As Summer turns to Autumn it’s time take part in the quarterly gardening meme by PlantPostings called “Garden lessons learned“. Looking back over the last three months and taking stock of the garden reminds me of the lessons I’ve learnt over the Summer months. Just when I thought I was becoming a fully fledged gardener, Mother Nature dished up Summer and cut me down to size – and I humbly concede that I still have a very long way to go…

Garden Lessons Learned in Summer

These are the Lessons I learned this season …

1. Summer is for sitting back and enjoying the fruits of ones labour
I spent many hot sunny weekends on the back terrace watching the birds, reading, relaxing and enjoying my garden. Really enjoying it! And I made lots of plans for the garden and accomplished very little. No matter … that’s what the next six months will be for. Preparing the garden for next spring and summer.

2. Summer is not my favourite “gardening season”
Of everything I learnt, the most obvious to me was that Summer is not my favourite gardening time. I just don’t have the same energy levels in Summer as I do during the rest of the year. It just gets to darn hot out there to accomplish a whole lot. My ritual of making a list of chores on a Saturday morning resulted in tasks being carried over from week to week because I just can’t do heavy digging and physical chores in the heat of summer. Even the few overcast days were not cool enough to get much done. I have a VERY long list of “Gardening Things to Do” now.

First Anemone of the SeasonFirst Anemone of the Season

The gorgeous SunbirdThe gorgeous Sunbird

Bits of colour in the gardenColour in the rose bed

3. Don’t forget about the flowers
At the end of Spring I listed “It not just about the flowers” as one of my Spring Garden lessons learned. Hmm … I was on a bit of a ‘foliage kick’ at that time as I had discovered the joys of gardening with foliage. So much so that I really did forget about flowers. Luckily I had gorgeous foliage to admire and delight in over the summer months as I really had forgotten to consider what would flower in summer. I had flowers but no “show stopping” display of gorgeous blooms.Next year I need to pay some attention to this so that there is always something flowering.

4. Plant at recommended distances!
Haven’t we had this before? Duh … I didn’t follow my own advice and now I’m going to be lifting and replanting as soon as the weather cools down enough. Again.

5. Attracting birds to the garden
I discovered the joy of observing birds in my garden and I learnt a bit about attracting different birds. Using different feeders, seeds and fruits I was soon rewarded with a few “new” visitors. Lovely!

My roses were lovelyIceberg Roses were lovely

Lots of new birds cameLots of new birds came

Still loving all the foliageStill loving all the foliage

6. I learnt about sterile plants
I discovered that Petunias don’t attract any bees and bugs. It’s a bit strange to me not to have insect activity around plants and I think I might be planting an alternative next year. Might. I do like how they provide easy summer colour in my Camellia bed. I hope I can find something else with a similar habit and requirements for that spot.

7. I can do it organically (mostly)
Besides an organic snail and slug product I use, I have not used anything chemical in my garden for the last nine months. And I’ve had less aphids this summer than in the years before. There were beetles and bugs and all kinds of interesting creatures, but I never felt the need to kill any as they were always present in small numbers. I hope it stays this way! I prefer not having to spray – and its a lot less work this way too.

8. Write down plant names before planting
My memory clearly is not as good as I think it is and I have forgotten the exact names of a few of the plants I’ve planted. Why didn’t I write them down?

Brachycombe Daisy in potsBrachycombe Daisy in pots

And up close and personalAnd up close and personal

One of my “other” pets 🙂One of my "other" pets :)

So what lessons have you learned this season? Please share with us – we learn so much from reading these types of post by experienced gardeners, so join in and head over to Plant Postings to add the link to your “Garden Lessons Learned” post so we can share in your gardening lessons!

Happy Gardening

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The lovely Mexican PetuniaThe lovely Mexican Petunia

In the back shade gardenIn the back shade garden

Love my Iceberg RosesLove my Iceberg Roses