Morning. Still dark. Cozily curled in the fetal position, I reluctantly come to terms with the clock.  I think it will be another beautiful day.  The Cottonwood leaves are on the ground now.  Yesterday I crunched through them on the way to the lake, where I found raccoon footprints and a partly devoured, decaying salmon carcass.  The air is crisp and Jupiter still rises in the early evening.  Last night it hung like a pearl from the neck of  Sister Moon.  Aaah, Autumn…

That’s right—it’s Fall!  Time to wake up and think about Spring!

“WHAT? It’s not even Halloween!” you say.  “That Tadpole woman is worse that the stores that start hawking Christmas three months ahead!  Spring is FIVE months away!”

But Fall IS the ideal time to plant, because roots have a chance to get established before the summer drought.  SO no curling up in a fetal ball for you!

You have to plan now for Spring gratification.  Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) must have been designed to satisfy the lazy gardener.  Right now it is yellowing and starting to die back.  In another month, nothing will remain but brittle stalks, perhaps holding a few seedheads.  Hunkered down in the earth, the pinkish crown of the plant waits for warmth.  Once it begins to grow in the spring, it shoots up rapidly.  Its bright green tower of fine, astilbe-like foliage reaches 6-7’ tall.  The name comes from its flowers – white tassels.  The male flowers are fuzzier than the female flowers, which are on separate plants.

 Goatsbeard tolerates full shade and thrives in partial sun.  It can handle pretty damp places, but doesn’t require that. In full sun, it will do fine if it has “wet feet”.  If you have both male and female plants, you will get lots of Goatsbeard “kids”.  

 Plant first, curl later!

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