gladly celebrate the end of a summer that began with obscured skies,
and then deteriorated into hot and muggy by the time the festivals
closed. And so we expectantly return to the season that is not only
considered the "second spring," but is also one of the most ideal
times to complete plantings that summertime activities left undone.
Inspired by cooler temperatures and beautiful days, we can approach
gardening with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.
One of the pleasures of fall is watching nurseries fill their
shelves with bulbs. Those in the know, are already refrigerating
tulips and hyacinths for later planting. Local nurseries have set out
displays of paper white narcissus, and it's not too early to plant
anemone, iris, and ranunculus.
Along with bulbs, there are several possibilities for fall
planting. Over the past few years, dipladenia amoena has become a
real landscape pleaser.
It is a compact shrub with lovely pink flowers, twining stems and
green, glossy leaves. A consistent bloomer much of the year,
dipladenia merits your consideration in flowering beds, containers,
and hanging baskets.
Plant in rich soil and provide full sun in Laguna.
Although sometimes difficult to locate once spring has passed, one
of the most rewarding of the climbing roses, is the nonstop white
blooms of Lace Cascade (Iceberg's daughter). Very fragrant and
excellent as a cut flower, this rose blooms freely throughout the
fall. It's dark green foliage is particularly resistant to disease.
Look for the salmon pink blooms of America and single red Altissimo
as worthy alternatives.
Star clusters (Pentas lanceolata) is flowering now and will
continue into the winter in many different colors, particularly
white, pink and red.
Remove dead flowers for a long blooming season.
Annual color is happening, pansy, salvia and chrysanthemum have
arrived at your favorite nursery just in time for autumn. There is
still plenty of time to plant all of the other fall flowers as well.
Cosmos offers colorful displays of mauve, pink and white flowers.
Planted in full sun, they provide wonderful massed color for garden
beds, along drives or in containers.
Although it's never wise to try to predict the weather, I believe
that the upcoming weeks will be a great time to prepare your garden
not only for yourself, but also for the holidays. The coolness of
fall's weather will lure us back into the autumnal garden. Our
well-earned reward will be opulence of bloom, richness of color, and
a welcomed escape from the heat of the almost forgotten summer. See
you next time.
* STEVE KAWARATANI is the owner of Landscapes by Laguna Nursery,
1278 Glenneyre, in Laguna Beach. He is married to local artist,
Catharine Cooper, and has two cats. He can be reached at (949)
497-2438, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.