Preparing our garden for winter

October is almost over and it keeps on getting cooler here in Toronto. Most of our trees still have their leaves, but I’m sure that won’t be for long!

We spent yet another weekend – Or rather at least one day this weekend doing some more yard work in order to prepare our garden for winter. This time we were busy putting away things like our solar lights, garden ornaments and trimming back some of the plants that had become overgrown. I also took some time inspecting my rose plants and I cut out any dead branches that I noticed.

When the trees finally start to drop their leaves we’ll gather up some of the leaves and put them on our garden beds as we normally do each year. A good layer of maple leaves on our plants seems to help protect them through the winter.

Most winters we don’t get a lot of snow. Oh we get snow, but it snows, then it melts and we have a week or two of deep cold but no snow cover .. so if the plants are bare and exposed to all that cold it can really hurt them – so at least the deep leaf cover helps. Then of course it will snow again and our garden will have a foot or two of snow on it for a week or two until it melts again and that will keep the plants and ground insulated for a short while .. but the temperature changes the garden goes through through the winter because of our lack of good snow cover yet fairly cold temperatures can be quite hard on the plants if they aren’t prepared in the fall.

Do you put mulch or leaves on your garden beds in late fall to protect your plants over the winter?






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Autumn blooms from my garden

It’s started to get cool here in Toronto and I suppose it’s time to get the garden and yard ready for winter even though I’m dreading the arrival of snow and ice! Ah … too soon to think of those things isn’t it?

Anyway … Last weekend I decide it was time to get a start on preparing the garden for winter so we got to work at putting away our patio furniture and tidying up the garden beds to some degree. We still have a lot of work to do, but at least we got things started.

While I was working in the garden I noticed that quite a few of my fall flowers were blooming so I got out my camera and took quite a few pictures. Here’s a few of my favorite garden photos from last weekend:

Toad Lilies! The only time of year that I can see lovely Toad Lilies blooming is in late September through October. Aren’t they absolutely lovely?

Toadlilies

Then there are these lovely chrysanthemums. I have a large planter of them on my front porch blooming their pretty little heads off.

chrysanthemums 3

Sedum always shines at this time of year. I always think of it as kind of a filler plant in the spring and summer, but come Autumn it’s a star when it begins to bloom and turns lovely colors.

Sedum

Monkshood is another Autumn favorite of mine. I have two types of Monkshood growing in my backyard garden. I believe the type in the photo below is Monkshood Azure.

Monkshood 9

This last photo is my favorite. Of course it’s a rose. This rose is Chicago Peace. It’s not as colorful as it would be in the Spring or early summer … but it’s still lovely. If it weren’t for the little tiny green leaf on one of the petals I think this would be an almost perfect picture of this rose.

Chicago Peace Rose

Do you still have flowers blooming in your garden? If you do what’s blooming?

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Flowers are blooming in my garden

It’s amazing how much everything in my garden has been growing this week.

I know for a fact that some of my plants have grown several inches in just three days. Perhaps it’s all the rain we’ve had in as many days that’s caused the accelerated growth or maybe it’s just because it’s finally warming up a to the temperatures that we’re supposed to have at this time of year – at least in the last day or two it has anyway .. I’m sure it will be freezing cold again soon.

During a break in the rain yesterday afternoon, when the sun was shining if you can believe that … I snuck outside with my camera and took a few pictures of some of the flowers that are in bloom.

Have a look at what’s blooming in my garden this week:

Blue Glories of the Snow

Blue Glory of the Snow 15

These are lovely flowers that grow in clumps. I have both Blue, White and Pink varieties. They make a nice addition to the spring garden beds.

Hellebore (Christmas Rose)

Hellebore 2

My Hellebores are just starting to bloom. Their flower blossoms are shy .. with their heads hanging down so you can’t see their pretty blooms very well at all.

Dwarf Iris

Dwarf Iris 5

I usually don’t get to enjoy seeing the Dwarf Iris for very long because most years, once they make an appearance it often warms up and the flowers really seem to hate the heat so they wilt and die down quit quickly, but this year with it being a bit cooler than normal the dwarf Irises have been around for a little longer so I’ve had a chance to enjoy them.

Snow Drops

Snow Drops 6

The Snow Drop is another flower that I usually don’t get much of a chance to enjoy. They usually bloom quite early … in early March sometimes and die down as it warms up. But this year we had snow for most of March so they didn’t come up through the snow and once they did come up I could see them and enjoy them.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

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