Ramblings by Rose - Autumn


The crisp fall mornings and evenings are finally here. It is time for tidying up the garden and start planning for next year. I like to weed the beds and cut back the spent stems and branches.

I tuck them in with a light spreading of steer manure and then an aged mulch and I've done this for years and believe the manure seeps down into the soil all winter long and enriches it for next spring.

I do pick up SOME of the leaves around shrubs but in certain areas let them stay. It does protect roots and provides a safe place for biota and beneficial bugs. I love it when I move some leaves and a newt or frog looks up. I gently cover them up and wish them well. 

One area I do clean thoroughly are around Roses, black spot and various fungi stay in the ground and can lie in wait for next spring.

Looking forward to next year is a major part of my fall routine.  Deciding to move certain things or add more of a new arrival that thrived. This year I started a new shade garden with hostas and ferns. {Little did I know it would be one of the hottest and driest summers.}  Shade gardens are great on Whidbey and we all have shade, embrace it. A variety of same species plants gives a subdued color pallet that is very peaceful. Same with ferns, color and texture. A favorite is heucheras, coral bells and foam flowers from dark purples to vibrant lime greens -- they make a mosaic of color.  They thrive in shade or sun. Just water.

Now is the time to check out nurseries, fall planting is perfect in our location. It's a great time to fill in bare spots with some new additions. This was a tough year for yards and gardens, but as a gardener for 50+ years, I am always excited about next season!

Gardening in the northwest since 1975 has taught me many lessons and I would be glad to answer questions or share information.