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So the Mississauga Master Gardeners are having an autumn plant sale in less than three weeks and I’ve been lifting and potting things to put into it. We do buy a few things in, such as spring bulbs and fall chrysanthemums for an autumn sale, but the majority of it comes from our own gardens. Not everything divides successfully in fall and a lot of things are already starting to fade, so it’s a very different selection to what we get in spring.

…except for daylilies. There’s always daylilies (Hemerocallis sp.)

Most of my ornamentals are native wildflowers, so that ends up being the majority of my donations, although there’s always a flat of spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Vittatum’) too. Having a wildflower garden means there’s a steady supply of volunteer seedlings. I like to think of it as suburban ecological reclamation of a sort.

The sale is also a good way move out plants I don’t want. I genuinely like plants, so I have a hard time just killing plants that aren’t offending me in some way. However, there are a few remnants of previous owners and previous landscape jobs left (daylilies again) and it’s great to be able to get rid of them. I simply do not get the ‘foundation shrub’ bullshit. Just because it was fashionable to plant junipers and cedars and other large evergreens right up against the house doesn’t mean it was smart. And seriously, two spruce trees, one metre apart? Why don’t you go live in a one bedroom apartment with ten other people and see how you like it? (I know it happens, but the people involved seldom enjoy it.)

It’s hard to believe (accept) that summer’s practically over. It’s time to start the process of reacclimating the tender plants for indoor life: the autumn frost date around here is about October 12th. I have a new experiment this year: try and get tender aquatic plants to overwinter in an aquarium (no fish). It’s mostly water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and my beloved mosquito larvae-eating floating bladderwort (Utricularia gibba). The tub gardens did better than I ever imagined they would, not so much for the plants as the fact that a simple ecosystem seemed to appear out of nowhere: the usual assortment of Daphnia, Cyclops, and aquatic snails (haven’t identified those yet), and even what looks to be some little freshwater shrimp. All of those, or their eggs, must have hitchhiked in with the plants, because I fill the tubs with rainwater. If I only had a heart toad.

…sorry about the rant.