According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average first freeze date in the fall in the lower 48 states has been getting later; therefore, the length of the growing season is about 10 days longer than the average for the last 120 years. So we gardeners have a longer fall season to prolong the flowering of our annuals and perennials.
Dahlias and roses are blooming longer, and if we’re conscientious about cutting back our potted plants such as petunias and angelonias and geraniums, they keep on blooming too.
Annual Eurphorbias such as ‘Diamond Frost’ keep on giving even as the weather cools significantly, and their flowers can be used as filler in bouquets with late-blooming zinnias and marigolds.
We also have our herbs for longer than we used to, and we can continue cooking with them and drying them. And we can also enjoy full crops of spinach and lettuce that will last longer for fresh salads.
We have more time to enjoy our shrubs and also to plant more and see them settle in. It seems that our longer falls are giving us more time to enjoy our plantings and bask in all the colors in our gardens.