Thinking Of Spring In September

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

Fall gardens are growing full force now, which is the perfect time to dream and plan for next year’s spring and summer gardens. Spring blossoms bring a sense of renewal after winter’s cold. Now is the time to plan for them. There are spring bulbs to be planted soon along with perennials, shrubs and trees. In fact September is the perfect time for planting and dividing plants. Soil is warm to help the roots become established before the cold. Soon after, it will be too late for many plants to get in the ground and established before winter sets in.

Now is the time to dream of next year’s gardens. What plants would you love to have in your garden, and what plants would love to be in your garden? A great meditation is to sit quietly in or near the garden, asking for guidance as to what plants would help bring the most life into the garden and sustain it. Think of native plants that are the lifesavers of many birds and insects of our ecosystem. Our precious monarch butterflies need our help by planting more asclepias – butterfly weed – plants. They won’t live on if there aren’t enough of these specific plants growing in gardens and in the wild. Think of plants that feed heart, soul and bodies. Edibles are as beautiful as those plants that we only grow for show. Swiss chard brightens any garden with its rainbow colored stems. Think of the life force that sustains our world and how your garden is part of that. That life force begins with love. How will you open your heart to connect with all the life in your garden and increase the life force in your garden and beyond?

Make a list of desired plants. Find help in creating the list through your meditation, records you have kept, plant catalogs in print or online. Ask the experts at locally owned garden centers what plants they recommend for our region. Visit local public gardens to see what grows well here.

After discovering what plants will enhance your garden, take a garden inventory of your garden with photos and notes for a garden journal. Creating a garden journal can be as simple as scribbled notes and a few photos, digital records, an elaborate illustrated notebook, or anything in between. The most important thing is to find what works for you, and to do it. A record with photos shows exactly what is growing and where. A good habit is to keep a garden journal during the entire growing season. These records, whether started earlier in the year or now, will show where changes can be made. Overgrown perennials that need thinning out, thin areas that need more plants, areas that need a redo and areas that need a new garden will be apparent through photos and notes.

With the list of desired plants and changes, and an inventory of what is actually in the garden, combine the two. Most likely there will be more plants on the dream list than room for or ability to plant them all. Perhaps some of those plants can be planted next year, but at least some plants will get in the ground soon, in time for spring blossoms and a new year of gardening.

Where to Find Plants for September Planting

  • Shaw Nature Reserve has its fall native plant sale on Friday September 5th, from 4 pm to 7:30 pm in Gray Summit, MO. Many vendors of native plants will be there.
  • Local independently owned garden centers have plants and spring bulbs for fall planting.
  • Check for local spring bulb sale fund-raisers. Some schools, non-profits and other organizations have them.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and sustainable gardens. She is also a mandala artist and workshop leader. Visit her blog: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com/blog or website: www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. Contact her at 314 504-4266.