Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Start Planning Now for Spring Beauty

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Start Planning Now for Spring Beauty

Article excerpt

"Colorful Spring Gardens Begin in the Fall." This is the headline of a story in the Sugar Creek Gardens Newsletter. This local nursery emphasizes that fall is an excellent time to plant not only the bulbs for spring, which we traditionally think of as fall planting, but also perennials for bloom in all seasons.

"If you put out a $6 plant in the fall," they promise, "you'll have a $12 plant in the spring."

Among the fall-blooming perennials they list are aster, physostegia, hibiscus, heliopsis, clematis paniculata and Autumn Joy sedum. All these can be planted now for present enjoyment and seasons of reblooming.

Sedum Autumn Joy is aptly named, as I've seen in my garden and many others. Last week I visited Ruth Kamphoefner, a very special dedicated gardener who works in her own garden and also in neighboring gardens on her street in the Lafayette Square neighborhood, as well as tending the gardens in Lafayette Park and at Old Trinity Lutheran Church nearby.

Like many native South St. Louisans, I have ties to Old Trinity. It was my mother's childhood church. My grandmother was buried from there, and my late husband's parents were married there. It's been like a second church home to us, so it's a source of satisfaction to see the well-tended garden. I stopped by last week to see Ruth at her regular chores of weeding and watering. One trick she's used that home gardeners might try is incorporation of non-garden flowers in the border, particularly bromeliads. A pink blooming one is there now.

Ruth is an advocate of using ordinary, self seeding, weed-like flowers in all her gardens, for reasons of ease and economy, so it pleased her that the border attracting the most attention this fall is ordinary euphorbia or "Snow-on-the-mountain" - presently a shower of white flowers. Artemisia is another she uses effectively, cutting it back to dry for winter bouquets. …

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