What to do this 7 days As summer time winds down, we allow the backyard wind down, much too, as crops start to put together for wintertime dormancy. Halt fertilizing perennials and roses. But if you neaten up the perennial backyard, it can nevertheless glimpse impressive in September. I minimize again the yellowing and tattered foliage of plants that have bloomed currently these types of as daylilies and iris to make home for all those that have but to bloom, which includes mums and asters. Deadhead annuals and harvest veggies religiously to preserve them manufacturing. Tumble is an essential period for butterflies and other pollinators, so I mature a great deal of fall-flowering perennials these as Canadian burnet, autumn monkshood, autumn anemone, Joe-Pye weed, late phlox, roses, New England asters, and goldenrod. I never plant goldenrod it just pops up. It feeds pollinators and does not lead to hay fever, which is as a substitute induced by the fewer showy ragweed that blooms at the exact time. Only soon after goldenrod finishes blooming do I lower and bag the seedheads so it doesn’t distribute far too a great deal. I do not slice down milkweed, mainly because if monarch butterflies laid eggs on it, it could be hosting their caterpillars.


Q. My problem is about what to plant in its place of privet for privacy hedges on Cape Cod. I dislike the incessant audio of hedge clippers. I really do not like their smell, possibly! I want indigenous plants that are not invasive.

R.W.S., Chatham

A. Planting a privacy hedge that has to be sheared continually is like escalating a vertical garden another person has to mow, developing heaps of air and sounds pollution, furthermore price. If you are on the lookout to prune only when a yr or significantly less, R. Wayne Mezitt of Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Hingham, and Chelmsford suggests columnar kinds of rose of Sharon (hibiscus syriacus), a challenging, deciduous summer bloomer with hollyhock-design and style bouquets that likes beachy areas and grows 8 to 12 toes high and spreads 6 to 10 ft large. I adore outdated-fashioned aromatic French lilac hedges (syringa vulgaris), but they bloom in Could just before most people today transfer into their seashore properties. Rick Peckham of Peckham’s Greenhouse in Little Compton. R.I., (peckhamsgreenhouse.com) indicates evergreen hollies, together with the blue holly hybrid Castle Wall (ilex x meserveae ‘Heckenstar’) or Dragon Woman (ilex x aquipernyi ‘Meschick’), as effectively as the wild kind of native inkberry (ilex glabra), which can expand 5 to 8 ft large and large (but not the named dwarf kinds). Peckham also implies ninebark (physocarpus opulifolius) which has June flowers and colored leaves. ‘Diabolo’ is a selection with chocolate mahogany foliage that can mature 4 to 8 feet higher and extensive. Possibly the very best native viburnums for hedging are the arrowwood (viburnum dentatum), which can mature 6 to 10 ft tall and huge, and the highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. americanum), which can develop 8 to 12 feet tall and vast.

Don’t forget, hedges for summer months homes do not need to be evergreen. Western arborvitae (thuja occidentalis) is a popular evergreen privacy hedge alternative farther north, but its foliage would melt away below the seaside’s dazzling sunlight, Peckham warned. Like politics, all gardening is community. So check with your area nursery what privacy hedge vegetation thrive in your location, in particular if you have special ailments.


Q. I ponder why you diverge from the standard recommendation for sugar h2o for hummingbirds: ¼ cup white sugar dissolved into 1 cup incredibly hot or boiling h2o. As their migration ways, I improve the sugar a bit, but my hummers seem to be joyful with their “juice’’ if not. By the way, I have kept my birdbaths stuffed also. Never had more bathers than this yr, even on wet days. No sign of sick birds.

M.J., Lowell

A. Thanks to all the sharp-eyed visitors who pointed out my blunder. I intended to produce a 4-to-1 ratio of drinking water to sugar. Our ruby-throated hummingbirds (as well as two fledglings) are quickly heading south but we keep our sugar-h2o feeders refreshed by means of September for far more northerly migrant hummers who drop by on their way south. No sign of ill birds here both. This summer’s mysterious hen blindness sickness appears to be confined to more southerly locations that, not like New England, observed a cicada emergence.

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