In my September 15th column I wrote: In 3 or 4 weeks it will all be so obvious. Clean up the slowly rotting exuberance of the summer harvest, mulch and prepare the vegetable beds for the winter crops, plant all the treasures bought at the fall plant sales, transplant the trees, shrubs and perennials that earlier this year ended up in the wrong place, and order spring bulbs.
Given our incessant rains and cool weather I would adjust that timeline forward and strongly urge all of you to seize the dry moments in order to get on with your garden's transition from late summer to fall and then onwards to the depths of winter.
It really helps to have a list so that when there is that seemingly fleeting moment to be in the garden, you do not have to re-think all the aspects of this transition. During the glorious sunshine and soft temperatures last Saturday I walked the garden and took notes.
*** Driveway: clean out Arbutus leaves - deal with gravel weeds - schedule stone replacement project? - need flat of Vancouveria to replant area where dogs or other passersby (the area offers great privacy) choose to pee, thereby burning out the groundcover - prune roses along the drive
*** Move my suffering Teddy Bear Rhododendron because there is not enough light in its current position because the Stewartias have grown even bigger- prune Ribes that are suffocating the plants below and brushing against several hard surfaces, including the chimney - check in my journal for the proper date to severely prune the Iris uguicularis so that I can see their perfect blooms which start in late November and go through until March -
*** Mulch the hillsides
*** fine prune Rosa across from Stanwell Perpetual which also needs pruning - and the Rosa to the North which is scraping against the siding of the house - as in winter winds from the SW pushing these plants into different areas - (also you might guess that I need to return to my plant notes in order to give these roses their proper names! - a wonderful cold winter day project - no?)
*** lift and divide strawberries - plant, from cuttings, new rosemary hedges - prune lavender - remove old vegetable, nasturtium, and sunflower plants, leaving as many seedheads as possible for the birds - mulch the vegetable beds or plant new cover crops -
*** prune tree peony by Cedar and prune the herbaceous peonies, uncovering their new growth eyes, and staking their locations
*** plant Bed X - an area that just has not come together - BUT will be re-designed to perfection (dream and then dream on) this fall planting season
*** plant all the treasures from all our very special plant sales - plant all the bulbs we have bought or due to arrive shortly from our exuberant on-line ordering extravaganzas
*** continue to rake and sweep the fall leaves from our sidewalks so that our neighbors and community members do not have to wade through gummy and gooey messes of wet leaves that become very slippery very quickly
WOOT - where are the hours?
I truly hope that by listing my projects you will find some that resonate with you, but more importantly give you the eyes to see your unique projects. It is a busy time in the garden after the slightly lazy/hazy (cool and wet this year) softness of summer. Time to prioritize the projects and grab the odd bits of time we can find in our busy schedules.[[In-content Ad]]