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Putting the Garden to Bed

November 23, 2015
asters late november Although I still have a few late blooms hanging on in my garden, last night’s light coating of wet snow provided a reminder that it is time to finish putting the garden to bed for the winter.

november snow

fence border ready for winterMany of these fall chores have already been completed. In the back garden, most plants have been cut back for winter, and organic matter has been added to flower beds by top-dressing them with compost left from my spring delivery. Only the back slope still needs to be cleaned up for winter.

In the Serenity Garden, a viburnum growing at the edge of the woods has been vulnerable to winter and spring browsing by deer. Before the ground freezes, I need to install the flexible garden frames covered with netting that I use to protect this plant.

planter chore Elsewhere, containers that held annuals need to be emptied and brought inside. Various pieces of garden furniture need to be stored in the basement or covered with tarps.

garden furniture chore

I hope to complete all these chores this week. Once they’re done, I will be able to enjoy the peaceful look of a garden tucked in for the winter under its blanket of snow.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Kim permalink
    November 23, 2015 10:15 pm

    I am so enjoying your updates, Jean! Living in an apartment in a high desert city that gets only a bit of snow all winter, I’m excited to see what’s happening at your beautiful woodsy home on the other side of our nation.

    • November 27, 2015 9:41 pm

      Kim, Last year at this time, my garden was buried under more than a foot of snow — but this has been a kinder, gentler November. El Nino years tend to bring warmer, drier winter weather to northern New England.

      • Kim permalink
        December 1, 2015 11:45 pm

        Well, that makes sense — it does appear to be a mild November/December for you “up there.” November went by so fast, and I believe my mind may still be settled back in October.

  2. Ellen Bear permalink
    November 24, 2015 6:29 am

    Happy Thanksgiving!,

  3. November 24, 2015 3:40 pm

    Hello Jean, I’ve been tapering off work in the garden and finished some time ago – while the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny. I hope you manage to complete the wintering jobs and have some time to sit down, enjoy and reflect, I know I will as the year draws nearer to a close.

    • November 27, 2015 9:44 pm

      Sunil, We had an exceptionally mild day today and took advantage of it to finish the last of my garden chores. We probably won’t see high temperatures of 60F again until April.

  4. November 25, 2015 9:58 pm

    I don’t do much to the garden in fall, leaving most of the cleanup until spring. I do need to rake the leaves in the yard, but the snow has interfered.

    • November 27, 2015 9:46 pm

      Jason, I’ve done more garden clean-up this fall than I normally do. I leave most of the leaf-raking until spring because many of my trees are red oaks and they often hang onto their leaves until spring.

  5. November 25, 2015 10:53 pm

    Snow is virtually a foreign concept to me but the plants do look peaceful under their blanket of snow. I like the idea of the garden starting afresh each spring too – that doesn’t happen in my climate.

    Happy Thanksgiving Jean!

    • November 27, 2015 9:49 pm

      Kris, I like the idea of the garden starting fresh each spring, too. There’s the excitement of anticipation as you wonder which plants will come back and which will put on a growth spurt in spring. I good blanket of snow helps protect plants from freeze/thaw cycles and adds minerals to the soil, so it makes for pleasing outcomes in spring.

  6. debsgarden permalink
    November 28, 2015 3:00 pm

    Gardening is never done here, for we have enough mild days that many garden chores can be done through the winter. But I like to take a Christmas break! Enjoy the holidays, and I hope you have enough snow for Santa’s sled and all his raindeer, who hopefully will leave your viburnum alone!

  7. November 30, 2015 7:48 pm

    I am hoping to get out, take pics and lots of notes for spring projects…garden chores done by mid-month which is late for us too.

  8. December 23, 2015 5:04 am

    Mont Pellier with rocks and mountain.
    Yours with the forest.

    Do you know this blog?
    http://federaltwist.com/landscape-architects-in-the-making/
    He has gone quiet on his blog, but there is a wonderful archive.

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