Now that school has started and summer is ending, we can get back to our daily routines.  Many of us have spent time traveling to visit family and friends, or just went to see what’s over the horizon.  Travel is a good thing.  In The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness...” I hope your summer was an enjoyable one. 

Back to gardening.  Make a list of plants that survived the hot days of summer, in your garden and your neighbors’.  Use it next spring as a source of things to plant, especially those that require less water.  About 40 percent of household water is used to maintain landscapes, and this is one way we can do our part to conserve water. 

It has been sometime since the spring rains have stopped and the aquifer is dropping again.  Try to stay aware of water use restrictions.  They will probably change soon. 

Perennials, shrubs, and trees add a permanent background to gardens.  Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to spend much time outdoors, take the time to add them to your garden. October and November are the best months for adding these plants to the garden.  Next month’s article will include suggestions for our area.
In the meantime, take a stroll through Villa Finale, the National Trust museum and garden, at 401 King William St. for ideas.  The grounds are open to the public at no cost anytime the house is open. 

October is also the time to put out wildflower seeds for spring blooming.  The easiest to grow are bluebonnets and larkspurs.  Seeds for both can be found at most good local nurseries.  Seeds can be put in flowerbeds where annuals are grown because they will normally be bloomed out by the time annuals are planted in late spring.  Larkspurs have a variety of pastel colors and grow to about two to three feet tall, so plant their seeds in the rear of the planting area.  As the seeds sprout be sure to water them regularly if it doesn’t rain. 

Garden Note:  If you seek a mind at rest, a heart that will not harden; go find a gate that opens wide upon a lovely garden.  (Author Unknown)