Date Archives: September 2018


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Henry HiggensBy Henry Higgins

As summer draws to a close and cooler temperatures begin to creep in, your yard might be yearning for a boost of color and texture. The summer bloomers have done their work in making your yard look beautiful, and now it is their turn to rest and let the fall bloomers steal the show. Fall can be a wonderful time to plant: for one, the act of planting itself won't be horribly unpleasant as it can be in the summertime, and it also has distinct planting benefits that the summer does not. The cooler autumn air is much easier on the plants, and yet the soil is still warm allowing the plants to root and grow until the first frost. Fall also surpasses spring for good days to plant, as in spring unpredictable rain and weather can make working the soil difficult. Fall planting can also be better for your pocketbook, as local garden centers start to hold sales to get rid of their inventory before the colder weather sets in. So now that I've told you why fall is the best time to plant, allow me to give you some insight into what you should plant to give life to your garden.

Fall is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. The cooler temperatures limit stress on the plant, and the warm soil allows them to establish a strong root system before the cooler weather approaches. Some of my favorite shrubs include: Mountain Fire Pieris (also referred to as Mountain Fire Lily of the Valley), a deciduous shrub that has deep red leaf that transitions into a deep green. Limelight Hydrangea, also a deciduous shrub, blooms as white and then transitions to a pink/red. Last but not least is Japanese Beautyberry. Beautyberry is a shrub that produces a copious show of purple berries in fall that appear after the pink flowers fade away.  The foliage is deep green, tinged with purple. The purpling is most pronounced in fall when the berries appear. In terms of trees, the maples steal the show in the fall. The "Autumn Fiesta" Sugar Maple turns to a deep orange/red, although experts say it shows much more orange than other Sugar Maples. Another Maple that attracts attention in the fall is the "October Glory" Red Maple. There are many other trees that attract attention in fall besides Maples, such as Sweetgum, Oaks, and Sourwood trees.

If you enjoy planting vegetables in the spring, then you will absolutely enjoy planting "cool weather" vegetables in the fall. Fall weather is much more predictable, a plus for the gardener and the plants. Examples of vegetables that love to be planted in the fall include beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts and turnips! Seeds should be planted about 12 to 14 weeks back from your average first frost. Or, if you're impatient like me, visit a local garden store and buy "starts" that have been grown in a nursery. Don't forget to enrich your soil with a compost or aged manure to add micronutrients and give your vegetables the best opportunity for success.

You will guarantee beauty in the spring by planting spring bulbs in the fall. All spring bulbs require a period of cold dormancy to allow them to bloom. To pre-chill, set bulbs in their bags in the refrigerator for 6-10 weeks. Be careful not to put them close to fruit, especially apples, as ripening fruit gives off ethylene gas, which can kill or damage the flower inside of the bulb. Examples of beautiful spring bulbs include: Daffodils, Alliums, Fritillaries, and Snowdrops. Luckily, those bulbs are also bulbs that deer don't like to nibble allowing you to preserve your garden in the spring. Other bulbs that might not be so lucky are Tulips, Dahlias, Crocus, and Iris. Spring bulbs don't like wet feet. Make sure that the area you plant them in is an area that water doesn't accumulate. Also, pay attention to the heights of bulbs in your planting arrangement. Make sure to not plant tall bulbs in front of short!

Fall is a wonderful time. The weather is beautiful, the kids are back in school, the forest transitions into a myriad of deep, rich tones, and with the right plants, your garden will be looking fantastic.

Henry Higgins is an Intern studying Economics at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


We are delighted to invite our friends, neighbors, clients and colleagues to our 60th Anniversay Celebration!  
















       Celebrating 60 Years

     of Bringing You Home


We are delighted to welcome Sue Bernier to our Amherst Team! Sue has lived in Amherst for thirty years at which time she built her first and only home. You may recognize Sue as she owned a small college clothing store on Pleasant Street, and more recently owned and operated the home goods store in town called B Home. Sue has worked for the past ten years selling flooring and tile, and has helped many prospective homeowners and sellers with their flooring needs. She has three children in the Amherst school system.

Email Sue at

Cell - 413-896-1164

200 Triangle Street

Amherst, MA 01002