Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Veggies and Four O' Clocks

Four O'Clocks and Everblooming Roses do well together for a great final show~

Although many inexperienced gardeners insist that August is the final hurrah for the garden, September is actually the beginning of an entire growing season. Mother Nature, who is all knowing, sends to the observant gardener many signs of when to plant, and this week one can see the tiny spring-like emergence of self-sown seedlings. With a slight drop in evening temperatures as well, we are given strong indications that now is the time to plant the Fall vegetable garden. If planted now, the carrots will settle in and have a head start early next spring. The spinach will pop up and survive nicely, allowing for something green through the hardest freeze. The turnips, beets, and lettuce varieties, all of which detest the heat, will do well planted in a Fall setting.

The spectacular show of the steadfast Four O'clock is reaching a zenith about now. For many years disregarded and considered a weed, this fabulous plant is often overlooked as a source of faithful color and scent in the garden. It will grow from seed and over time create a tuberous bulb making it a perennial that grows to the size of a small shrub. If you plant several colors, they will cross pollinate and create a myriad of colors that are outstanding.

The standard yellow will cross with white and become a pastel kaleidoscope of swirling color. The deep red and fuchsia will cross creating a red petal with a fuchsia center. The white and pinks will transform into a lovely peppermint twirl. The combinations are endless.

Scented evening bloomers are nice when it finally becomes pleasant to stroll through the garden... which is after the sun has set. The Four O'clock is named for the time of day it opens and its sweet scent wafts through the garden each evening until the morning Sun puts it to sleep for the day. It is truly a remarkable joy to add to the garden.

*Message me and I'll send seeds!