Sunday, December 02, 2007

Winding down, winding up

The past week or so has been just bearably cold enough to allow a few end-of-season tasks:

Empty out containers: spent plants are retired to the compost pile; perennials like these succulents are dug into a corner of the garden. We'll see how well, if at all, they over-winter.

Rake maple leaves from the back beds. These will form a life-suppressing mat if left undisturbed. The frequent advice about leaving unraked leaves to serve as a winter mulch carries one large and generally omitted disclaimer: these mulches apply only to smaller, non-toxic leaves, like those from beech and dogwood trees.

Mow the lawn, short. Sadly, trimming newly sown grass is like giving a balding guy a haircut: he may have a new 'do, but he's still bald.

Prune back rose growth and tie canes to trellis.

Untap and store garden hoses.

Cut down perennials with wilted, diseased, or ugly foliage: peonies, phlox, irises, ladybells, hostas, astilbe.

Start drawing up my long list of spring chores.

Inside, a potted amaryllis is just starting to leaf out.

Time for a change of venue . . . and a cup of hot chocolate!


Puffincentral said...

Are you certain that's an amaryllis? Looks more like an alien being to me. Have you checked your fridge lately? Don't open that door without backup!

Doctor Mom said...

Yes, I have definitely encountered some otherworldly life forms in my refrigerator!