It’s officially autumn, my favorite time of year. The weather is turning cooler, and the great outdoors can be even more enjoyable. We have plenty of activities coming up, including hikes, trips, and of course the Annual Meeting on November 8 at Greenway Farm in Hixson. Make sure you check the Events page on this website and read the Chapter newsletter that comes out by email to make sure you don’t miss anything. (If you are missing the newsletter, make sure you look in your email junk or spam folders.)
We are also sharing a lot of information about native plant sales, workshops, and hikes on the Chapter facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/143491742351509/ This is an open group and not just Chapter members are contributing to the news items, plant identifications, event notifications and congenial conversation. Of course, we hope these facebook contributors become Wild Ones members!
Fall is also a great time to create more habitat in your landscape by planting native trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, sedges, ferns – just about everything.
Here are some fall ideas:
- Help native bees and put up bee houses and bee hotels. (We just had a great workshop this weekend and some of us have new bee houses to install.)
- For ground nesting bees (about 70% of native bee species), leave some sunny areas of your yard free of mulch.
- Resist the temptation to deadhead seed heads from your perennials and grasses – this is food for birds and small mammals through the fall and winter.
- Consider mowing fallen leaves right into your lawn; compost leaves or use them as mulch in your garden beds. I know some of you are happy to take your neighbor’s leaves off their hands as well. Yard waste still contributes a substantial portion of what goes into public landfills!
- Overseed your garden beds and meadows with native grass and perennial seeds for denser vegetation next year.
- Reduce the size of your lawn by starting a meadow in a sunny area of your lawn; plant native trees like oaks, cherries, and other trees that support wildlife!
- Create more understory in your wooded areas and woodland edges by planting native shrubs, especially shrubs that produce berries (Elderberry, Dogwoods, Viburnums) or are caterpillar hosts (Spicebush).
- Plant more densely! Fill in your garden spaces with native grasses and perennials. You can never have too many plants, in my opinion.
These are just a few ways you can improve the quality, sustainability and beauty of your landscape. Oh, and did I mention that gardening is the latest fitness craze?
I hope you are inspired and energized!