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Cleaning Up the Garden and Writing Up Lists

Cleaning up the leaves

Slowly, slowly, the leaves and fallen and now it is time to get serious about cleaning up the leaves.  We have two river birches and many large shrubs, but they are not the only ones responsible for all  the leaves in our garden. The garden to the south sends us many leaves from three large oaks.

Clearing more leaves – these are on the north side of our garden.

The house to the north has an enormous maple and we have not really begun to clean up these leaves. Now is the time  to get serious. We have been putting leaves in our three leaf bins including a Smart Pot compost sak till they are full. We have put leaves under some of the shrubs. We have also brought bags and bags of leaves to the town dump where leaves can be left for mulching later. I have heard that Martin’s Compost Farm also accepts bags of leaves and will use them to make their compost. Leaves are a rich product for gardeners.

Leaf bins and regular compost bins that also hold some leaves

Blighted Chinese chestnut tree leaves

The large Chinese chestnut to the west, separating our western neighbors has been shedding their  leaves since early in the fall. All the Chinese chestnuts in our neighborhood have been suffering from a blight. By collecting these leaves and having them picked up in trash bags we think the tree is getting a little healthier. We hope so.

The strolling paths have been raked and the planting beds will benefit.

We leave many leaves to rest on the planting beds. Why get rid of leaves if they can benefit the soil? I think they are especially beneficial underneath large shrubs, and where groundcovers will simply come up through the rotten leaves in the spring.

Marker for Coral peony

This is the  time of year when many plants can be moved. Two of my peonies were too close together; moving the Coral peony was given  a clear space in front of the redbud tree.

Crocosmia fronds are no longer visible

This photo will remind me this is where the crocosmia grow in the spring. Their shoots are modest and I inevitably forget what it is that I planted here.

Clethra, Boltonia and Russian Sage

There isn’t much to see here, which is the problem. The Clethra, also known as summersweet is a visible shrub all winter, but the tall Boltonia and beautiful Russian sage disappear. Will I remember what is in these spaces, or do I have to find memory aids?  This post in one of my aide-memoires, but I have also made maps.

These maps  are helpful for locating plants in the spring. They are especially helpful in  the spring when I am trying to remember which plants are big enough, or too big for their location, and that I should consider digging up for the Greenfield Garden Club Plant Sale in the spring.

To go along with the maps, I make a list of suggestions about plants to move, or plants  to remove altogether.

I wonder how YOU keep track of your garden plantings, and what you need to remember about ideas for spring. Please leave comments and suggestions.