By Nancy Engberg


Yikes!  Our too brief summer is already over.  June and July you worked your fingers to the bone planting, watering, and weeding.  August you deadheaded, and began to gather your bounty whether flowers for the table, or potatoes for your dinner plate.  Well, move over summer, September is here!

If you have a large vegetable garden, you are probably still pulling carrots and canning tomatoes.  But if you are more landscape than foodscape, September is a great time to visit a farmer’s market. If you are looking for a local market or want to explore something new is a great resource for farmer’s markets in every corner of Minnesota.  Don’t forget farmer’s markets are not just vegetables, you can also find baked goods, eggs, cheese, honey, pickles, jams, farm raised meat, and crafts like home-made soap and jewelry.  Throw in live music and a food truck and you have an event destination.

September is also a great time to visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  The late-summer flowers are in full bloom (the Dahlias are spectacular!) Take a tram ride or stroll leisurely along Three Mile Drive. Check out the Origami sculptures scattered throughout the garden.  While you are at it take a drive over to the Apple House and pick-up some of your favorite University of Minnesota bred apples like Honeycrisp, and Zestar! Or pick up a take and bake apple pie or apple crisp.  Start your Saturday or Sunday with breakfast at the Arboretum Café. It will fuel you for a day of exploring. Go to for more information.

Maybe you are looking at your own late summer garden and are thinking, “Hmmm, looks a little bare over there.”  September is great time to visit your favorite garden center. Perennials and shrubs you may have been eyeing earlier in the summer are probably now deeply discounted and the cooler fall weather is easier on transplants. Or maybe you are thinking “bulbs” and are looking for some new tulip, daffodil, or garlic bulbs. Maybe you have mums on your mind. The end of summer does not mean your flower boxes and containers can’t still be beautiful.

September is a perfect time for a leisurely drive in the country, a bike ride down a rural trail, or a hike in the woods. Pack a picnic and take advantage of this beautiful weather with warm, sunny afternoons, and mornings and evenings that hint of the coming cold.  Autumn in Minnesota is lovely and even more fleeting than our short summer. Check out for information on events and beautiful drives in Minnesota. (It’s not too early to start thinking about viewing the autumn leaves!)

Finally, don’t forget to take some time to lounge in your own backyard with an icy cold drink or a cup of hot coffee and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  It’s OK to relax, you’ve been working hard all summer.

How are you spending your September?