Keep on gardening in the fall
October 27, 2010
By Sebastian Moraga
Clouds are looming, skies are graying, thick sweaters are back in vogue and so is hot cocoa. What’s an outdoorsy person to do?
Well, reach for that spade, of course.
Gardening in the fall differs from gardening during the warmer months and we’re not just talking wardrobe.
We’re talking about how you take care of your plants and flowers, how you water them, how you protect them from frost.
Experts recommend mulching around the base of plants to keep the roots from freezing.
“You really need to protect the plant,” said Kitty Holland, nursery manager at North Bend’s Ace Hardware and Garden.
If the plant is in a pot, mulching is just as important, she added.
Watering is a different story.
“You should not water at all. Only water if there’s a spell of cold, dry weather,” said Matt Dowd, Ace Hardware and Garden’s lawn and garden manager.
Diana SanVenero is a Snoqualmie resident whose front and back yards are a tribute to her thoroughly green thumbs. Sedums, grasses and hydrangeas are a few of her leafy pals. The cool weather brings a different sort of beauty to her garden, she said.
“The sedums turn a beautiful rust color in the fall,” she said. “The nasturtium flower, they bloom all the way to the first frost.”
Ever the gardener, she digs raking leaves.
“I love to rake leaves. It’s just the joy of being outside,” she said.
She even digs digging.
“Digging in the dirt is kind of therapeutic for me,” she said.
A gardener for the past 20 years, she didn’t take the hobby up until she was 30.
Not everything has been joy. Over the years, she has had her share of weather-induced heartbreaks.
“I had a bush of rosemary and it died,” she said. “I had it for 20 years, close to the house, until we got that snow last year.”
Rosemary demises aside, SanVenero still finds plenty to love about gardening. When talking about spices, she spontaneously burst in to a bit of song, reciting the famous Simon and Garfunkel line from the song “Scarborough Fair.”
And why not? Over the years, the plants and flowers of her garden have brought joy to her senses and her heart. And let’s not forget her tummy.
“I make this sage butter that I put on ravioli,” she said. “It’s absolutely delicious.”
Sebastian Moraga, 392-6434, ext. 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org.