Le Jardinet Newsletter

 September 2010
Dallas Arboretum - where they do things BIG!
 We moved here in 1996 and one thing I learned quickly was that American people love to celebrate......anything.....usually with appropriately colored and shaped cookies or other edible treats! I don't need a calendar but simply have to browse the bakery to see pumpkin shaped cookies in dayglo orange sprinkles to know this must be fall, or perhaps seeing Starbucks pumpkin and cream cheese muffins on the menu again that clues me in.  As gardeners we mark the changes a little differently; planting spring bulbs, enjoying fall garden plants and refreshing containers. So join me as we celebrate the season with trowel in hand..... and that pumpkin muffin for a treat afterwards!
Container Garden Replanting
Yes, it's time to throw out the dead geraniums and add some fresh color to your container gardens. There are lots of plants to choose from for fall and winter designs but be sure to be realistic about the lighting conditions for your containers in winter. Just because they were in full sun in August doesn't mean they will be in March! Trust me, pansies do NOT do well in less than 6 hours of direct sun each day... I tried.......for years........ 


I also like to tuck spring bulbs into winter containers for an additional splash of color in the new year. With dwarf tulips, daffodils, crocus and snowdrops now available
there are lots of options.
Call or email me today to schedule your fall/winter container re-planting and enjoy lots of color through the grayest months.
Coming soon...the blog
I admit it, I'm a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to blogging, twittering and doing the facebook thing. However I have finally been convinced that starting a blog would be a good way to share the fun of gardening with a wider readership. It will be called "Garden Adventures; for thumbs of all colors" and my aim is to inspire and encourage; with a sense of humor. I'll share ideas and blunders, dispel a few gardening myths and introduce you to some other great garden-people I have met along the way.  The blog will allow for more of a conversational format where you will be able to easliy share your own thoughts, ideas and questions.
It should be live by the end of October; I'll send you a news flash!
My seminars; mark your calendars!
  • Northwest Flower & Garden Show February 23rd 2011 9.30-10.15am, Convention Center Seattle 'Pizzazz in a Pot - transforming dull containers into dazzling accents'. Join me at the DIY stage as I share tips and tricks to take your container gardens to the next level while demonstrating planting two unique designs.
  • Snohomish Master Gardeners Speaker Series January 21st 2011 9.30-11.30am, Mukilteo Presbyterian Church. Dynamic Plant Combinations (a 1 hour PowerPoint presentation) followed by 'Early Spring Container Garden Design' (a 30' demonstration'). Contact and ticket details available shortly. The series runs from January 7th - April 15th and has a remarkable line up of speakers including Dan Hinckley, Ciscoe Morris, Debra Prinzing and Marianne Binetti. You'll want to get tickets for them all!
Plant of the Month.
Japanese Maples; yes I know that is more than one plant but how can I possibly choose?!
Acer p. 'Arakawa'
Arakawa October
This is a great time to visit the nursery and select your favorite while they are actually showing their autumnal beauty.
Acer p. 'Bloodgood'
Acer bloodgood
Read the tags carefully for mature height and width or even better take the pocket sized guide Japanese Maples by JD Vertrees & Peter Gregory for more reliable information.
Acer p. 'Orange Dream'
Acer Orange Dream
With fiery shades of red, orange and yellow you'll have a hard time resisting a car full.
Designing a Fall Garden
September marked the start of our major garden overhaul. It's going to be a  multi-step project to address drainage and soil problems and with the aim to plant next fall; which leaves me 12 months of dream time. I have decided to design one area specifically for fall interest; a showcase of fall colors and textures which all peak between early September and mid November. Here are a few of my ideas you might like to copy;
  • Include some solid evergreens to act as a backdrop for bright fall colors
  • Consider the fall colors of deciduous trees and shrubs. I'm going to plant three dawn redwoods (yes I do have the space!), a deciduous conifer boasting glowing orange needles in autumn. In front of them will be the existing ornamental pear trees which display yellow fall color. Hopefully the color of both will coincide and the combination will look like a roaring fire!
  • Think about textures and color together; I have a group of Spiraea 'Ogon' which will become a mass of feathery orange leaves, adjacent to the burnished copper fronds of the evergreen autumn fern. I am hoping that the dark leafed Weigela 'Midnight Wine' at the front of these will hold its purple leaves long enough to add to the drama.
  • I plan to add sweeps of tall grasses and black eyed Susan's (both do well with little attention), possibly with a frame of sedum 'Autumn Joy' or its less floppy cousin 'Autumn fire'.  
You may not have the space to dedicate an entire border for fall stardom, but what about one corner of an existing bed or even a separate container garden? Need help? Call or email for a landscape consultation and we'll turn your ideas into reality.
Garden Events.
  • Seattle Tilth has loads of great programs again this month. Check them all out here. Special treats include garden renovation, sustainable gardening, and putting the garden to bed.
  • Fall Garlic Planting Seminar, October 2nd 10-11am Molbaks. Learn about the different varieties suitable for our climate. Free
  • Reading with Rover, October 2nd, 16th and 30th. 10-11. Molbaks. A wonderful opportunity to take youngsters who are struggling with reading. They sit and read to a trained therapy dog who has endless patience, doesn't interrupt and wags approval. Molbaks provides the dogs and books, you provide the children. Love it; well done Molbaks,
  • Attracting Birds into your Garden; seminar and book signing. October 2nd noon-1pm Molbaks Free.
  • Fall Bulb & Plant Sale, October 3rd and 4th, 10-2pm, WA Park Arboretum, Graham Visitors Center.
  • Going Batty, October 9th 10-11am, Molbaks, Learn everything you ever wanted to know about bats by bat rehabilitation specialist (only in America.....!), Barbara Ogaard
  • Rumpelstiltskin; the annual fall play at Molbaks starring Todd Stratton. Performances throughout October. Check the website for times. Guaranteed fun for the family.
  • Plant diseases and safe remedies, October 23rd noon-1pm Molbaks. Q and A  
  • The Virtues and Pruning of Japanese Maples, October 30th noon-1pm, Molbaks. Seminar and book signing by well known local author Cass Turnbull (founder of Plant Amnesty)
 What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.........

Sorry,  couldn't resist!
Karen Chapman CPH
Le Jardinet
425 765 3574 
In This Issue
Container Replanting
My blog
My seminars
Plant of the Month
Designing a Fall Garden
Garden Events
Apply slug bait!
Yes I know I sound like a broken record, but the truth is they are laying their eggs NOW for next spring; and each slug can lay up to 400 eggs!
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Imagination goes here