Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happenings at the Nursery As Autumn Approaches

A butterfly nectars on Smooth Blue Aster

 It is just a little past half way through September. Just a few days until Autumn officially begins. And the last few nights have gotten cooler and the days are delightful. I have always believed September is South Jersey's best kept secret. A time when we locals can really enjoy the last days of summer. The heat, humidity, droughts, annoying insects and summer crowds are gone, we are left with nice weather we can enjoy, before we dig in for the coming winter months.

As the days get shorter, nature sets forth a final burst of color that helps to support those fall migrants making their southern journey. One can see the awesome display of yellow, purple, and white colors of numerous species of Goldenrods, Asters, Bonesets and our native fall-blooming Liatris. Various species will bloom in turn, carrying this display into October.

A collection of Fall blooming natives
Here at the nursery, there is quite a lot going on.  On the plant tables, Showy Aster, Smooth Blue Aster, White Wood Aster, New York Aster, Bog Aster, Turtlehead, Blue Mistflower, Narrow Leaf Sunflower, and Hairy Blazing Star are coming into bloom.

In the beds on my property, New England Aster and Smooth Blue Aster are just breaking out. I counted no less than twenty bumblebees this evening. They seem to like the Smooth Blue over the New England Aster this year. Pink Turtlehead and Slender Goldenrod have been blooming most of the month and the Turtlehead in particular has done very nice this year with all the rain we've had. The buds are formed on the Seaside Goldenrod which should bloom in October. I expect the Smooth Blues to really take off in the next few days and will keep a lookout for Monarchs which visit frequently.

Don't miss this beautiful display. Getting out for a ride on the back roads, you may discover an old field full of color. If not there, just the roadsides along are coming alive with the signs of Fall. It is nature's finale, and its fabulous. Enjoy!

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