Happy Flowers Pep Talk

This is the only flower in my garden that seems "happy" right now. 'Autumn Joy' Sedum. Even its name has a happy word in it... joy.

How do I know it's "happy"? Can flowers be "happy"?

My sedum flowers aren't wilting, they are as big and full as they have ever been, and they are starting to attract bees. They are signaling the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Presumably they will go to seed at some point well after the first frost. They are a bright spot in my otherwise dismal flower garden,

What more could a flower want or do to be "happy"?

What more could a gardener want or do to be "happy" in a year like this? These are the kind of years that can cause some people to *gasp* give up on gardening, especially if they are fairly new at gardening. Do you know someone like this, ready to hang up their Felco's and kick off their gardening clogs for good because this has been a difficult year? If you do, help them out, remind them that not every year is going to be like this year has been.

Help them regroup and plan for autumn, which can be a pivotal time in a garden, especially in zones where winters are cold. It is in the autumn that changes can be made, new beds can be dug, worn out beds can be rejuvenated, new trees and shrubs and spring flowering bulbs can be planted.

Autumn is not when gardeners give up, it is when gardeners know they can begin again. So sharpen your pruners, put on your clogs and get out there and prepare for the next season of gardening... Autumn!

On three! One, two, three... let's plant!


  1. You're so darned cheerful, Carol! As long as you're exclaiming the virtues of fall (work, work, and more work), don't forget to mention great swaths of leaves to be raked and pulling all the weeds some people were too lazy to tend to during the summer.

    And there's the matter of the flowering quince I forgot to cut back. And where the heck is my Autumn Joy sedum? I remember seeing it last year - perhaps under the Sea oats? Is there enough time before winter to pull myself together? I don't think so.

  2. I hear that Carol, This year has been wet and now dry. In fall new gardeners are ready to quit and stay inside. But now is the time to get revived and go do more in the garden.

  3. Hey, Carol! Good for you for encouraging us on. Fall is a wonderful time of year to garden. NO MOSQUITOES! What's more, soon bulbs will be on the sales racks at local nurseries. You can't go wrong with bulbs. Besides, the drought WILL be over by spring, right?

  4. Thanks for reminding me of the "Autumn Joy." I brought one of these with me to my new garden I know but I can't remember where it it is.

  5. Carol,
    I am not ready to give up on summer!!!
    We will not use the "A" word yet!!

  6. Thanks for that Carol. I have been remindning myself but you put it so much more cheerfully than I do. I look forward to autumn, I miss getting my hands in dirt, being able to move things that need it and I am looking forward to being able to get ready for spring.

  7. Was this a good year for sedum? Mine are looking good too - the past 2 years they always flopped over. This time I pruned them way down throughout the season and they look great. And I agree about Fall. I'm making my list for next year and thinking ahead. If it would only stop raining I could get outside!

  8. I think my favorite season is autumn because of the sheer beauty of it, the tree colors & even the aroma of autumn. (I think each season has its own aroma) The worst thing about autumn is winter follows with its snow & slush & "Grandma you can't go out today because the weather is too bad".

  9. Carol,

    Thank you. You have helped me during a horrible time. I so look forward to autumn and pansies and mums, and whatever else I can add. It's been a horrible summer but we DO have a lot to look forward to.

    I love the fact that you are so cheery when most of us are giving up...

  10. I'm about ready to give up...two years in a row of bad gardening........

  11. It's probably the perfectionist in me, but I'm always sad this time of year. I regret how much I didn't get done and how things could have been so much better. If I only didn't have to work for a living...

    --Robin (Bumblebee)

  12. I've been waiting for fall to do some garden projects like mulching, putting up some birdhouses, etc. Something about this time of year always brings a vision for NEXT year's garden!

  13. I'm feeling a lot more cheerful after the 5 1/2 inches of rain we got Monday. Today it rained another inch and a half, and it is supposed to shower this weekend too. I guess the dry spell here is over. My sedum is lovely. I have asters and goldenrod and torch tithonia blooming, my perennial maximilian sunflower is putting on buds. The monarchs are migrating through.

    Yep, it is time to arise from teh summer doldrums and enjoy the cooler time, plan for next year. Thanks for being a positive voice!

  14. All... thank you for the comments and encouragement. I think the pep talk was a little bit for me, too. I'm looking forward to cooler days and working in the fall garden.

  15. This type of sedum is one of my all-time favorite plants for just the reasons you listed. They insist on looking good and making me happy whether they truly are or not.

    And you're right- autumn is one of the best ( I'd vote the best) time to garden. I think it rates lower for lots of ppl because you have to wait through winter to actually see the bloom results. But conditions and weather here in the Midwest are ideal for gardening in the fall.

    I say your optimism and cheerfulness are merited. Go gardening grrrl.

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