You may know this phrase commonly associated with Yogi Berra and baseball, but it also very much applies to Canadian gardens.
We all talk about "putting the garden to bed". Night night. All tucked in. What my clients really mean when they say this to me is this: Cut everything down and take it away!
But there's more to do to put a garden to bed than just cutting everything down and taking it away.
Preparing for the Ravages of Mother Nature
Remember last winter? Ice storm? Bunny damage? Polar vortex?
Ice should be for Skating
There's not a whole lot we could have done to protect against the ice storm. And if it happens again (please no) we will all be at Mother Nature's mercy. But think about your trees and how they reacted to the weight of the ice. There were lots of trees around that could have been saved if they had been properly pruned along the way. It's a good reason to have an arborist come in to assess the health of your trees.
Bunny damage was extensive last winter. The only way to protect woody shrubs is to enclose them in chicken wire to at least 4' tall. Use string or twist ties to attach the top of the chicken wire to the branches of each shrub and garden staples from www.leevalley.com to fix the bottom of the chicken wire to the ground. That way the bunnies won't be able to crawl underneath. Alternatively, hammer in a perimeter of bamboo or 1" x 1" wooden stakes and attach the chicken wire to the stakes. It's a lot of work, but well worth the effort in protecting precious shrubs.
Never had I Heard this Term Before
And the cold...Polar Vortex. Gawd forbid. If this happens again, we're all moving to San Diego. It was just too cold for some things last winter. Roses, buddleia, caryopteris...the list goes on. There's nothing to say you can't put mulch around the base of your plants before the super cold weather comes. People have been doing it with roses for years. Snow can be a great insulator, but if we don't get sufficient quantities plants just freeze. Wait until we get the first real hard frost and mulch away.
Now that's putting a garden to bed.
I can hear the fat lady singing now.