Gardening: Preparing for Winter

I guess one of the downsides of gardening is the amount of maintenence you need to do to keep it looking nice.  If I just had one simple flower bed, this would all be done by now.  But I don’t.  I created several large beds and with that comes having to maintain them constantly.

And now it’s the time of year when all of the preparation needs to be put in place ready for winter and so that the beds can look their best again when Spring comes around.

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There’s still a few splashes of colour around the garden.  Our Standard Fuschia’s are still flowering and covered in buds, as are our miniature roses.  The Verbena is still showing colour, and the Wallflowers are looking good still too.  I have to shout out to the ornamental grasses too, some of these are looking stunning at the moment.

The rest however, is either dead or dying.  Their colour has gone, the leaves are browning and, like me, they’ve seen better days.

There’s some work to be done here.  A lot of weeding to happen.  It’s amazing how quick these little buggers grow, unseen for ages, before you know it there’s a 4ft weed suddenly appeared in the middle of the bed.  The ivy, bindweed and several other plants that seem to spread and self-root.  Plus the Euphorbia is attempting to make a come back and as for the Buddleia, I’ve just discovered another two plants about 2ft high hidden amongst the plants, so this must have self-seeded at some point too.

20171026_124524The lawn also needs to be re-edged.  That will be a maul, but it will also be worth it.  The one piece of advise given to me by garden loving aunt – if the lawn is nicely edged it will always look neat.  And she was right, even if the grass is a little long the whole thing keeps it’s shape when you can clearly see the edges.  Which currently, you can’t in some places!    Also, there’s an area around the Magnolia where the grass is coming back, so all of that needs to be removed.

And once all of this is done and the beds are as weed-free as possible…It’ll be time to mulch it all.

Just weeding this first 3 metres of the long bed took me 2hrs.  I know it will be worth it in the long run though. There are still 7 metres to go though.

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If I want this area to look it’s best next year, then it’s important that work gets done now so that it’s in good condition for the Spring flowers and planting.  Once it’s mulched with compost, it will also look so much better.

I’m trying to decide what to leave standing for the winter, just so I don’t lose all structure in the garden and have some interest.  Also I want to make sure that the birds and insects have a place to go so it’s important I don’t strip everything back.

Our neighbours are determined to finish their outbuildings this month too so that they’re waterproof before winter kicks in.  And they’ve worked really hard the past couple of weekends so it now has the boards on the roof and they’ve slatted one part on our side.  We’ve also agreed with them that we’ll paint our side as we wanted it a specific colour, which they’ve agreecd to, so that’s something else we need to get done.  It’s looking good though.  Shame as it means we’ll see less of them in the garden and we get on well, but we’ll all be pleased it’s done.  Plus, it’s not like we won’t see them at all and I’m sure both sides will enjoy the privacy.

November is going to be a lot of hard work!  Time to dig out those Wellies again I think.

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