Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Late Bloomers Sweeten Summer's End

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Late Bloomers Sweeten Summer's End

Article excerpt

September was always my favorite month when I was a young schoolgirl. After a long, and usually boring, summer it was so great to get back to classes and see friends. But ever since I became a gardener, fall has held less charm.

It's more of an ending than a beginning, or maybe it has to do with being in the September song phase of life when "the days dwindle down to a precious few, September, November." Gives you a little shiver, doesn't it?

It's reassuring to see plenty of flowers still in bloom. Tower Grove Park, the scene of the Friends of Tower Grove Palm House auction party Saturday night, had beds and borders of blossoms, providing a backdrop for a lavish and successful occasion chaired by Anne Stupp and Sue Oertli. The next day my friend Marion of Edwardsville who had stayed over after the party went with me to the Gardeners of America flower show at the Missouri Botanical Garden, which also offered reassurance that gardens in our area can keep flowering even after a summer that's been generally disappointing. The show was smaller than usual, perhaps because gardeners do have less to show this year, but the major societies - rose, African violet and dahlia - had beautiful displays. The roses in particular aroused a wistful wondering, "How in the world do they do it?" Absolutely perfect buds and partly open flowers with foliage unblemished by insects or blackspot. At the African violet table, which was equally impressive, we talked with Gary and Pat Dunlap of Hillsboro, who are, Gary Dunlap told me, the biggest violet producers in Missouri. We picked up a catalog and an invitation to bring our garden club to visit his greenhouses, which are open to small groups throughout the year. The secret of violet growing, he said, is in a few simple steps, among them wick watering. I have a feeling I'd better start cleaning that corner of the basement where the light cart is hidden, as that tentative mid-winter garden club date may lead to another try at violets. Don Delmez was chairman of this year's fall flower show, and his wife, Sue, had several top entries including a lovely arrangement of lisianthus, heliotrope and other blue and purple flowers. …

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