LAYTON — Even in cooler weather, gardens can still shine.
Weber Basin Water Conservancy District wants to help residents get the most out of their fall gardens with a free garden fair, set for Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Learning Garden in Layton. The fair will focus on everything from getting started on next spring to making your garden look good through the first snowfall.
“When it comes to gardens, there’s a lot that can happen in the fall,” said David Rice, the conservation programs coordinator for Weber Basin. “We’re trying to bring more awareness to that.”
Many plants should be trimmed back in preparation for winter, with greenery and flowers largely spent by the middle of October. September and October are also good times to plant trees, shrubs and bulbs for next spring’s garden.
“A lot of people are putting their gardens away,” said Rice. “But it’s also a good time for planning.”
To that end, the garden fair will include a Landscape Design Principles class from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Other classes include a discussion of native plants at 9 a.m. and a presentation from KSL’s Larry Sagers at 11:30 a.m.
There will be an activity for the kids, and everyone gets free hot dogs, drinks and cotton candy.
There will also be plenty of information on making your garden look good through the winter. Though flowers are usually spent by fall, ornamental grasses will often have seed pods that start to emerge this time of year. Even after the seeds go, the dried seed pods often remain.
“Fall is kind of when ornamental grasses do their thing,” said Rice. “The seed heads can be attractive, and the grasses themselves can be anywhere from tan to a dark bronzy red.”
If there is any wildlife nearby, ornamental grasses can bring in even more color.
“Birds will either eat the seeds or use the grass as materials for their nests,” said Rice. “By late winter they’re usually flattened, but they stay standing through the lighter snows.”
Other plants that can make a winter garden more interesting include evergreens, bushes with berries, and trees or bushes that have either colorful or patterned bark.
“If you’ve planned it right, you won’t have to work on it much,” said Rice. “But you’ll still have something to look at throughout the winter.”
The garden is located at 2837 E. Highway 193 in Layton. For a map and more information about the garden fair, visit weberbasin.com/conservation.