While Labor Day weekend (just about two weeks away) is not the end of the outdoor season, it is the last of summer’s three big holiday weekends.
Those hosting outdoor festivities that weekend have probably been looking over your property’s landscaping, with a view of how the yard will look when entertaining.
“Late in the season is actually a great time to add some perennial. And you can usually get good deals on them this time of year,” said Sandra Vultaggio, Horticulture Consultant at Suffolk County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension a while back.
As for which ones to look out for, she agreed with our own Dave Stockwell that the beautiful Honorine Jobert Anemone (aka Windflower) is a great choice to add mid-to-late August.
“The Windflower will bloom through October and it prefers shade-to-partial sun, and moist, well-drained soil,” adds Dave.
Vultaggio offers several more perennial choices, e.g., Chelone, (aka Turtlehead). “This purple/red flowering plant does well in both shade and sun,” she says. “And Asters, as well as Sedums (the “upright” like Autumn Joy) are also great choices. These prefer sun and are available in many different varieties and shades of pink and purple.” For a sunny yellow option, Vultaggio suggests Solidago (aka Goldenrod) which also prefers full sun.
“I suggest getting them in the ground sooner than later,” she continues, “and if there hasn’t been enough rain when you begin, it’s important to soak the root systems thoroughly and keep them very well watered and mulched after planting.”
But what about future droughts? Shouldn’t we be considerate and fair in how much water we use? As many of you know, Deck and Patio has a division completely devoted to rainwater harvesting and we are available to give advice on how best to collect rainwater for use in maintaining water features as well as property landscaping.
“In the meantime, there are things we can do immediately to conserve water for our gardens,” says Vultaggio.
“Think about the water we throw away just when making a pot of pasta. Rather than let it go down the sink, simply let it cool and use it in your garden. The fact that pasta was cooked in the water will not harm your plants. I recommend keeping a bucket for water collection. Put your pasta water there and any leftover water in drinking glasses. Just be mindful of all the water we use that can be conserved.”
“So don’t feel guilty making a splash this Labor Day weekend with bright plantings around your property,” says Dave. “Even if you don’t yet have a rainwater collection system, you can nourish your landscape by not wasting household water as outlined by Ms. Vultaggio.”
Below are photos of some ideal plants to add in time for Labor Day. These should add color and beauty well into Fall. And if you aren’t entertaining at home, these would make great hostess gifts. Happy Labor Day wherever you spend it!