Late fall planting for hardy plants and spring bulbs

The fall season is rushing by with the tree leaves transitioning from deep green fluttering food factories full of green chlorophyll to the yellow, orange and red colors of fall as the chlorophyll disappears for another season. Just as the colors change we get the gusting winds of the last week to strip many of these gorgeous leaves from their mounting docks on the tree limbs and cause them to float and fall by the millions to become the compost and humus of the future for our yards and soils. Nature is a continuous pattern of these stories of life beginning, sprouting, growing, getter older, changing colors and becoming the compost for the crops of tomorrow. We humans live that story ourselves but are afforded the opportunity to help orchestrate our interaction with some of nature’s trees, shrubs, bulbs, plants, fruits and vegetables in our own yards and communities. We can surround ourselves with the colors, scents and shapes that bring us joy and inspiration or stir memories and dreams as they feed our stomachs and souls.

We can plant now for short term excitement and immediate gratification with the tough and inspirational pansies, violas, flowering kale and cabbage that will make a show through most or all of the winter even as the rest of the plant world succumbs to the cold freezing days and nights ahead. For a little delayed gratification and a bit more willingness to think and plan ahead, now is the time to plant spring flowering bulbs like tulips, hyacinths, crocus, Dutch iris and my favorite, the daffodils to enjoy magnificent, uplifting and bright flowers early next spring as the plant world launches a new round in the annual sprout to compost cycle. For those with real hope for the future and willing to think long term there is no better gift for you to enjoy or to share with your children, grandchildren and the community than by planting trees and shrubs now. Trees can dramatically alter a yard and community by creating shade and shelter, housing birds and wildlife, creating an atmosphere and special outdoor spaces while providing cooling and enriching our world with oxygen.

No matter what is happening in your life, and it seems like everyone’s life is turbulent and emotional as we confront economic, political and election issues that seem beyond our control, now is a good time to enjoy the simple pleasures in your yard and garden. Plant some pansies, spring bulbs and trees as you act to get some control and certainty of the future and we strive to enjoy our trip through life and find our special purpose before we too become compost.

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