Embracing the Last Days of Summer

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I can’t believe I’m writing this: school starts next week.

On the one hand, it’s a relief after the craziness of last year, when school was mostly conducted outside of the classroom. On the other, I’m always sad around this time because my favorite season is coming to a close.

But let’s not be too eager to call it a day on summer – for ourselves or our gardens.

Actually, you can argue this is the best part of summer. The temperatures have cooled off, your vegetable garden is at its peak, and there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Here are some ways to celebrate these last weeks before gearing up for fall:

Fire up the Barbeque – With the arrival of the monsoons, restrictions have been removed and it’s safe to barbeque without fear of wildfires. It’s a great excuse to gather the family in the backyard for a few games while dinner is on the grill.

Freshening up the garden – Quick growing annuals and perennials can replace exhausted blooms. Try some annuals like petunias, marigolds, potato vine, vinca, bidens, mandevilla and alyssum or perennials that are late-summer blooming such as yarrow, rudbeckia, daylilies, penstemons, agastach and catmint.

Festivals and Events – August is prime time for summer festivals in Flagstaff and Warner’s is happy to be involved in two coming up in the next couple of weekends. We are one of the sponsors of the 12th Annual Hullabaloo on August 14 and 15.

Meanwhile, the Coconino Master Gardener’s self-guided tour of Flagstaff’s best veggie gardens will be on August 21 from 10 am to 4 pm. You can pick up your tickets and a map that morning exclusively at Warner’s Nursery.

I hope you fully enjoy this last (and arguably best) part of Summer 2021. Remember, there’s lots of ways to stretch out your enjoyment of this season.

Happy gardening,