Sunday, December 8, 2013

Prepping the Garden for Hibernation

Thursday this week was a relatively clear day with a high temperature of 69 F which worked out ideal for spending the day in the garden getting it ready for the winter hibernation period. For a job of this size I call for help from my landscape crew. Between three of us we got the leaves taken care of one (hopefully) last time, perennials cut back, weeding and a little light pruning- and while they were doing that I worked on renovating the herb garden in between joining in with other tasks.

 The leaves just kept on coming this season as did the grass growing in the garden beds.

 This is a gardenia that has been sitting in a pot on the driveway since the spring alas. It is a new type with more winter tolerance than the older varieties but it still needs a carefully selected spot. While this looked like a good location when I had initially tried to plant it there I discovered an irrigation pipe running plumb through the center of the space and so I had to give up. However, with a little ingenuity, my crew got the pipe relocated back further in the bed and then got the plant installed. I'm not sure if it will survive but it now has a greater chance than it did sitting in that pot. It does look a little lonely there right now as everything else around it (astilbes and hostas) had all died back for the season and been cut down.

 This is the area that kept me busy for several hours. Originally it was a great location for my herb garden but over the years the crepe myrtle tree has grown and now there is a lot more shade there. And I made the mistake of putting a mint plant there. Mint is very invasive and it grows quickly; I resolved to give it a good reduction. This meant pulling out all the edging stones and yanking out a mass of roots. Let's see what happens in spring - I'm sure it will be back. The oregano got a good cut back and the big rosemary bush (just out of sight on the right) and the thyme that grows in front of it also got a good trim up. Pots got moved off the driveway to make it tidier for the winter and easier when we have to move snow.
We decided to leave up the New England asters for a little winter interest. They did not do so well this season; another reason not to mess with them this close to winter.

 This area is looking a little bedraggled. Some of the lambs ear (stachys byzantina) succumbed to being overgrown by the white daisies earlier in the season. I had a session with the pruning clippers and the butterfly bush several weeks back so this bed is a little sparse. But it is the one that I look out at every time I sit down at the kitchen table and I'd really like it to look better than this!
 Next morning I took this photo to remind me how lovely and clean and tidy this corner of the back garden looked after all the work the previous day. This is taken from the same spot as the first photo in this post.
 And here is what I could see from that same spot today. Ooh yes, we were just in time with our seasonal tidy up. The high on Thursday was 69F and the high today has been 29F with a light snowfall which is by now turning into freezing rain.
The lambs ears are getting quite chilled no doubt.

But this is what you get in the garden - variety!

1 comment:

  1. It makes quite a dramatic impression when you click through the lightbox display of the photos and get #6 and #7 right in succession!


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