Monthly Archives: November 2015

It is now that time of the year in the garden that we gardeners dread, while also knowing that after the cleanup we get a little rest, just knowing we are putting the garden to bed for the cold winter months ahead is a tremendous task, although the fall cleanup has been going on for a month or so, it is with the first of the heaviest frosts this last week that has me in full cleanup mode. I started last month when the first light frost touched the day lilies and annuals. I now have tones of leaves everywhere and the first job is to prune and cut back dead plant material making it easier to get the leaves up.

I do some raking but only to pile the leaves as I use a hand leaf vacuum to gather and chop them up, I barrel them and chop them finer in my electric leaf mulcher and will cover the flower beds with a 2 inch layer of leaf mulch. I have been doing this for many years now and the soil has become very rich with organic structure.

I do some late season dividing and transplanting and will plant some oriental lily bulbs and the last of the spring bulbs, to which can be done right up to the time of soil freeze.

This year I plan to leave the spent hydrangea flower head on for winter bud protection from our now low temperatures of zero degrees and below that seem to go on for about a week or more. The down side is that the winter winds tend to knock them off and it make for a rather untidy winter mess in the garden. However, I will cut back the ornamental grasses as the spring mess with them is a large job, when spring cleanup and planting is in full swing.

I do apply some super phosphate to my early spring plants and bulbs as it will aid in good early root development just as the soil starts to warm in the early spring, I have found this to work very well as the vigor of the plants first start can be seen. Other wise I wait till spring to fertilize the garden when growth is in action.

With most of the garden put to bed and winter protection provided to those who need it, I stand and look about and notice the subtle quite that comes to the garden. I remember how beautiful the flowers were and the hum of the bees and my heart feel heavy with loss. However there is next year, for that I know.

This is the season to give thanks and to acknowledge our blessings. As we give thanks this Thanksgiving, lets remember those in the world who are less fortunate.

Here in the Shire Garden the winter season begins, the sun is low in the horizon and the air is cool and crisp with the smells of autumn. With my coffee in hand and a good days work done, this gardeners going to find a bench to rest his weary bones and muscles and to enjoy the fruits of his labors. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A thought; Sometimes a good cleanup is all it takes, to make things good again.