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Plant your perennials in the fall

The annual Gloucester Master Gardeners’ Plant Extravaganza was held last Saturday, Sept. 11. The day was perfect, with blue sky, a pleasant temperature, and hundreds of plants lovingly nurtured for months by Master Gardeners. After more than a year of minimal social contact, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to mingle (while masked) and discuss the merits and care of various perennials, trees, shrubs, and houseplants.

One customer asked me, “Why do you have your plant sale in the fall? I thought you were supposed to plant in the spring.”

This is an important question. We think of spring as the time of new growth after the long, cold winter. New perennials fill the garden centers in the spring, and we are ready to go outside in the fresh air and make our gardens beautiful again.

In the fall, plants available for purchase often look like tired leftovers, but don’t be deceived; there is plenty of life left in them. They need your loving hands to care for them through the winter. ...

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