Garden Journal

Don’t wait! While many seeds can be saved and planted at leisure, some popular perennials are best planted as soon as the seeds mature. Bleeding heart, winter aconite, trumpet gentian, Christmas rose, globeflower and sweet violet all benefit from direct sowing. And some biennials, like foxglove, can put on enough growth before frost to ensure flowering next season.

Get a move on: Were your irises off their game this year? If blooms have dwindled, chances are they’ve gotten too crowded. Now is a fine time to dig them up and spread them out (or give away the extras). Trim the greenery back to a short fan shape a few inches tall, and don’t plant them too deep — iris is happiest just below the surface.

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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