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Thoughts from the Cottage…

Really what is she doing! She loves gardening, but you'd never know it by the current state of things. Here we are in November, and she still has so much to do to get the garden cleaned up for winter and ready for next spring. Think I better leave some hints for her!

I made a list of garden chores - she better just do it and not check it twice… Thought you might find helpful too. Of course, you've probably already put your garden to bed!

Protect your evergreens. The trees may need to be shielded from more than just wind and snow: Use burlap to cover evergreens located near a road that will get salt sprayed. I’ll just hide here until you are finished.

Tips to Prepare the Garden for Winter!!

November 2014   

Butterflies will love your garden

Before the ground freezes - plant spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. I highly recommend LOTS of daffodils. The most reliable perennial, critter proof (but not cat proof) and I look  look awesome surrounded by drifts of the yellow blooms.

As funny as it is for me to watch her fight with the water hose think how smart  it would be to have it ready for next spring. Detach hoses from outdoor spigots, drain them and roll them up. Store them in a dry location. Don’t forget to turn off the outside faucet and place an insulating foam cover over the spigot to keep ice from cracking the metal.

Wait until a killing freeze to cut back perennial foliage. For a wild life friendly garden, leave a few stems and seed heads uncut that will provide food and shelter for the birds…not that I care about their happiness!


YOU can rake up and remove any leaves on your lawn. It is important to remove dead leaves because they will form a dense mat that smothers your grass. I won’t be helping with that job - above my pay grade!

Gazing Globes

It's tempting to go crazy with the mulch as soon as the first leaf falls, but wait until after the ground freezes. This will help keep the soil from heaving. … I do love my mulch!

Take care of your terra cotta containers.

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Pot up paperwhites and amaryllis for blooms indoors in winter. Trust me, if you don't you'll be sorry when there isn't a flower in sight this coming January…don’t make say I told you so!

A great way to save a buck in the garden is composting and fall is the best time to start a bin.

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The to do list is getting shorter, but the tasks seem to require a little more elbow grease.  That’s okay because there is nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing a garden tidied up for its winter nap.

If I have told her once I have told her twice…put your tools away for winter!

I recommend cleaning them, then push the blades of the hand tools into a bucket filled with sand and mineral oil.

Before you put away your mower, drain gasoline and take it to the shop for any repairs needed.  It’s also a good time to have the blade sharpened and balanced.