Finally, what sheer pleasure to be outdoors planting, transplanting, weeding, pruning, dividing, rearranging and experimenting in the garden. Equally delightful is taking time to relax in the garden or on the patio and survey your domain. This is ideally done with a libation in hand and a friend at your side. On a recent Saturday morning an old friend, who moved to Georgia a few years ago, surprised me with a visit. We sat on the catching up with each other over glasses of iced coffee. Then she suggested we walk through the garden. Over the years we had traded cuttings and seedlings and it was fun for her to see what pass-along plants from her garden are thriving in mine. I gave her a seedling from a towering red plumeria I grew from a two-inch cutting I took from a seaside garden on a cliff in Sorrento, Italy. She told me that with climate change plumerias can overwinter in Atlanta if cut back and covered with pine straw. She is even growing small banana plants in big containers.
The dry season has begun with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. This is a good time to plant almost anything as long as you can guarantee to keep it watered until it is established. Insect populations, with the exception of spider mites, are generally reduced with the cooler weather. However, cooler weather combined with dew or too much sprinkler water can foster problems with fungus on turf and plants.