Take a look at the garden

Now is a great time to take stock of your garden. What worked this year and what didn’t. Got holes in the garden that need to be fluffed up? Bad combos? I have a soft pink monarda that is right next to a baby blue Russian sage and it makes me gag just to write about it……..let alone see it. Yuk! And the autumn orange of helenium (sneezeweed) ‘Copellia’ next to the fuschia blossom of a knautia is down right ghastly. On the good side – and there are a couple- the Fuhrman’s red sage and the verbena bonariensis just totally rock! And the gigantic Lady Baltimore hardy hibiscus is a good fit with the rosa chinensis mutabilis a.k.a. Tippo Ideale.

So here is a little trick to help make adjustments in the design. Take photos of your garden now. When it is mature and the season is about over. Blow up the photos, make several copies of each so you can mark all over them. Get out the colored pens and pencils and markers and go to town working over the color combinations until you are happy with them. The folks at your local garden center/nursery can help you find just the right plant for the right spot. And lots of new perennials are still arriving at the nurseries. And if you CAN’T find what you need right now, you will have made a note of what you need to pick up next spring.

It’s also the right time of the year in Idaho for planting trees. Take advantage of the sales right now. Trees planted this time of year have almost three months to settle in. Soil temperature is the key here, and new roots develop rapidly in the fall. Don’t worry about freezing the leaves.

Caveat: this isn’t the best time to plant new roses. They DO need more time to establish roots and like the run up of temps in the spring and summer.

Now is a great time to put in another planting of salad greens: giant red mustard, arugula, lettuces, etc. You can be munching on these right up until the first really hard frost.