By Brent Gray
The Yalobusha County Forestry meeting will be held on October 16 beginning at 6 p.m. Please call the county office to reserve your seating.
Easy Landscape Design
As we move into the cooler days of fall, it is a good time to stroll through the garden and take notes of what worked and what didn’t. Make those design plans now for that great garden next spring. It is your garden. Do what looks pleasing and functional to you. There is a tremendous amount of information on landscape design in books, on the internet—but, ultimately you are the judge of what works for you. Use the resources only to guide you in your decisions.
For beginners, I would suggest the following easy principles to get you started and give you some confidence.
1. Put plants with opposite texture, shape, and form next to each other. Contrasting plants tend to “show off’ each other. One classic example, is combining the upright, spiky forms of ornamentals grasses with a plant like ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum, or combing Siberian iris with peonies.
2. Remember massing of the same plant is more effective than a single species here, another species there, unless you are using one plant as a specimen or focal point. More on focal points later. Masses or groups consisting of odd numbers are more interesting than even numbers. Group like colors of the same species together for a bolder effect than mixing a lot of different colors together—that is not to say you can’t mix up colors if that is what you prefer! If you like that look, which is more the ‘cottage garden’ look try to edge the planting with the same plant or hardscape to tie it all together and give some continuity. For example, a low edging of boxwood, monkey grass, or even a low fence would work great.
3. Pay attention to which plants retain good foliage throughout the season, and use them. This will build an interesting framework of foliage, so you won’t notice so much the plants that look ratty and scraggly after they bloom—like peonies and bearded iris.
4. Plan for a focal point each month. Make it fun! Your focal points can be striking in color or outrageous in shape and form. Focal points should be in places of high visibility, catch and hold the eye. Examples would be by the front door, at the entrance to the driveway. Next to a favorite bench or sitting area, or right outside a favorite window, so it can be viewed from inside the house. An example of an easy focal point for October would be a large pumpkin by the front door that has had the top removed and the insides hollowing out. Fill with soil, plant with pansies or other blooming small plants.
It is the middle of October and time to plant strawberries and onions. Strawberry plants must be planted to the same depth as they were dug. Planting with the crown below the soil surface will prevent new leaves from emerging. Planting with the crown above the soil surface will not allow new roots to emerge in soil and survive. Create the hole in the soil deep enough the roots do not curve when the plant is placed in the hole.
Onion seed should be planted 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Plant seeds about two inches apart and about 4 inches between the rows in a raised bed. Thin the young plants to a 4×4 inch pattern in December..
Don’t forget the Fall Flower and Garden Fest at Truck Crops Station on Oct. 17 and 18.