Photo: Helen H. Richardson of The Denver Post
Autumn is upon us, with summer a memory and Old Man Winter not far away. Now is a perfect time to spruce up the garden for fall and beyond. We’ll likely have plenty of days to enjoy outdoor living, and a few adjustments will make your garden, patio or porch more appealing and more comfortable.
In my article for The Denver Post, professional designers share their expert tips. And there’s a beautiful slide show that might spark your creativity, too.
Seed saving and propagation stretches any gardening budget.
As August winds down, many gardens are revved up. Now is an ideal time to collect some seeds for next season and take some cuttings to propagate over winter. Saving seeds and propagating plants will stretch your garden budget and give you a green-thumb fix during the dead of winter.
The Denver Post published my article about propagating plants, and the piece includes lots of tips from the woman known as “the Propagation Queen” at Denver Botanic Gardens. You may read the article here
Easy seeds to save include hollyhocks, cosmos, marigolds, and many other annuals and bi-annuals. You might want to take cuttings from zonal geraniums, angel wing begonias, succulents, or herbs such as sage and rosemary. All you need is a sunny window or some grow lights, and you’ll have an indoor garden.
The best part is when spring comes and you have plants ready to go outdoors without purchasing them.
Dahlias, petunias, hibiscus and many other plants produce juicy orange blossoms.
When your garden needs a fresh pop of color, consider adding orange flowers.
Orange and green are complimentary colors on the color wheel, meaning that they contrast with one another perfectly. Since most gardens include green foliage, orange flowers stand out beautifully.
You have your pick of plenty of orange flowering possibilities, from annuals and perennials to vines and vegetables. And orange ranges from a pure pumpkin orange to an almost fluorescent orange to a more muted terra cotta, so depending on your garden, there’s a hue for everyone. Think orange trumpet vines, orange pansies and petunias or orange poppies.
My article published in The Denver Post
includes tips for using orange flowers in your garden or containers. Whatever the season, orange flowers will juice up your outdoor spaces. You may read the article here
Pansies are one of the best plants to grow whether a seasoned gardener or new to the garden. Beautiful, easy-to-grow and even edible, pansies thrive both in early spring, in autumn and in many areas into winter. I reported on pansies for The Denver Post
and also learned about a new mix between pansies and their smaller cousins: known as panolas, these plants will substitute for impatiens–formerly preferred for shade, but currently under siege by a plant disease.
Cottage foods are a steadily growing trend. Are you an avid gardener with a surplus yield? Would you like to make a little profit from your homegrown produce? Or are you a baker who’d be sweet on selling your breads and cookies and other sugarplums — kind of the way you did at your childhood lemonade stands?
If you live in Denver, join the growing cottage foods industry. I reported on this win-win ordinance for The Denver Post. Here’s the link
If you don’t live in Denver, check to see whether your town allows you to set up a stand to sell your garden produce, baked goods and other products. The cottage food trend is growing because people recognize this old-fashioned mercantile as a sensible wave for our future.
If your green thumb itches for a spring gardening project, try your hand at these stunning spring container gardens. With a bit of planning and this expert advice, you can easily create the most stunning displays of spring favorites: tulips and daffodills, pansies and hyacinths. What’s even better is that with simple care these container will last, looking lovely week after week. These plants will withstand the last of Old Man Winter if that’s as issue for you, as it is here in Denver, where we can get blizzards in March.
I reported this article for The Denver Post with the help of Laurie Jekel, owner of The Last Detail landscape design service in Denver for more than 30 years. Laurie designs the container gardens at Cherry Hills Country Club.