Tofino Gardening in October 2004
by Trina Mattson
October is the month that gardeners are able to paint with plants,
many trees and shrubs are still in full leaf and the colours are vibrant
and varied depending on their exposure. To get a good idea of colour
changes, come on in a check out some of the most beautiful fall foliages
available. Some of my favourites included Maples, varying by species,
the green leafed varieties changing to vivid reds, yellows and umbers,
to the red leafed varieties, changing to brighter reds. Euonymous (burning
bush) is exactly that with fiery reds and yellows. Other trees and
shrubs also change with the season Cornus (dogwood), Gingko biloba,
Stewartia, Hydrangeas, Azaleas (evergreens as well show some reds),
Cercidyphyllum (katsura), also have the added bonus of burnt toffee
or cotton candy scent when the leaves hit acidic ground, Vines such
as parthenocissus (Virginia creeper), Vitis (ornamental grape), and
the list could go on.
Some plants also provide some of the earliest colour Witch hazel
for example comes into bloom around January and varies in colours of
and oranges, each flower blossoms out like a star burst and can withstand
our rains and freezes, on a sunny day they are also quite scented.
If the weather is mild enough, planting trees and shrubs is still
possible in early October, and planting bulbs for early spring colour
done right up until about mid November here, before first frost. It
is not too late to plant up some winter colour in containers for a
show by the front door. Ornamental grasses with a patch of winter pansies
or kale will keep in colour all winter. Lift any tender bulbs out of
the garden, if you are concerned about winter frost, we have successfully
left gladiolus in the garden for years, but I’m still pulling
up any Dahlias and storing them properly.
For anyone that has ponds, cleanup should be done by now, and feeding
of the fish should be stopped when the water temperature is at 10°c.
Houseplant watering should be cut down, and some plants don’t
like water at all over the winter like ficus and cactus. Fertilizing
should also be stopped at this time, as most plants won’t even
use the nutrients. With houseplants keep in mind that every plant is
different and every house is different, what has worked for you in
the past, don’t change.
For something new and exciting come in and check out our selection
of amaryllis and paper white bulbs that are due to arrive anytime,
and just in time for planting so that they will be in bloom for Christmas.
To break away from the Norm and plug the Garden Centre a bit, we've
decided to stay open this year, right up til Christmas, now you are
probably asking yourself, what kind of gardening can you do in winter,
well not much, at least outside, but for inside we are bringing in
Poinsettias, as well as Christmas cactus, and other Xmas plants, also
with the Gift Store, we have a large selection of Xmas gifts arriving,
that range from stocking stuffer size to the truly large and very beautiful
gifts for the garden and gardener, and we have the year round perpetual
Tree up, that will hold of course Christmas ornaments, as well as other
types of ornaments for the garden etc., all year round.
Enjoy the vibrancy of October
Trina Mattson owns and operates the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino.
Tofino gardening tips for October 2004, written by Trina Mattson from the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino for Tofino Time Magazine.