fall in the garden


Fall has arrived in my garden. I am now in the home stretch of planting for the year.

My garden has come a long way in the past year. It is now more than a garden with good bones.

Now my garden is only half feral.

This garden was overgrown for years before I began to make it my own. It has been a lot of brutally hard work at times to get it even this far. But it is a true labor of love, because I just love to garden that much.

I inherited the garden from a prior property owner who was quite elderly, hence the huge amount of work necessary. And this is a process that will take years, because every good garden is an evolution in and of itself. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It is about time, work, love, and patience.

The more layers I peel back in the garden, the more I find to do . And lots and lots of pachysandra.

I have now unearthed all garden paths that I know exist, and had no idea my front walkway was so wide. The pachysandra had just crept and overgrown everything for years.

My garden is predominantly being re-planted with things sourced locally. Chester County has amazing plant nurseries.

There is one nursery I do not patronize, however. Main Line Gardens on Paoli Pike. They are hideously overpriced, and they are short on customer service. I tried going in there a couple of different times when I first moved to Chester County and I just didn’t like the way I was treated, nor did I care for the price points on basic items. They don’t seem to get that only Waterloo could be Waterloo.

With the exception of some heavy work I could not do myself, which was performed by Woodlawn Nursery in Malvern, DelVacchio in East Goshen, and a couple of tree guys, I have planted my own garden.


A lot of people don’t take the time to plant their own garden any longer and I think that’s a shame because they are missing out. This trend is clearly seen in our everyday life if you have HGTV in your cable or FiOS lineup. There are no longer any true gardening shows, it’s all about instant fix landscapes and hardscaping. Done by other people. I call it the “you’ve been shrubbed mentality.”

Gardening is a very basic thing. Some people believe it is very primal. It is terrific stress relief, and it connects you to the earth. I also consider it an artistic and creative outlet, and there’s nothing better than seeing the fruits of your labor bloom. It is very satisfying.

Gardening is a trial and error process. It has taken me years and years to get to the point where I can accept that occasionally something I plant isn’t going to take where I planted it. I try not to have to transplant things once I have planted them, but sometimes you can’t help it. Sometimes stuff just dies inexplicably, and well, you can’t escape the basic responsibility of having to divide your perennials every couple of years.

So now I am about halfway through my fall planting, and I am thinking about the plants that are arriving over the next few weeks that will go into the garden this fall for next year. A lot of those are things like bulbs, which come from various sources, and also perennials from Applied Climatology.

Applied Climatology are the plant people from the West Chester Growers Market, and you can find them in Facebook. If you get on their mailing list, you find out about their amazing specials. And they have a variety of cultivars you just don’t see any place else.

I made my final list of plants that are coming, along with bulbs, tubers, and roots. I think I know where everything is going, but I think I might have to dig out more pachysandra.

How I plant, in case anyone is interested, is I try to plant with a four-season interest in mind. That way my garden seems to have a different outfit for every season of the year for lack of a better description. I also don’t plant many annuals.

Okay, time for me to go digging the dirt. There aren’t very many of those days left in the year! Happy gardening all!


2 thoughts on “fall in the garden

  1. In the spring you should try Blackcreek Greenhouse. It’s in East Earl,not far from Shady Maple. Great prices and a huge selection. Not much in the fall though.

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