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September Chat II
September 12, 2016

A feel of Autumn is in the air for this week.

This past Friday, Karen and I were at the beach (Holland State Park).

September is my favorite time to go to the beach.

Air and water can still be warm, and very few people are there.

Acres, and acres of sugar sand, shared with a few people and hundreds of seagulls.

Air temperatures were warm, and the water was comfortable.

The sun never came out fully like the meteorologists were promising, as a fog bank hung over parts of Lake Michigan.

I took a couple pictures of some sail boats, hoping to catch them and the fog (posted at the bottom).

Well, you can see it was a bit cloudy, but can you see the fog out there?

No matter, it was one of those days we didn't want to leave, as that might have been the last day of the big lake for the season.

I brought my camera, hoping to spot a few Piping Plovers (no such fortunes).

Plovers are endangered in Michigan, yet some years I am blessed to see a few.

We also saw several Monarch butterflies following the lake shore as Monarch Migration is in full swing in northern regions.

Earlier in the year I reported how monarch populations were about four times greater than last year.

Sadly, a later winter storm hit the the hibernation area, killing off about half the population (that is the report I have read).

I have seen a few butterflies over the summer, but nothing more than last summer.

Butterflies heading south however, did seem to be more than last year.

Could be a day to day thing.

Monarchs still continue to struggle and you can continue to do your part for them.

Old readers know this about me, new readers may not.

Gardening For Wildlife means planting lots of natives.

Native trees, shrubs, grasses and perennial flowers.

Most of what I have are indeed native and native to my region.

Native plants attract more native wildlife.

Natives are host plants.

Natives offer the fruits, insects, and nutrients your wildlife need.

Yeah okay, what about deer lettuce (Hostas)?

Look at all the junk food you and I eat.

A non native I enjoy this time of year are Anemones.

Anemone, pronounced [uh-nem-uh-nee]

Spelled like and pronounced just like the "Sea Anemone.

Anemone × hybrida 'September Charm' , you may know them by a common name like 'Wind Flower'

Hybrid is already in the name of this plant.

However, when ever you see a plant First name followed by an X, and then the second name, your new plant is a hybrid.

I just thought you should know.

I digress.

September Charm, Anemone has been a main stay in my gardens for 8-10 years now.

The garden center i was working at back then was redoing some landscaping on their property.

Some of the plants were headed for the dumpster.

Being the parsimonious person I am, I snagged a few plants.

Pictured are the flowers from my yard.

Pollinators do enjoy them.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Family: Ranunculaceae

Zone: 4 to 8

Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet

Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet

Bloom Time: August to October

Bloom Description: Silvery pink with rose shading

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Low

Deer tolerant and no real pests.

I enjoy this plant, not only because it is pest free, but offers me late summer and early autumn color, when most perennials are done blooming.

Consider a batch in your garden

Anemones won't do well in Zone 8 and higher.

I might add they are slow to spread, and make a nice clump.

For a lot of people, 'Memorial Day' Weekend' is the official kick off to the gardening season.

I know people and have had neighbors that will spend a weekend planting annual flowers by the flats.

They start out taking care of them.

By July 1st, plant are either choking from weeds, or dead and dying from a lack of water.

I know people that consider 'Labor Day Weekend' the end of all summer.

Close the pool, pull up flowers, or simply let them go to waste.

In SW Michigan, flowers that have been cared for all summer are just now reaching their peak.

No matter where you live, you can have annuals out perform your neighbors.

Sure, growing seasons differ from Florida to Michigan, from Arizona to Saskatchewan.

Yet you can still have fantastic looking annuals when others have petered out.

Experienced gardeners know this.

This is for the novice and casual gardener who want more.

It requires care and attention all season long, yet the rewards are well worth it.

My annuals will continue to flourish until it get too cold to grow or a killing frost takes care of them.

Water, deadhead, feed, weed, and your flowers will reward you with late season color.

Know your annuals, Certain plants like Zinnia are prone to mildew attacks and require added attention.

Right now, Vinca, Marigolds, Salvia, Morning Glory, Cosmos, and others are putting on a show.

Neighbors and strangers continue to compliment me on the color.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been
wakened by the touch of God within them.

A. W. Tozer

Awaken my spirit lord.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

John 7:37

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority,
lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued,

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The same fight is going on inside you –
and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute
and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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