Occasional essays by Christa Watters, Certified Master Gardener
Fall Reckoning for the Gardener
Some of the mums have wandered rather far afield of their points of origin.
Photo © 2017 Christa Watters
Fall is the time to tally up the results of our gardening year. We plan, we plant, we weed, prune, maintain. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Life happens, and sometimes we don’t attend to all the chores we meant to do.
This year, in my home garden, I left a lot of volunteer seedlings of various sorts, curious to see how many would thrive and live. Later, I would thin them. When later came, I decided they would make a splendid show if I let them all bloom. The Dianthus japonicus (Japanese dianthus), for one. And indeed they grew into a thick border of glossy green leaves along the brick paths near my front door. Later in the summer, when some of the nearby perennials were starting to look a bit seedy, the Dianthus were in full bloom, a feathery pink mass that attracted butterflies and looked lovely leaning out over the bricks. Now, they have seeded out and hundreds of tiny seedlings are sprouting at the edge of the bed. The parents will mostly die down completely – I’ve already pulled most of them, but not before shaking more seeds around generously. I think I want a repeat next year. Continue reading