Autumn has a special fragrance. It’s the mold and dust and beginning decay of all the green and gold and soft and growing and dying in the air and the soil. I’m crazy about the smell. I am also allergic to dust and mold, so I have to keep from going into a leafy bower and just taking a deep breath. But being stuffed up afterwards is a small price to pay, really.
I’m really quite happy that this fall is starting early for our part of the world. It is my favorite season, and I say, “Get it on!” There is so much more that we can do in the garden with cooler days to work. I get so tired after about 2 hrs of work outside in the summer time. I can go all day long in the fall.
This year the job is to move some perennials that are too large for their present location. Sometimes this means not only digging them, but dividing them too. For example, the butterfly bush is huge, and we will try to split it by chopping at the roots.
The dutch iris have expanded a little too prolifically too. They’ll need a lot of dividing. And we can’t see over the peonies and lilacs.
Since our neighbor has taken down trees that provided us a shady area next to them, this will give us an opportunity to move some sun loving plants into this formerly shady spot to fill areas where ferns and hellebores are now struggling with the amount of sun they are getting.
We have already dug up one clump of bearded iris because they did not flower this year, having been placed too near an amur maple tree that expanded to shade the clump too much. We cleaned the clump, took out liriope that threaded itself into the iris roots and divided the rhizomes. We put out 13 new plants from it and have 9 more to find space for. We have also found a baby boxwood, rhododendron and holly that have to be moved from where they have sprung up.
We have another clump of these iris to similarly dig and divide. We have to call our daughter and ask her permission to come plant iris at her place. We have some Joe Pye weed that is similarly too shaded where it is growing and would appreciate being moved to a sunnier location. And then there are the autumn crocus and colchinum that will be arriving by mail order soon that will need to be planted and babied.
What do you have to do before winter arrives? Do you look forward to fall gardening? What do you put to bed?
DH ties up our Siberian iris like little corn stacks — it makes our place look more farm-like. I am charmed by the simplicity of the act and the final effect.