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Prepare the Garden for its Winter Slumber
Bonnie Moss (c) 2006-11
For those who live through winter, the gardening
season is over. But not really. There IS work 
to do! If you have not tidied up the garden, 
there is still time before the ground  freezes 
and is covered with snow.

Pull out the rest of the annuals. It is too 
late to trim any perennials, so leave these 
alone. Mound mulch around your favorite rose 
bushes and other perennials. Some recommend 
piling up leaves over perennials. Others 
donít. The argument is that leaves tend to 
rot. However, if youíve done this before 
and it works for you, go for it. 

Bring in your precious garden ornaments. Wash 
and dry these before storage. Hanging baskets 
should be taken down if you intend to re-use 
them next year. Most urns and big planters 
are safe to leave outdoors, except those made 
of terracotta and other breakable materials. 
Planters made of heavy duty polyresin, plastic,
cast iron or metal can withstand freezing 

These can be stashed away in a safe corner 
to keep them away from snow removal. However, 
if you want color, decorate these planters  
for the Christmas season. It adds a festive 
mood to your garden.

Protect the spring bulbs by covering these 
with screen material or a wire mesh and pile 
up mulch  generously.Those pesky four-legged 
creatures do not hibernate over winter. Donít 
forget to uncover these come Spring. 

Take a good look at your garden, envision what 
worked, what didnít last summer. A bare garden 
plot is a canvas waiting for someone to express 
creativity. This is a chance to re-assess the 
arrangement of plants. If you like a change of 
garden design for next season, this is the best 
time to study the garden layout to get a good 
idea what changes you will undertake next season.

If you have rocks or stones in your garden, spend
some time to rearrange, to strengthen or fill in 
the gaps. If you have ideas of adding more rocks, 
itís a good time to work on the garden while
itĎs bare. 

Donít forget the garden tools. These will last
longer if you clean these up and store them
properly. Bring in the nozzles for your hose.
These tend to crack if left on the hose over

Tidbit: Store the rake, pitchfork, fan rake 
and shovels facing downwards, or the wall if
you are lucky enough to have a place to hang these.

As you walk around your bare garden, feel the
aura of stillness it projects as it prepares 
for its winter slumber. The garden at this 
time can still be a place for a quiet moment 
as you fill your lungs with the crisp, chilly
November wind.

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