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Fall is for planting in the South. Perennials and shrubs do better when they get settled in before our summer heat, so find a good plant sale and go.
Here are a few of my favorite sales and the plants I bought this weekend:
5 perennials for 10 dollars at Campbell Road Nursery on Tryon Road in Cary. I came home with some splendid Carex, Erysimum Bowles Mauve, Mexican Petunia, Veronica Georgia Blue plus some dollar annuals and 50 cent perennial herbs. Some of my best plants have come from the retail side of this well-respected wholesale nursery. They are great growers.
Some of my most unusual plants come from Plant Delights Nursery in Wake County. Tony Avent’s plants are pricey but many are very rare and all are splendid. Even if you don’t take your wallet, the display gardens are free and worth the trip. I came home with a sweet almond tree verbena (Aloysia virgata)and a red Mexican Bamboo (Polygonum cuspidatum ”Crimson Beauty)–plus a maidenhair fern that is supposed to take the heat. Rare indeed.
Finally, everyone should go buy some greens by the end of the weekend. Even if you live in a third floor apartment, you can grow collards, kale, lettuce, chard and cabbage and they will be so much better that what you buy. Grow transplants in beds and pots. Toss leaves in your soups and salads until next spring. I have arugula, romaine and spinach. I’m shopping for collards and cabbage.
What about you? Share your fall planting lists and favorite sales. Maybe I’ll see you there.
Lots of shovel action going on in my Apex neighborhood these days–and I’ve done my share of spring planting. But some of the best things in my garden right now are the hardy annuals I planted last fall.
Like these snapdragon–Bought in October at my favorite local plant source, Campbell road nursery, these transplants became very full and stocky over the winter. They are at least three times the size of the ones I forgot about, left in the cold frame, and didn’t plant til early March.
Larkspur is another terrific annual to plant in fall. I sowed these seeds in October, and I can’t wait for the tall spiky blue blooms that will be coming soon. It’s one of my favorite flowers and one of the best investments a Southern gardener can make.
So flip you calendar ahead to September and October and make a note in bold sharpie: Buy and plant hardy annuals. Next spring, you’ll be so glad you did.
PS. Don’t forget the kitchen garden. We’ve been eating our greens and leeks for about 6 weeks now. All were set out as transplants last fall and are so much better than what you get in the store. My purple cabbage is delicious!