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                                                                    Debbie Clark

It has been a busy summer on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge and soon the gardens will be going down for the season. The volunteers will continue to be busy cleaning up the gardens for winter and preparing for future garden exhibits like “Pumpkin Pets” in mid-October to  November 1st and “Happy Holidays from our “Gnome” to Yours” starting mid-November and ending December 31st. 

What to do in the home garden for September and October

With the season slowly coming to an end, it is time to start thinking about what you need to do in the garden. Do not fertilize any plants in the garden except for adding a balanced fertilizer to spring bulbs that you will be planting. September and October are a good time for setting out new plants or those end of the year “good deals”. You can plant pansies and chrysanthemums during this time in the garden. If you have shrubs or evergreens to move and transplant, September is the time to do it. If you like salad vegetables, you can start them in a cold frame in October to enjoy during the winter. Cut back upper growth on your perennials killed by frost in October. Remember not to prune shrubs in September or October. Dig and store summer bulbs like gladioli, dahlia and caladium before the frost in October. September is a great time to divide and replant spring flowering bulbs like daffodils. All of your inside houseplants that have been outside for the summer should have been moved inside for winter in August or early September.

This sun was created and painted by local artist Amy Wald. It is a beautiful addition to the garden.

If you want to enjoy some spring blooming bulbs like daffodils or paper white narcissus inside your home for winter, pot up the bulbs in October and place them in the refrigerator for 12 weeks. After that remove them, water, and place near a window in a warm area and watch them grow. Enjoy some spring blooms in your home during the cold winter months.

“Here Comes the Sun” Exhibit on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

Currently on the bridge, we have a colorful and sunny exhibit called “Here Comes the Sun”. The exhibit will continue till early October. The exhibit consists of many brightly colored items in a sunny yellow color and some very beautiful artistic painted suns made by local artist from the Lake Lure Artist. A special “Thank you” to Amy Wald for working with the bridge volunteers and the Lake Lure Artist to create all of the suns that are displayed in the gardens.

Plant of the Month – Hardy Hibiscus

If you are visiting the bridge, you will see many of our collection of hardy hibisbus in bloom. These plants are perennial and die to the ground each year. We remove the upper growth after the frost kills it to the ground and the following year they grow back in all their glory with large dinner size flowers. We have added newer varities that have near black leaves that are stunning in the garden. 

Hardy hibiscus can grow very tall and wide in the garden and they prefer full sun. Some newer varities grow shorter for gardens with limited space or for growing in containers. The blooms come in white, pink or red and each bloom last one day.

Debbie Clark is a garden writer, LLFB volunteer and Board Member. Facebook Site – “Hickory Nut Gorge Gardeners”.