YES, IT’S TIME or almost time to do some raking, and to dig the dahlias to stash: time to perform the rounds of the fall cleanup, and put the garden to bed. But Ken Druse and I want to advocate for a sort of “cleanup-plus”—for tending not just to the obvious chores, but also doing some reflection, and making time for often-overlooked late-season tasks like seed-saving.
Or for finally transplanting one of those two overcrowded shrubs that have been screaming for more elbow room, and you keep swearing to rescue them, but never quite get to it.
You all know Ken Druse, author of 20 spectacular garden books, an old friend and my colleague the last few years in our Virtual Garden Club online courses, which resume in January. (That’s the view of his fall garden, above.) We’ve been talking this week together on the phone about how we’re winding down our respective garden seasons, and we wanted to let you in on some of the details that we hope will help you in your own cleanup-plus.
Read along as you listen to the Nov. 6, 2023 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here).
fall ‘cleanup-plus,’ with ken druse
Margaret Roach: Are you ready for some “plus,” Ken? [Laughter.] How’s it going?
Ken Druse: Doesn’t it seem familiar? Like every year, and also every spring and every fall? It’s fall, but it doesn’t feel like… Well, the weather’s been very warm. But when we started thinking about talking about these things, it reminded me that that’s what we do in the spring too, is look.
Margaret: Yeah. And really most of all, to advocate for sort of not being on autopilot,
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When I was a child, my favourite season by a long shot was autumn. I loved the sight of it, the smell of it, the sound and sense of it. Especially the trees. Giant beech, oak and flushing gold and copper. The wild gales that sent their dying leaves swirling to the ground. The ripe, sweet, fungal smell of those same fallen leaves and the messy joy of wading up to my knees in a sea of arboreal confetti.
Peonies are a cherished addition to the home landscape. Long-lived and dependable, peony plants are prized for their gorgeous blooms and seasonal beauty. Despite their ease of growth, however, they need some special attention. This is especially true as temperatures begin to cool. How to care for them in the fall depends greatly upon the type of peony.
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Autumn presents the perfect conditions for creating a gorgeous fall tablescape. You might be interested in conjuring a dreamy spread for a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving meal, or perhaps you're after a few new options to embrace the cozy season.
Mums are synonymous with fall. Thanks to their late bloom period, these beautiful flowers make a much-welcomed addition to the home landscape. Potted mums from garden centers adorn porches, patios, and even indoor spaces. Though some choose to treat these flowers as an annual, many have found success wintering mums in garden beds. You may also wonder if you can divide mums. “Can you split mums” is a question we often hear during the fall months.
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