putting the garden to bed

It’s that sad time of year when it’s time to put the garden to bed for the winter.  For me, it’s also the busiest time of my year, rushing to get all the weeds out, plants cut back, summer things put away, and most time consuming of all, is getting rid of all the leaves.

My back yard is cut in half by a white picket fence and gate.  Behind the fence is my shed, veggie garden, herb garden, rose garden-to-be, compost bins, and misc. other sections of garden.

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In front of the fence is lawn, and gardens flanking each side of the lawn.  So, you can see why it’s such a busy time, and that’s not including the front gardens and large front lawn, where the majority of trees drop their leaves.

Lest you think I’m complaining, I’m not.  It’s just the busiest season for me, and leaves my head spinning at times.  Being a neat freak, ideally I’d like to have every weed and leaf gone, but that rarely happens . . . maybe when I retire.

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Every fall I feel a little panicky about getting everything done.  With the time changing and cold weather setting in, on the warmer days, I have to drop all other plans and head outside.  But every year, most of it gets done, and it usually takes until I’m hanging Christmas lights outside to get the last of the leaves rounded up.

We had such a hot fall, that everything lasted much longer than usual, and I wasn’t able to get the raised beds cleaned out until mid October.  But even with the warm weather, when plants have done their years work, they tend to start looking exhausted, and it’s somewhat refreshing when everything is cleaned out, tidy, and back to bare earth.

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In case you noticed, the lilacs along the fence line are tied up with yellow nylon rope because in a few weeks, that ugly chain link fence is being replaced with a 6-foot privacy fence.  Yay!  I can hardly wait.  Privacy, and most importantly a barrier the deer won’t come over.

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A few herbs are left in the beds and unfortunately that beautiful parsley plant will soon die from the cold.  But for now, it’s the greenest thing in the yard.

The raspberry bed is still looking good and producing berries on a daily basis.  A delightful treat while working in the garden.


A couple reliable plants of unknown hydrangea variety are turning lovely shades of yellow and brown.

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I never deadhead this hydrangea, because in midwinter when they are totally brown, they look exquisite when covered with snow or ice.

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It is time for all statuary and clay pots to be stored away, otherwise the freezing and thawing will erode and break them down.

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bench collage

The rain barrel is gathering a few leaves itself, and all too soon it will be frozen over with ice.

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Inside the garden shed, it is time to round up all my gardening utensils and get them in one place and organized.

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The hand tools are hung like stockings waiting for Christmas.  A few are missing.  I wonder where they went?

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The tub drugs are finally all together where I can find them, instead of scattered anywhere from the garage to the porch, to the garden.  I don’t know why I can’t stay this organized all summer long.

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Old plant markers that I never use, but just enjoy collecting for their beauty, hang out here in the potting shed year round.

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A dead bouquet of pink and white zinnias that I dried to collect the seeds for planting next spring, certainly don’t liven up the place, but truly represent the season well.

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Abandoned nests . . . always a signal the seasons are changing.


The dark entrance to the shed bespeaks the fact that once again, the shed, neither received the makeover or clean-up that was on the agenda for this summer.  An unexpected surgery interrupted this plan . . . maybe next year.

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Moby, my constant companion, keeps me company while working outside.  He usually scouts out the warmest and softest place in the garden when it is cold.  This time he’s sunning himself in the middle of a patch of lamb’s ears.  He’s no fool.

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And so, it is the end of another garden season.  Like Sleeping Beauty, everything will sleep until kissed by the warmth of a spring sun.

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Now, just in case this post wasn’t long enough already, I wanted to add a few words to my friends and friends I’ve acquired through blogging, about some changes coming.

This blog was originally started as a business blog for my Etsy shop, but I quickly reverted to it being mostly personal covering my love for gardening, baking, and home decor.  I’ve been advised by my business mentor, Marion, of Miss Mustard Seed fame, that it is time to also include some of my business.  There will be more posts about my Etsy business covering my state maps. how I make them, and interesting information about our lovely United States.  I won’t barrage you with posts, definitely not more than once a week, if that.  And please know, dear friends, that I am not asking you for sales.

I do promise that in these posts, I will try to acquaint you with interesting facts, information, and history about our beloved states that we call home.  My hope is that you will love your state, and others more, because of what I share.

Also, please check out Marian’s blog, Miss Mustard Seed, where she shares her amazing decor, how to paint furniture, antique hunting, how to make a furniture slipcovers, and everything else in between.  After my 8 years of blogging, Marian’s blog is the only one I still follow faithfully every day.  I am constantly learning and inspired by her creativity.



7 thoughts on “putting the garden to bed

    1. I usually run them over with the lawn mower to mulch them up and then go back and pick them up with the mower bag. It’s easier than raking them to the curb for pickup. Then they all go into a large bin in the back of the yard, where they sit for a year until they turn into wonderful leaf mold. Most of my leaves are oak, so they aren’t the best to use, but it’s better than throwing them away.


      1. That’s a great use for them. I agree, throwing them away is akin to a garden crime. 😉
        While I have lots of maple, which are the perfect pH, when I use oak, I dust them with lime to try to amend the pH. It seems to work.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Even in transition, Cindy, your garden looks lovely. The picket fence and hummingbird-decorated gate are very inviting. I’m a neat-freak by nature too but I’ve come to accept that a certain amount of disorder is just a fact of life in the garden. This year, with the clutter of our still ongoing remodel spilling everywhere, I’m trying to close my eyes to what I can’t control while I wait for the construction crew to leave – then, I’ll be tearing out and redoing much of my garden, especially in the back. The idea of snow blanketing the entire garden for awhile is compelling but of course impossible in my climate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Kris. There is a quiet peace in everything going to sleep for the winter, especially when covered with a blanket of snow. And it is a great relief when the leaves are finally finished and I can retire inside to hibernate. There is a quietness about winter, as if it is giving you permission to rest, and is very much needed by that time.


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