Start your fall planting with a little reading
By Marissa Creamer
Rowan Public Library
Petunias are past their prime. Perennials are losing steam. Even some tree leaves are beginning to turn colors and will soon cover our lawns. It seems that the gardening season is over.
But the truth is, fall gardening has just begun. Although things above ground appear to be at a standstill, there is much activity below. The soil is still warm, and given enough moisture, roots are growing.
Fall is a wonderful time for planting, giving your trees and shrubs a chance to get established before the cold of winter. This fall, why not enhance your landscape by adding some plants that will attract and support wildlife in your yard? Rowan Public Library has all kinds of books to guide you in making your landscape more wildlife-friendly.
“The National Wildlife Federation’s Guide to Gardening for Wildlife” is a great place to start. Written by Craig Tufts and Peter Loewer, this handbook will help you transform your backyard into a year-round haven for birds, mammals and amphibians. It provides detailed garden plans and plant lists as well as basic organic gardening information.
There are chapters to guide you in establishing woodland gardens, meadow and prairie gardens, and water gardens, as well as chapters devoted to gardening for birds, butterflies and nightlife.
Many of us have birdfeeders in our yards, enjoying the brilliant colors and cheerful songs that birds bring to the landscape. But if you really want to make your yard inviting to the songbirds, think about the habitat you offer.
Are your trees suited for nesting and perching? Do you have shrubs to provide hiding places and plants that provide seeds and insects? “Birds in Your Backyard: a Bird Lover’s Guide to Creating a Garden Sanctuary,” by Robert J. Dolezal, tells you how to plan your garden to offer food, water, protection, shelter and nesting locations.
The plant guide will help you choose plants that are most attractive to desired species, with suggestions for flowering plants, ground covers, vines, ornamental grasses, shrubs, and small trees.
Before you head to the garden center, take some time to peruse “Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens,” by Douglas W. Tallamy. Concerned about the aggressive nature of alien plant species and the decline of native wildlife, Tallamy makes a compelling argument for planting native plant species to provide a welcoming environment for wildlife of all kinds.He explains how gardening with natives can create plantings that will stay beautiful and in balance without the use of pesticides. His basic message is simple: “By favoring native plants over aliens in the suburban landscape, gardeners can do much to sustain the biodiversity that has been one of this country’s richest assets.”
These books and many other gardening guides can be found at Rowan Public Library.
Computer classes: Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Creating Spreadsheets with Excel; Thursday, 2:30 p.m., Introduction to Windows; Sept. 22, 7 p.m., Creating Presentations with PowerPoint; Sept. 25, 2:30 p.m., Creating Web Pages Part 2.
South ó Sept. 22, 7 p.m., Digital Photography, Part 1; Thursday, Oct. 16, 11 a.m., Basic e-mail;
Classes are free. Sessions are about 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Children’s Program: Headquarters ó Thursday, 7 p.m., Stanback Room, storyteller Andy Offutt Irwin. He will also be at the ninth annual Stories by the Millstream Friday.
September-November ó Weekly Story Time. Headquarters ó Tuesday, 10 a.m., Toddlers and Moms (18-24 months); 11 a.m., Toddlers and Moms (24-36 months); Wednesday, 11 a.m., Tiny Tots and Moms (infants-18 months); Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Three through Five; 4 p.m., Noodlehead Story Times (4-8 years). South óMonday, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3-5 years); 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4-8 years); Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Toddlers and Twos (18-35 months); Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (babies and toddlers); East ó Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Preschool (2-5 years); 4 p.m., Noodlehead, (4-8 years); Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Preschool (2-5 years); Thursday, 11 a.m. Baby Time (6 months-2 years).
Teen program: East ó Sept. 25, 5:30-7 p.m., Teens Locker Madness.Tuesday Movies in September ó Featuring leading ladies. All movies are rated G, PG or PG-13. Some movies inappropriate for younger audiences. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade. Tuesday, “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”; Sept. 23, “Suddenly Last Summer”; Sept. 30, “Stardust.”
Displays: Headquarters ó Hispanic Coalition by DAR; South ó Hispanic Heritage by Hispanic Coalition; East ó art by Colleen Walton.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
Web site: For a listing of all library programs at all library locations, www.rowanpublic library.org.