At this time of year I find myself re-thinking my gardens. This has been a difficult growing summer in my area with too much rain and cold nights. A few crops either failed or did not do as well as I expected.
July and August in my zone 5 growing climate seem to be the perfect time to re-evaluate the perennial gardens and add more color with annuals. I fill in any empty areas with new fresh annual plants and trim out any dead perennial growth.
Garden art also perks up the gardens. At this time of the year many garden centers and stores will put their garden fountains, benches and other seasonal items on sale. Add a new focal point to your planting and you will be amazed how the blues will disappear.
If you have time make your own garden totems, stepping stones, bird houses or gazing balls. You could even turn this into a family project.
This is also a good time to buy new perennial plants. You can add plants that bloom in the summer through fall and add color the the entire season to you plantings. Many flower bloom in the early spring and summer but die back at this time of year.
By purchasing new perennial plants now you can select plants that are in bloom and purchase the plants by color. Several dependable perennial plants for color later in the season are Asters, Bee balm, Autumn Sedum and Mums.
I also consider what annual plants I will save by over wintering and what vines I will bring in in the fall. By planning now I can make sure I have room in the greenhouse or sun room. I can also make sure I have enough pots and planters.
This is also the perfect time to fertilize your gardens and add new topsoil or mulch. I know that I will be needing a lot of topsoil so I have my compost piles working overtime to make sure I have a good supply of healthy soil for my plants in the fall.
Spring summer and fall all have their bright spots and lulls and being prepared for each makes gardening more fun and relaxing.