Cleaning up my garden beds became a priority after a recent bout marred some plants while others succumbed. Plus it's time as it is November. The veggie beds were cleaned up a few weeks ago, but yesterday, I managed to put the rest of the garden to bed for winter. It's a dirty bit of business but necessary if I don't want to inherit the work in spring. There was lots of weeding, cutting back perennials, discarding diseased plant parts, transplanting and applying mulch.
It's a great time to move plants around the garden. The air is cool, the soil is still warm and the rain is back in town. I have been busy transplanting those that are either too big, too small, engulfing others, ones that need more light and those that need less. I have also tossed the ugly and the sickly. It happens. Perennials (bearded iris, daylilies, phlox) that have multiplied and have overstepped their bounds were divided and potted up to sell or give away in spring.
To finish off the beds, I like to use a nice thick layer of leaves. I got a good haul of them, 20 bags in fact, when I raided my neighbourhood during recycle pick-up day. Ironically at the same time I was applying leaves to my beds, a neighbour was raking up and bagging her lovely Japanese maple leaves that had fallen onto her lawn and garden.
I took advantage of a fair weather day by dumping and spreading 18 bags of leaves, mostly from maples, on my garden beds. I think it looks marvelous. I know some people don't like the look, but I do. Besides it is so beneficial to plants and soil. It provides food for the soil food web that everything in the garden depends on. Not only that, winter weeds will be foiled. Erosion won't be an issue even with heavy rains. Plant will be toasty too. A blanket of leaves insulates the soil from temperature fluctuations which dislodges plants roots especially spring flowering bulbs. I'm so glad it is done, and so is Cocoa our kitty, who helped me with the mulching. As you can see she loved the leaves and I swear she actually gave me two furry thumbs up!
Here are some of my previous blog postings. They cover a wide range of topics from bugs to my botanical excursions and conventions. Click on whichever interests you on the titles below for easy navigation.