A GARDENER’ DIARY: The blooms are hanging on

Gardening columnist Jocelyne Sewell says the days may be getting shorter, but many parts of her garden continue to produce flowers and fruit

  • Nov. 4, 2015 8:00 p.m.

With the hour changed over last weekend, it sure makes for short afternoons. I must run on solar power because by late afternoon, my energy has been drained. I understand the bears’ life cycle and I feel like hibernating myself.

I still have things to do in the garden but all my potted geraniums are finally in the house. I didn’t see any bugs on them but they all got treated with insecticidal soap just to make sure that I would not bring in unwanted pests. I am raking the leaves and bagging them until I can shred them for mulch or compost. I am hoping for fair weather for a bit longer so I can put my garden to bed completely. Somehow the dill has reseeded itself and is all over the beds. It will die later but in the meantime, I still can use it. The peas are still blooming and producing and I had some raspberries the other day.

On the first of each month, I take a count of blooming plants in the garden. Among the herbs, I still have a few flowers on my basil, lemon balm, oregano, borage and going strong, nepitella (flavour cross between oregano and mint). My large rosemary is in bloom and will come in the house when the nights get to minus-four C. Some of the geraniums left in the ground are still blooming. The snapdragons of all shades are loving this cool weather and the sweet alyssums are just like a carpet on the ground.

On the bank, the red valerians are mixing with a sea of California poppies. The rudbeckias are doing great and some sunflowers still have buds on them and lots of seed heads left. The birds are cleaning them as fast as they can.

Here are the rest of them: calendula, campanula bluebell, canna lily, clematis, coreopsis, perennial purple cornflower, corydalis, germander, heuchera, Kenilworth ivy, lineria, Maltese cross, Michaelmas daisy, mirabilis, morning glory, petunia, white phlox, Shirley poppies, roses, sedum Autumn Joy, sweet scented tobacco, vinca and viola. The best show is still the dahlias.

I plan to bring the fig trees into the house but for now they are in the greenhouse and dormant. My brugmansia (Angel Trumpet) still has 14 open flowers and about another 15 to open if the weather permits. This is a tropical plant and it is still outside but protected on the deck. Some of the leaves are getting yellow but I will remove them all when I bring it inside. They are very prone to white flies and this way I don’t have to fight it all winter.

For more information: 250-558-4556 plantlady1@shaw.ca

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan and member of Okanagan Gardens & Roses Club. Her column appears every other Wednesday.