Of all the transitions between seasons, this is the weirdest one to write about. Moving from autumn to winter seems to happen faster than the other transitions, and it feels odd to write about "autumn lessons" when we've had "winter" weather for a couple of weeks.
Of course there's plenty of material for this "Lessons Learned" meme, because I learn (and re-learn) every season of the year.
So here goes. Here's what I learned during autumn 2013:
• Get the camera ready for the Purple Lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis). This misty plant has a similar effect to Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)--clouds of soft fluffy color in early autumn. Plus, it blooms from August through October. I discovered a patch at the cottage this year, and the purple/pink cloud of inflorescence was magical in the afternoon light. But I didn't have a decent camera with me. My bad.
• Sow perennial seeds in late autumn. It's easier and cheaper than purchasing and planting perennial plants in the spring. This autumn, I planted seeds for Agastache foeniculum, Boltonia asteroides, Carex pennsylvanica, Conoclinium coelestinum, Mertensia virginica, and two species of Asclepias. Who knows if any of them will germinate and grow next spring, but the investment in seeds was minimal. Plus, it's kind of fun anticipating which plants will appear.
• Add some veggies to the display. Swiss Chard, Pansies, and Ornamental Kale all perform well in my autumn climate--long after the first frost and into the late winter. I'm already planning my autumn potted arrangements for next fall.
• Prepare for a quick seasonal shift in November if October is mild. This fall was brief. It almost seemed like we went from summer to winter overnight. No complaints here, because the extra warm days were nice. But I need to remind myself to be ready for the sudden blast of arctic air.
Now it's your turn: What gardening and nature lessons have you learned and relearned this season? If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, please share your spring lessons.
To join in the Lessons Learned meme, share a new or a previous post you've written regarding things you've learned. No Linkys necessary: You can simply add the link in your comment.
Please also join Donna at Gardens Eye View for the Seasonal Celebrations meme. Posts that cover both memes offer a chance to reflect on the past season and look ahead to the next at the same time. Both memes will be active until the solstice, when we'll post the wrap-ups.