In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Nasturtiums do well throughout the garden, and both foliage and blooms add a spicy bite to salads.
Flowers for Fall
Seedlings sown now will be ready for transplanting by early October and November. Sow or transplant alyssum, amaranthus, balsam, fibrous begonias, calendulas, candytuft, celosia, columbines, coral bells, coreopsis, cosmos, gloriosa daisies or black-eyed-Susans, marguerite and Shasta daisies, dahlias, delphiniums, dianthus or sweet William, forget-me-nots, foxgloves, gaillardias or blanket flowers, gerberas, geums, baby's breath, hollyhocks, impatiens, larkspur, linarias, lobelia, marigolds, nasturtiums, nemesias, pansies, petunias, phlox, Oriental and Iceland poppies, portulaca, primulas, scabiosas, schizanthus, snapdragons, statice, stock, sweet peas, vinca, violas, and zinnias.
Calendulas will provide color all through winter if you plant every three weeks from now through mid-December.
Harvest Seeds at the Right Time
Collect seeds from non-hybrid flowers, and sow those that are cold-hardy, such as bachelor's buttons, dianthus, Oriental poppies, and stocks. Choose a dry, sunny day to harvest globe amaranth, baby's breath, cockscomb, lunaria, strawflowers, and statice for drying. Cut them before they're fully open, or they'll shatter as they dry. Hang stems upside down in an airy room to cure.
Some Seeds Like it Cool
Refrigerate delphinium seeds for planting later this fall. They germinate best in cool temperatures, as do pansies, primroses, and violas. One technique is to start them on moist paper towels rolled loosely in plastic bags and placed in the refrigerator. After they germinate, gently move the tiny plants to potting soil in a pan. When they're large enough, transplant them into their permanent garden spot for winter color.
Root cuttings of azaleas, ceanothus, carnations, fuchsias, geraniums, honeysuckle, hydrangeas, English ivy, marguerites, pachysandra, roses, succulents, verbena, wisteria, and evergreens -- especially arborvitae, euonymous, holly, juniper, and yew. Geraniums and impatiens make nice winter-blooming houseplants.
Attract hummingbirds to the garden by planting funnel-shaped flowers in red and pink colors. Abutilon (flowering maple), cannas, cleome, fuchsia, honeysuckle, monarda, penstemons, and red trumpet vine are hummingbird favorites.
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