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Celebrate fall gardening

How to make the most of your garden this fall!
  • You can easily ramp up your garden and keep it looking stunning with just a few simple steps, according to Judy Kloese.
    Bob Stefko

    Autumn begins

    As summer winds down and autumn begins, the look of your yard can start to flag and look a little sad. You can easily ramp up your garden and keep it looking stunning with just a few simple steps, according to Judy Kloese.

    She is an avid gardener who lives on an acreage in Batavia, Illinois, about 50 miles west of Chicago. Her property was “just a farm field” when she first moved there, she says.

    Keeping her garden looking great all four seasons each year is something she strives for, and going into autumn, while challenging, can be so rewarding with just a little effort.

    Here are five strategies to follow.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Fall plants to find at your garden center include kale, ornamental cabbages, Swiss chard, grasses, African daisies, mums, marigolds, and asters to add a punch of color.
    Bob Stefko

    Keep it fresh

    Pull out tired-looking annuals and cut back perennials that have had their finest hour.

    Replace annuals with cool-weather-loving plants or put pots of them in the yard to hide bare or unattractive spots.

    Fall plants to find at your garden center include kale, ornamental cabbages, Swiss chard, grasses, African daisies, mums, marigolds, and asters to add a punch of color.

     
    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Also, keep on deadheading those late-flowering plants in your garden, such as cleome, geraniums, marigolds, and zinnia to keep the blooms coming.
    Bob Stefko

    Late-flowering plants

    Also, keep on deadheading those late-flowering plants in your garden, such as cleome, geraniums, marigolds, and zinnia to keep the blooms coming.

    Many of these will actually perk up during a light frost or peppering of snow and will keep your yard looking great until serious winter weather sets in.

     

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • When planting your garden, don’t forget to include interesting foliage and texture, beyond just pretty flowers, advises Judy.
    Bob Stefko

    Think foliage

    When planting your garden, don’t forget to include interesting foliage and texture, beyond just pretty flowers, advises Judy. One of her favorite plants is brunnera.

    Close on its heels are hosta, ferns, grasses, and coral bells in their variety of leaf colors. Judy, who works part time at a garden center, says, “Grasses just shine at this time of year.”

     

     
    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Many shrubs are also a great choice for the border, because a lot of them will be forming attractive berries at this time of year.
    Bob Stefko

    Shrubs

    Many shrubs are also a great choice for the border, because a lot of them will be forming attractive berries at this time of year.

    Almost all the viburnums fit this category, but other choices are beautyberry, red twig dogwood, cedars, sumacs, and winterberry.

     
    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Be a garden stylist and use the tricks that magazines use to make a yard look photo ready.
    Bob Stefko

    Stage your yard

    Be a garden stylist and use the tricks that magazines use to make a yard look photo ready.

    Put pillows around in fall colors of orange, red, and yellow. Collect pumpkins and squash, and pile them together into an interesting arrangement by your door, next to a bench, in containers, or right in a flowerbed.

    Judy says gourds and squash are so easy to grow if you have the room in your garden.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Switch out summer flowers on a wreath to bunches of pods, seed heads, and fall blooms.
    Bob Stefko

    Fall wreath

    Switch out summer flowers on a wreath to bunches of pods, seed heads, and fall blooms.

    Gather colorful branches like those of Japanese rose (Kerria) or red twig and yellow twig dogwoods and put them in tall containers on tables or next to benches.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Every year Judy plants a tree. Cool weather is the best time to plant them, after trees become dormant.
    Bob Stefko

    Plant a small tree

    Every year Judy plants a tree. Cool weather is the best time to plant them, after trees become dormant.

    When autumn comes along, seize the opportunity that will pay off for you in later years.

    For a faster reward, plant a smaller ornamental tree whose quick growth will give you some impact within just a few years, such as serviceberry, witch hazels, dogwood, and crab trees.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Even taller trees will give you color as they mature.
    Bob Stefko

    Plant a tall tree

    Even taller trees will give you color as they mature.

    Plant ash, hickory, beech, walnuts, and oaks for a variety of fall color in your yard. Don’t forget the evergreens, especially those with yellowish green or blue colors.

    Remember that newly planted trees should be watered thoroughly once a week.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Plan an activity that will bring friends or family over to enjoy the season.
    Bob Stefko

    Enjoy family and friends

    Plan an activity that will bring friends or family over to enjoy the season.

    Judy placed a stone-rimmed fire pit in the center of a gravel circle. Two-foot logs turned on end provide seating.

    Her family stops by to make s'mores out of chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  •  Cider in mugs with cinnamon sticks, bowls of popcorn and apples, colorful throws and napkins, and more pumpkins scattered about liven up the event.
    Bob Stefko

    Cider, pumpkins and more

     Cider in mugs with cinnamon sticks, bowls of popcorn and apples, colorful throws and napkins, and more pumpkins scattered about liven up the event.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014
  • Keep your yard inviting and beautiful right up until cold weather arrives.
    Bob Stefko

    Year-round adventure

    Keep your yard inviting and beautiful right up until cold weather arrives.

    It will help make your yard more of a year-round adventure.

    Date Published: September 4, 2014
    Date Updated: September 4, 2014

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