Putting my garden to bed

The last two weekends have been gray, wet, dreary, and chilly. Fall has always been my favorite season. But now that I’ve become a gardener, it feels sad.

We turned the clocks back last night. It will be dark much earlier in the evening, but at least it won’t be dark in the mornings anymore.

I started preparing my garden for winter today. I added mulch to the Coneflowers (Purple, Sombrero and Butterfly Julia), Brunerra Jack Frost, Endless Summer Hydrangea, Jet Stream Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Dwarf Japanese Maple, and the Kousa Japanese Dogwood tree.

I sure do LOVE the smell of mulch!

I trimmed the Irises to 6″ tall and covered them with straw.

I pulled out the Pink Beauty Calladium, white Impatiens, and one of the Russian Mammoth Sunflowers (that the birds cleaned of seeds), and added them all to the compost pile.

I had planned on keeping the Caladium bulb in the closet and replanting it in the spring. But I decided to replace it with a native plant instead. I’m not sure what to plant there. Any suggestions for a Virginia native plant that likes shade and provides food for birds?

Ever since I learned how invasive and poisonous Lily of the Valley is, it has been bugging me. So I yanked them out today. I will replace them with a native plant as well.

I still have some annuals blooming, so I will wait until the frost gets them before adding them to the compost.

David and I went to the dump yesterday. He noticed that the truck in front of us had some plants in the back. So we pulled up next to them and I asked the driver if I could have the plants. He asked, “You mean these old rotten ferns?” Yep! So I brought them home. Turns out they are two Boston Ferns. They are only hardy in Florida. So I brought them inside, gave them a good shower in the bathtub, spent about 30 minutes cutting out lots of dead stems, and put them on the refrigerator. I read that they need indirect bright light and humidity. So I placed the pots on dishes filled with pebbles and water, as the internet suggested. The kitchen has more light than any other room, so we shall see if I can keep them alive.

Here are some photos I took in the garden this weekend…

Seed heads on Calico Aster

I’m also leaving seed heads from Black Eyed Susans up for the birds

The birds found these sunflower seeds…

But not these… yet

Beautiful fall color on the Little Henry Itea

Spicebush also has really nice fall color

The Sombrero Coneflower is still blooming and it is gorgeous!

So is the Endless Summer Hydrangea!

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3 thoughts on “Putting my garden to bed

  1. GREAT POST! I have a lot of work to do outside now that the annuals have been zapped. The weather is cooler but rainy so I can only “need” to get it done instead of doing. Thanks for following my blog or I wouldn’t have found you. I have some catching up to do later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello – In reading this post I noticed you asked if anyone knew of a bush that grows in the shade, is bird friendly and a VA native. I’m in IL, but have a sis in VA and have designed and installed gardens both for her and her friends. I’m also a Master Gardener so I’m all about the natives. I have a great book, Best Garden Plants for Virginia, which I’ve used religiously, and the master garden extension site is also a good go to spot for info. Anyway, as to your q’s – hydrangeas (think Oak Leaf) and Viburnums actually prefer part-shade. Do your homework on size. If they love where you put them they’ll grow large fast. Virginia Sweetspire grows in full sun to full shade, flowers in the early heat of the summer, and turns a beautiful color in the fall – and it doesn’t get too big. Hope this helps. Happy Gardening!! – Laurine

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