at summer’s end. This tough plant laughs-off all summer’s heat and drought to look great in your garden at the end of the season. Finally, don’t overlook fall-blooming crocuses that make another great addition to your fall perennial landscape.

Whether you’re a home vegetable or flower gardener (or both), Fall is a great time of year to love your landscape!