5 Signs of Autumn's Arrival
- The annual discussion of what causes allergies begins when the golden rod blooms. Goldenrod is completely innocent when it comes to your nasal issues. The real culprit is ragweed. Ragweed pollinates sends its pollen to other plants (and your nose) through the wind but goldenrod relies on its attractive golden plumes to bring in beneficial pollinators! Don't blame the goldenrod, its just a sign of fall!
- Other weeds begin to sprout this time of year too. Cool season weeds like chickweed get their start when the weather gets more suitable to their liking. Chickweed is also one of those plants that can be eaten and is in fact very nutritious. The next time you're foraging for food in your backyard consider a salad of chickweed with some dandelion greens. You might just eat your way out of a weedy yard! (Don't eat any plants from yards that have been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides!)
- 'Autumn Joy' sedum and mums are two more signs of fall's arrival. I try to cut my sedum back during the summer to create more blooms and sturdier stems. Otherwise 'Autumn Joy' likes to flop open in the middle under the weight of the heavy blooms. I should cut my mums back a couple times during the year but usually don't. As you can see these mums are happy despite my pruning neglect!
- One of my favorite shrubs, beautyberry, is showing off this time of year. The purple berries form in clusters all along the stem. Pollinators love the small white flowers in late spring and early summer. The birds love it in winter when they can't find other things to eat.
- The sassafras trees are beginning their transformation. In our yard the sassafras trees are the first trees to begin turning each year. The mitten shaped leaves change from green to a beautiful red.
While this last photo isn't a sign of fall I wanted to share it with you anyway. It's a yellow rose that has bloomed prolifically this summer and continues to fill the backyard with its fragrance. It was devoured by Japanese beetles in June and bounced back. Japanese beetles are a nuisance but are not a death sentence!
How is fall shaping up in your garden?