In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Succulents come in a glorious array of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures.
Checklist for Fall Flower Garden
Since August I've been gradually repotting all my succulents in pots. Retrieving them from overgrown masses and from under bushes and my nursery area, I've been enthusiastically ripping them apart, sharing them with friends, and repotting them all fresh and spanking new in various pots that I've collected and inherited over the years. Great fun matching foliage colors and textures with glazed and unglazed pots of all shapes and colors!
Here are some other fall garden activities to enjoy in our cooling weather!
Don't wait much longer to purchase spring-blooming bulbs. This is one time when cheap prices and bottom-of-the-barrel leftovers are a waste of money rather than a bargain. If you can't buy the best large-size bulbs shortly after they become available, wait until next year.
Dig summer-flowering bulbs such as tuberous begonias, caladiums, cannas, dahlias, gladioli, and tuberoses after their foliage has died back or as soon as it is killed by frost. Gently clean the soil from the corms and tubers. Don't wash them or force the tops off -- they'll shrivel and separate when they're ready. Store them in fine dry peat, sawdust, sand, or vermiculite at temperatures not lower than 60 degrees with low humidity.
Most perennials and some annuals can be transplanted or divided and replanted now. These include acanthus, agapanthus, Japanese anemone, astilbe, bergenia, bleeding hearts (dicentra), calendulas, evergreen candytuft, columbine, coralbells (heuchera), coreopsis, Michaelmas and Shasta daisies, daylilies, delphiniums, dianthus (carnation, pinks, sweet William), dusty miller, foxgloves, heliopsis, helleborus (Christmas rose, Lenten rose), hollyhocks, bearded irises, peonies, phlox, Oriental poppies, primroses, rudbeckias (gloriosa daisy, coneflower, echinacea, monarch daisy, black-eyed-Susan), statice, stock, stokesia, veronica, and yarrow.
To separate and replant perennials, use a spade or sharp knife to separate the large clumps, or gently pull apart individual plants after loosening the clump from its surrounding soil. Discard the old, unproductive sections. Trim the foliage of young growth to four to six inches. Dig in compost, replant, and water in well.
Trim roses after their last flush of blooms, but hold off on severe pruning until they're fully dormant, in January. Feed them with a no-nitrogen, high-phosphorus, high-potassium fertilizer to help them harden off for the winter.
For fall color, some plants to consider are barberry, cotoneaster, nandina, Oregon grape (mahonia), pyracantha, raphiolepis, and viburnum. Trees include Chinese pistache, sapium, persimmon, Bradford and Aristocrat pear, gingko, and Raywood ash.
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