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September Planting

Now is the perfect time to walk around your yard and find spaces that need more color or interest at this time of the year.

Fall-blooming Japanese Anemone.

September is an excellent month to plant perennials, unlike August when—for the gardener’s sake as well as for the plants’ sakes—it’s usually best not to plant anything. (Of course, I did plant a few perennials last month, and they all look dead now, which is proof that my advice is better than my example!) Plants like to settle in during cooler, less stressful weather. They need, however, at least 6 to 8 weeks before a hard freeze for their roots to get established. So now is the perfect time to walk around your yard and check out places that have no color or interest at this time of the year. Then take a walk around your neighborhood and/or a slow drive further afield to see what is looking good in gardens that appeal to you. When I was starting my own garden, this strategy worked well for me. Take a photo when you see plants that you like and then go to a nursery or the farmer’s market and see if you can buy some. If you find some in bloom, better still, as you can set them down in their pots in the site you have chosen and check out how they look before you dig the holes. The older I get the more small plants I buy, as I am not quite as eager to dig large holes as I used to be. But I still always get that rush of adrenaline when I have a space in my garden and find just the perfect plant or two or three…

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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