Author: Tatroe, Marcia
Date published: September 1, 2011
Journal code: GSUN
New grass Plant 'Blonde Ambition' blue grama (Boutelouo gracilis), which reaches 3 feet, has chartreuse flowers that age to blond, and continues looking good through winter. It's very tolerant of cold and drought. Find it at High Country Gardens (higricountry gardens.com).
TOP-NOTCH PERENNIAL Ginger Jennings of Tagawa Gardens in Centennial, CO, recommends prairie sage (Salvia ozurea grandiflora). With intense blue flowers on long stems that wave in the slightest breeze, this droughttolerant native wildflower comes back reliably year after year.
PROTECT TRANSPLANTS When adding new plants to the garden, mark each newcomer with a stake as a reminder to water regularly and avoid crushing small ones with a misplaced step.
JUNO IRIS Plant bulbs now for spring flowers. The leaves remind us of a mini corn plant, and we love the yellow blossoms. They're perfect for a hot, dry, sunny spot. Available from McClure Ik Zimmerman (mzfaulb.com).
Rinse houseplants that have been outdoors to dislodge Insects; bring plants inside by Labor Day.
EDIBLES BOOK If you want to grow fruit and veggies in your front yard but are worried about what your neighbors might think, check out The Edible front Yard (Timber Press, 2011; $20) by Ivette Soler. She shows how to do it so beautifully that no one will object.
CREATE NATURAL BIRD FEEDERS When sunflowers start to look ratty and most of the flowers have formed seeds, cut stems off at the base and tie them together with twine. Set the bundles near open areas to attract and feed goldfinches and other birds.
Keep harvests fresh
Store produce from the garden in reusable, washable Produce Stand bags; they're made from recycled materials by ChicoBag (from $12 for a set of three; chicobaa.com).
Autumn pots Refresh empty containers with chrysanthemums or coolseason annuals such as brachyscomes, nemesias, and pansies. Cover with a frost blanket whenever temperatures are expected to drop below 400.
CHOOSE PLANTS AND LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR ZONE: sunjetcom/ plantfinder