The Late Summer Garden
Sep 1st, 2011 | By Tete Dennis | Category: Gardening, Home & Food
September is the month signaling the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Here, where I live in east central Illinois, it is also the beginning of harvest. Everything revolves around it in the small communities that dot our farmland, whether or not you have a direct link to the crops. The combines and wagons slow traffic on the roads, and the congestion around the elevators as farmers bring their crop to town effects us all, but this is also a glorious month of transition in the garden.
Tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins and squash are in their prime and busy gardeners are canning and freezing their harvest. Farmer’s markets pop up here and there to sell their goods and the tables are loaded with the tastiest foods of the year.
With all that is going on, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the small things happening in your garden. As I walk around my own space, I notice again the unassuming Sedum. Sedum is one of my favorite fall plants. It is also one of the easiest to grow. It comes up early in the spring and grows all summer. It looks wonderful in the beds at every stage, but come fall it explodes in pink blooms which will later turn to a rust color that will grace your landscape through October and November.
Sedum attracts butterflies. Hundreds of them. If you take time to just sit and watch as they come to feed on the nectar, it is the most amazing sight. My sedum came from someone else’s garden a few years ago. From just that one small start, I have it in several beds now. It’s as easy as breaking off a piece and sticking it in the ground. This plant is so hardy. If you don’t already have it in your beds, get some. You will not be disappointed.
September is also the month to start planting your spring bulbs and to move things around. While things are still fresh in your mind, this is a really good time to plan your spring beds and envision how things will play out next year. As the sap falls and the leaves begin to turn color, it’s the best time to prune trees and bushes. Clean out the clutter and enjoy the cooler nights. The first frost is on the horizon and it will not be long before bon fires and hay rides slip into place.
Always take a moment to slowly walk through your gardens and enjoy the beauty of the moment. The peace it offers calms your soul and prayer is easier done when you have your hands in the dirt. Be ever thankful for all the Father provides and absorb the beauty of His creations.