By Cynthia Brian
“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy”
Henry Ward Beecher
We have definitely experienced ample sunshine this season and as summer simmers into its final month, we still have ample time to enjoy the warmth and tranquility of outdoor entertaining. September is often the hottest month of the year. Make sure that you are paying attention to the water needs of your trees. Because of the drought, you may lose some plants, but mature trees may be irreplaceable in your lifetime. Obey the EBMUD rules, water deeply twice a week, and your landscape will survive until the winter rains arrive. An El Nino is being predicted for 2016. If your ground is severely dry and compacted, you may suffer flooding as the water will not be able to penetrate the soil.
Nothing says “California” better than joining friends for a barbecue or roasting s’mores around a fire pit. (Be fire wise-Lamorinda is on high fire alert this year.) With vegetable gardens at their peak, fresh corn, squash, peppers, and melons brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs are delicious cooked over the grill.
As many of our annuals and perennials begin to wither, it’s a great idea to gather bouquets to dry for the winter. Many plants dry naturally and others need to be hung. Before tying in bunches, remove the foliage and hang in a dry, cool place away from bright light. Garage beams make great drying racks.
Be alert for the pear, apple, and grape harvests happening around the area. Become a farmer for a day. Volunteer for picking, pressing, and stomping.
PRESS apples for the delicious fresh juice.
VISIT The National Heirloom Exposition, the “world’s pure food fair”, September 8-10th at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Education about heirloom growing, sustainability, market farming, and risks of genetically modified foods will be the focus. Enjoy heritage poultry and livestock shows, giant pumpkin and vegetable contests, foot stomping music, and tractors. http://www.theheirloomexpo.com.
BUY a deep soaker hose to give thirsty trees a good drink. If you see tree roots rising to the surface and leaves wilting or falling, get some H2O to your trees.
DEAD HEAD roses and control powdery mildew with a spray consisting of 2 tsp. cooking oil and 2 tsp. baking soda mixed in a gallon of water.
CHECK out Cate’s Garden premium bypass pruning shears and easy action rathchet pruning shears made from SK5 high carbon steel blades. These great garden tools have a lifetime warranty. http://www.catesgarden.com/vip
LOWER yard maintenance with ground covers such as sedum, liriope, succulents, creeping thyme, baby tears, and vinca major or minor.
PROTECT your tender plants, roses, and citrus from the hungry deer. They are especially destructive now as their food sources dwindle. There are few deer proof plants, although my deer don’t touch oleander, digitalis, bearded iris, naked ladies, heuchera, rosemary, or Russian sage.
DESTROY any star thistle plants that may come up in your landscape. These very prickly weeds are difficult to get rid of once established. Seeds blow in from the hills. The cows and deer don’t eat them.
DIVIDE iris, lilies, and naked ladies. Replant in other barren areas or share with a friend.
PROVIDE a shady area for your pets to play and relax. Make it interesting and a cool place for you to unwind.
DRY herbs and flowers. Garlic, leeks, artichoke blossoms, Bird of Paradise, hydrangeas, sunflowers, bachelor buttons, sage, lavender, and protea can be hung upside down from rafters in the garage.
STARE up at the clouds at sunset for a multihued moving performance. Do it with your kids or grandkids.
IMPROVE your soil with compost and mulch now. Compacted clay soil will experience severe run-off when winter rains arrive.
ATTEND the Pear and Wine Festival on September 26th at Moraga Commons. Visit the Be the Star You Are!® booth to receive a FREE brand new book as part of the literacy outreach project, “Read, Lead, Succeed!” Info http://starstyleradio.net/Events/Entries/2015/9/26_Pear_%26_Wine_Festival_2015.html
SELECT the perfect September bouquet at your local farmer’s market as your garden displays wane.
SIT by a waterfall to enjoy the trickling falls and the sounds of silence.
SOW seeds of kale peas, kohlrabi, turnips, and cabbage in preparation of a winter harvest.
I’m on my way to speak at the National Garden Symposium where I am looking forward to meeting other garden writers and media professionals who share my passion for nature. My October column will be blooming with the best ideas I glean from around the country.
Have fun in the sun and delight in the joy of our September trees, flowers, fruit, and herbs.
Happy Gardening, Happy Growing!
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at http://www.StarStyleRadio.net
I am available as a speaker, designer, and consultant.
- Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, coach, and host of the radio show, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasting live every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT on the Voice America Network.. She also is the creator and producer of Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501c3 charity.