Buttoning Up the Garden
This past weekend it finally started to feel like November, with a sort of raw gray cold settling in. I realized that the available time for winter preparations was slipping away.
Not that winter preparation is all that much work here. As I’ve written before, I let all the perennials stand until spring. I do like to protect vulnerable plants from the fiendish rabbits, however. Too many have been girdled or chewed down to a nubbin by the cotton-tailed evil ones in the past.
And so, I’ve deployed what I like to call my AARDS (Advanced Anti-Rabbit Defense System), also known as chicken wire, around my ‘Sallie Holmes’ rose. I’ve also got hardware cloth surrounding two very young Prunus virginiana, which are currently not much more than twigs.
There’s also hardware cloth protecting my ‘Golden Raindrops’ Crabapple and an American Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) on a year-round basis.
Containers planted with tulips have been lined up along the west and south walls of our back porch. They too are protected by chicken wire, held in place with pavers. (Chicken wire is a very awkward thing to stretch out, there must be a trick to it that I’m not aware of.)
Judy and I raked the leaves in the back garden. But since we allow the leaves to remain on the beds and borders through the winter and don’t have much lawn, this is not a huge task. Most of the leaves I piled onto the container tulips for insulation, and the rest went to the compost bins.
I carried our little fountain into the garage and brought out the Bird Jacuzzi (heated bird bath).
While carrying out these gardening chores, I noticed there was still some leaf color to be seen. The leaves of the Prairie Rose (Rosa setigera) were a nice red-orange.
Also the ‘Redwing’ and straight species Cranberrybush Viburnum (V. trilobum). Here’s a picture of ‘Redwing’. The foliage of ‘Wentworth’, another variety of the same species, had turned and fallen weeks earlier.
Here’s the straight species. I wonder if it always has this deep maroon color.
Wild Currant (Ribes americanum) usually doesn’t have much fall color, but here and there you’ll see splashes of yellow and orange.
In what ways are you buttoning up your garden for winter?