hello october!

The plant tent at The St. David’s Fair!

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a fall fair at one of my favorite places – St. David’s Church in Wayne, PA. And how is this garden related? Why they have an awesome plant tent of course! Garden plants and house plants. I bought my first Clivia there easily 30 years ago.

All of the plants are donated, and although it is not my church, it is the church of one of many of my friends and favorite people, so this year I donated plants as well. Ostrich ferns, giant tropical hibiscus, one baby Clivia, and loads of drying hydrangea blossoms for them to bunch and sell.

My ostrich ferns have been nothing but prolific this year so I was happy to dig more up. I think this year I gave away at least 60 ferns. They just grow and grow and grow. And if you don’t thin them out there a little bit of a thug and crowd out other plants. And it won’t hurt them at all. I will be digging them out again next year because they’re just happy in my garden. So why not share?

This week I also bought the inside jungle back inside. My banana tree did have to have a big haircut because otherwise I literally couldn’t fit through the door! It seems happy as a clam so I am hopeful it will do well again this winter. I also took the inside plants that had made up the display on my front porch and put them in pots for the winter that will live in my husband’s office. I just don’t have enough room for everything, and that way they will come back out in the spring and go back into their display pots.

Now the most exciting thing that happened related to the garden this past week is my heirloom daffodil bulbs arrived from Scotland! Yes, Scotland. It is a long and complicated process to get these bulbs from the UK to the USA. They had a long journey which included inspections in the UK, and then inspections in the USA before coming to me. They came from Croft 16 Daffodils.

The interesting thing about the antique and heirloom daffodil bulbs is they are often smaller, considerably smaller than modern bulbs. The bulbs I received from the lovely people at Croft were beautiful bulbs. I planted them all a few days ago and among the ones planted was for me the Holy Grail of daffodils, Sulphur Phoenix. That bulb is pre-1820, some places claim it is late 18th century. I also was able to get Mrs. Langtry, and many more cool old bulbs. Names like Lord Grey, Resolute, Argent, and Twink.

I seek out heirloom and older varieties of bulbs, because like old garden roses and other heirloom plants I think it’s important to keep them alive in modern gardens. And I have learned over time a lot of these heirloom plants hold up better.

Garden chore season is also here, and although I was able to trim most of my hydrangeas by donating their blooms, I still have a few more bushes that I will attend to, and I am starting to figure out where other bulbs will go and some native azaleas I picked up.

The deer are back so I have to be religious about my spraying and sprinkling of repellent. If I do not, they will eat things.

Fall however is a beautiful season in the garden. Things are winding down but there’s plenty to look at. And there is also planning to be done for the spring if you so choose.

Happy gardening!

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