Happy Autumn to all of the readers out there. This, in my opinion, the best time of the year. Cooler temperatures, beautiful colors, and a time of contemplation and slowing down as we transition into Fall and Winter. The plants here at the Denver Botanic Gardens are showing signs of this transition as well. The bright green leaves of the horseradish have turned to yellow, seed pods have formed on the Asclepias, and beautiful fruit is hanging on the Crabapples and Hawthorne trees. If you are a gardener who is quick to cut down your grasses, pull out annuals cut back perennials.....take it slow and enjoy your ever evolving garden a bit longer. While you may see your dying perennials as an eyesore, remember, its harvest time for the smaller creatures in this part of the world.
“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”
― Robert Lynd
Here are a couple of tips to help the smaller creatures of this world as they transition into Autumn:
- keep leaf debris in the garden beds and yard to provide shelter, nesting material and trap insects.
- keep the seed heads of Echinacea, sunflower, millet and other perennials which provide nourishing food
- consider a nesting box, or bird feeder in your backyard
When we keep our perennials through the fall, we are helping birds, squirrels ,and rodents prepare for winter. A sunflower past it's prime or birdfeeder by the breakfast window makes for great entertainment, offers a moment to educate, and most importantly, we offer a helping hand. In turn, keeping our smaller creatures happy and fat this winter benefits us all.