Dorothy MacBeth admired some of the hostas at Erikson’s Daylily Gardens, despite their end of season yellowing. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Dorothy MacBeth admired some of the hostas at Erikson’s Daylily Gardens, despite their end of season yellowing. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Planning for changes in seasons

Still a little more gardening to do before hunkering down for the winter

By Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times

Last month, I wrote about how fall is such a busy time as we are all cleaning up the gardens, cutting back perennials, and raking a million leaves.

In October, that trend continues, but with more colour, as everything is taking on its fall-winter look – hostas in particular are now at the stage that indicates they are ‘done’ for the year – turning yellow and slowly dying back.

This is a good time to remind everyone who is cutting back hostas to make sure that you use clean clippers, and bleach them in between moving from plant to plant, to avoid and viruses (I know we ALL hate that word by now, but plants get hit too – avoidable by using good hygiene with your tools).

The late fall grasses are also looking spectacular – and I for one utilize those great long stems in winter decor.

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The Miscanthus Adagio, in particular, is stunning in my outdoor winter containers. I cut it back by the end of October, just as the seed heads are finishing, tie it up and keep in it the garage until I create my containers in late November.

The upright dried stems make a great tall focal point for the display – especially when tied with bright red ribbon.

This is also an ideal time to finish getting all your bulbs planted.

There is such a huge variety out there now, and this year we brought in some beauties.

In addition to tulips, narcissus, crocus, and hyacinths, alliums and a number of more unusual bulbs are increasing in popularity.

The huge alliums, like Globemaster, are simply regal in the garden, giving enjoyment for about three months from the time they bloom to when the seed heads are finished.

Chionodoxa Forbesii is a great little rockery plant that actually deters squirrels, moles, and mice – we have it planted in several places! Eranthis Cilicica, also known as the Winter Aconite, was very popular this year and produces lovely foliage and yellow flowers towards the end of the winter.

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I laugh when I plant it, because the corms look like rabbit poop.

Every bulb definitely has a unique look.

Before we know it, winter will be here and our gardening will come to a slow.

I do enjoy the cold crisp days with a little snow – sitting in a warm house and reading gardening catalogues and planning out the next season.

In the meantime, there are a lot of leaves out there.

Good luck!

– Pam Erikson is owner of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials and president of the Langley Garden Club.

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Still time to get the bulbs into the garden before the ground freezes. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Still time to get the bulbs into the garden before the ground freezes. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Sweet autumn clematis adds much to Pam Erikson’s garden in October. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Sweet autumn clematis adds much to Pam Erikson’s garden in October. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Late grasses always add to the beauty of a fall garden. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Late grasses always add to the beauty of a fall garden. (Pam Erikson/Special to Langley Advance Times)