Perennials Blog Posts
Fall is on our doorstep which in butterfly life means that the great Monarch Migration is underway and gardeners are anxiously waiting to see if they planted the right flowers to nurture these butterflies on their trip to and from Mexico. Just such a plant is Butterfly Weed.
Instead of giving you an extensive to-do list for your September garden, I’d like to concentrate on one task, culling your perennials, whether self-propagating by seed or root.
It’s over 100 degrees in the afternoon and the plants are drooping their greenery as if to curl up and protect themselves from the brutal late summer heat.
Perennials are the roller coaster of the amusement park, the thrillers and architectural giants of the cottage style garden. They are plants that live for three years or longer. Most go dormant, returning better than before each season. Perennials operate like loyalty customer schemes where the longer they are planted, the more they reward you with spectacular profits year after year.
On those perfect, just right May days, we’re content to putter in the garden, because the actual work has already been done. The fruits of your labor are vying for attention as they show off their splendor! There are only a few maintenance chores and selective plantings to take care of this month.
One of my sisters sent me a quote about the patience gardeners must have from a book she is reading. I chuckled in amusement because I’m definitely not patient this time of year. I can’t wait to plant all those seeds I ordered from exotic catalogues. I meticulously examine my garden each morning waiting to see which bulbs have multiplied or which perennials didn’t make it.
When I haven’t been able to go home since I can’t ever move back to Lebanon, I’ve dug in at each location on my life’s journey and planted an herb garden, recreating the tastes and smells of home.As in the picture above, I’m sitting in front of the garden I dug up behind my apartment in college. Herbs gift me with a sense of permanence because most herbs are perennial, returning every year with self-seeding or self- rooting. I can count on my herbs’ consistent presence. An herb harvest is plentiful, yielding its bounty season after season. Herbs are easy to process whether used fresh or dried for later. And herbs grow like weeds because that’s basically what they are!
What does that mean? For me, it means being a safe person. An apt metaphor for this state of being is my backyard insect hotel. Yes! It’s a real thing!