I enjoy watching my landscape change with the months of the year – bulbs in the spring, flowering shrubs and trees in the early summer, perennials throughout the summer and the vegetable garden in all its glory as the season winds down.
But I will be honest, September is a tough month. My landscape is a little “bleh,” many of the perennials have gone brown, and even though it may be risky to say it, I’m tired of tomatoes (please don’t curse me!).
But I feel the need to rally, as September can be one of the best times to plant. Perennials, woody ornamentals, bulbs, trees and even cold-season vegetable crops seem to flourish with the cooler days and nights and the more consistent rainfall. And while many of us still do the majority of our planting in June – spirits and energy are high, days are getting warmer and longer and the plants have a full season to establish themselves – right now may just be the most enjoyable time to plant.
As the hair (or lack thereof) on top of my head indicates, I am getting older. As this occurs, the ability to complain more may come with it. But to be honest, I don’t like June. It’s hot and dry. Now I know, I have already proclaimed that I also do not like the month of April – strictly from a gardening sense (the same goes for all you June-babies and June brides) – but I have come to the conclusion that if I can get the vast majority of my planting in during May and September, then I am much more pleasant to be around.
So thank goodness for deals at nurseries and the Durango Botanical Society as they both make my fall that much more exciting. I get enthusiastic to rally (spend money) and plant away! In an attempt to reduce the amount of plant material that they will need to over-winter, our local nurseries always seem to have the deals to lure me in.
But what I truly look forward to is the botanical society’s annual fall events. Now in its third year of having what can only be considered an “autumnal bash,” the society has created a weekend chock-full of delights: presentations from a nationally recognized and incredibly entertaining horticulturist Scott Skogerboe; a photo workshop with renowned photographer Kit Frost; a presentation from a perhaps equally recognized and equally funny bulb expert Mike Smedley; and, of course, plants. And bulbs.
On the morning of Sept. 21, all of you will have the opportunity to purchase bulbs, some of which will still bloom this fall and make you stop saying “bleh” when you look at your yard, and partake in what can only be described as a “mad dash of running (and walking or strolling or even crawling) plant enthusiasts” who have the hope of calling a rare plant their own.
Durango Botanical Society’s own Jeff Wagner has scoured the state, finding plants that are rare and hard to come by. And all these plants, possibly more than 1,000, will be available during our first Plant Stampede. By registering for the stampede, you could get a new section of your garden – 20 plus plants in all – for $75.
All of the information for these events and more, including registration, plant lists, locations and costs, is available on www.durangobotanicalsociety.com.
And you even get to race me at the stampede. Just know that I am going straight for the …
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.