I really should be out in the yard doing Something. I have native plants that have volunteered subdivisions that need to be relocated. Weeds to weed, or at least deadhead before they go to seed *buddelia especially. And always there is English Ivy to pull.
There is one Autumn gardening staple you won’t find here: Mums. I know people love the colors - and that they-as much as pumpkins - define Fall entrances. To me, they resemble LEGO plants; with a just a little bit more life in them. I would not banish them altogether, but will simply say that my native asters and fleabanes are still supporting lots of pollinators. Big fuzzy bees lately. Are your Mums attracting pollinators ?
But there Is transplanting, to do. Then I looked at this :http://www.farmersalmanac.com/calendar/gardening/, I have already placed my native Sweet Virgin’s Bower in it’s new home. The next two days are not auspicious for just about anything garden-like. I try to plant by the moon, though sometimes I do not agree with what the Farmer’s say. Still it helps me to make some decisions, when there are always tasks at hand.
So ,I may confine myself to weeding a bit. I do have weeds, as I am not a lawn person, Fall, with the Farmer’s Almanac encouragement, is a good time to reseed your lawn. But here, I wish it were all gone. In fact, I edge beds that abut lawn with the stones my soil throws up. I figure, they can be easily rolled out a bit, as a garden expands. And I have done this. They are a pain to mow around, but that is kind of the point! With no young children, or sports, no croquet, our lawn might as well be a desert for wildlife.
I could do a better job of lawn duty, if there were fewer varmints that bite and sting. That is one thing that makes tihis season exceptional for outside work. It is cool enough and the ratio of biting things to me is down. It is still too soon to rake...
One thing definitely AWOL is rain. There is some forcast: AcuWeather has a chance of rain today. TV News promised a little today also. I don’t believe them. They also let us know our rain levels are down 3+ inches for the year. So despite the cloudy skies, I watered. Especially newer plants that are just taking root in the gardens.
It seems to me that even our deciduous (dropping leaf) trees are sorely missing rain. They just have a dusty look to them. Even those who’s leaves are changing.
So, with this Farmer’s Almanac bestowed leisure, take a little time to tidy your share of Mother Nature and see what is really thirsty.
Water plants who’s soil is dry to the touch. Certain weeds, like the pink-headed smartweed, pulls out easier in this dry climate. And they are easy to spot as most organic lawns have died back due to the water shortage. The smartweeds I am pulling are these: http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/pastpest/articles/200106k.html I think. I will have to double check. There is a native version: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=POPE2 but I doubt that is what I have. I may wish, but I doubt.
Other things missing in my yard this October are migrating birds. They either took different skyways or I missed them. I freshen the water daily in eight basins: birdbaths, bowls, even a re-purposed flying saucer. Mostly I am getting those birds I saw this Summer. I have one rather late robin fledgling, some bluejays, woodpeckers and grackles. For an in-depth (and drink coffee first) study of bird migrations, go here: http://birdcast.info/ .
I have witnessed hawk migration north in the Spring, but not South at this time of year. I do see hawks fly-over. I think I even startled one in the back yesterday. But missing, are Crows. I sure hope that they come back. I would hate to think that West Nile Virus thinned them out again. I miss them. And wonder why they are not around. Have they moved to a better zipcode ? Are they near you? Do tell !
So I am AWOL now. I love to hear what readers have blooming in their gardens. Look, do your blooms have visitors ? If so, what ? What is your yard telling you about your neighborhood ? Use the comments page to share your observations.
Topics I am working on for future posts are: Lawns, more on Weeds - I have a nemesis... and pointers on how you can invite more wildlife to co-exist in your yard.