Preparing the Garden for Winter–or Not

This time of year I get requests for my lecture on Preparing the Garden for Winter. I also get requests for a description. And what I always say is that there are at least two ways to prepare the garden, the “traditional” way, which consists of cutting everything back and bagging up or blowing away all the leaves, and the newer way, which leaves a good bit of clean-up until the spring, perhaps mulches at least some of the leaves, etc. I think many gardeners are familiar with at least some of these practices. I know the “newer” way is now at least 20 years old.

This year, at least in my own garden, I am going to have to rely on the “Spoiler” way (a very scary thought). My gardening season came to an abrupt end yesterday with some minor surgery on my shoulder. And while I have had numerous offers of help (for which I am exceptionally grateful), I realize there is very little in the garden that absolutely must be done this fall, and what absolutely must be done, the Spoiler can do.

I am fortunate that I got all the house plants in and where they needed to be for the winter. That’s my biggest “putting the garden to bed” chore. And I did that extra early this year–before this issue was even on my radar, thankfully.

And, as I said to the Spoiler, everything else can just die. I’ll get it in the spring. I had already cut back a lot of the diseased perennials to save on water so again that was a blessing.

And I suspect the Spoiler will do some cutting back so he can blow leaves. But he’ll need to ask me first lest he cut back a hydrangea or something. He knows.

Otherwise, it’s all good. I’ll just catch up on my reading.

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