“In autumn don’t go to the jewelers to see gold, go to the park” Mehmet Murat ildan
“Of all the seasons autumn offers the most to man and requests the least” Hal Borland
Pre-winter Prep: While the weather remains comfortable continue to clean up spent perennials, Hostas, peonies, etc. Last call to lift and divide perennials. Collect, clean and store stakes and supports.
Winter Protection: When the weather cools protect delicate plants (remember last winter) with mulch, straw, burlap. Though black plastic and bubble wrap are being used a warm patch might burn these protected plants.
Turf: Grass will continue to grow in temperatures over 41 degrees. Mow high. Water newly planted lawns on a daily basis.
Winter Interest Plantings: A panel of experts suggest in the WSJ: pyracantha, snowberry (Symohoricarpus albus), winterberry Red Sprite or Aurantiaca.
Other thoughts, trees with bark interest, twiggy dogwood, Stewartia, paper bark maple, or quirky non green evergreens and showy seed-heads like grasses.
Leaves: Keep up with leaf removal on lawns and walks. Recent studies indicate it is not necessary to clean off leaves around trees and shrubs. Waxy leaves like oak might be better shredded.
Record Keeping: As you clean up take pictures of the name tags on plants especially roses, the tags might disappear over the winter.
Analysis: While the garden is still growing, note what bloomed well or not, was there bloom succession, are there blank spots to be filled in in the spring, Evaluate the mix of height, texture, need for more or different color. You are translating “spatial design into horticultural context” (impressive!)
Houseplants: Now safely inside and adjusted to the dryer heated rooms, water as needed. Remember overwatering is the death knell for houseplants.
Drying Herbs: Cut fresh herbs in the morning, place in plastic “knit” bags-such as onions or bulbs. Let the herbs dry and then place the bag inside a zip lock bag and rub. The dry leaves will go into the storage bag; the stems will remain in the knit bag.
Empty Containers: Tubs that could crack in the cold can be stored in bubble wrap or fleece. Potting soil can be stored and recycled in the spring.
Vegetables: Most vegetables need to be harvested before the frost. Exceptions are Brussel sprouts and kale both of which sweeten with the cold.