Seven Things That Need Doing In The Garden Now

May 24, 2010

Number one thing that needs doing in the garden: Cut, cut cut.

December 22, 2010

The time of allowing standing grasses and perennials for winter interest is over…

January 6, 2010

…The imperative is rising from the cold, frozen earth.

January 6, 2011

Number two thing that needs doing in the garden: Mulch where things were cut with soil conditioner, composted manure and/or pea gravel as needed.

January 6, 2010

Number three thing that needs doing in the garden: Compost what was cut.

(Someone had better address the compost bin contents soon).

January 6, 2010

Number four thing that needs doing in the garden: Look for bulbs emerging from the cleaned up spaces, for the thrill of discovery.

January 6, 2010

Number five thing that needs doing in the garden: Take photos of the prettiest spots if any can be located.
(You always forget to cut the blood grass in the trough.)

Cut down driveway muhly grass

Number six thing that needs doing in the garden: Go around with the cute little clipboard bought at Lockwood Nursery in Buffalo during the 2010 Blogger Meetup and a pencil and write down any ideas that come to mind whilst strolling with thoughtful intent.

Number seven thing that needs doing in the garden: If none of the above can be accomplished right now, sometimes the weather gods are just not in the mood for us to garden outside, enjoy the beauty that winter has to offer.




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30 Responses to Seven Things That Need Doing In The Garden Now

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It appears that you have a few more days of dreaming to do Frances. You will probably find all sorts of green growing things when the snow melts. Snow is good for the garden. Love the clipboard and matching pencil.

    Hi Lisa, thank for stopping by. At the moment there is a fluffy white blanket over the garden that has been there a few days. We, the garden and I, are not used to that. Snow is usually gone within hours of falling here. I am glad to hear the garden likes it. The clipboard was bought at a nursery in Buffalo, the pencil I had already. I am attracted to those colors! πŸ™‚

  2. Donna says:

    seems I’ll settle for #7…would rather do 1 and 4…soon though

    Hi Donna, thanks for visiting. We are having to settle for seven at the moment as well, but got lots done before the snow fell. When the bulbs begin peeking out of the ground, those things needing to be cut suddenly seem like unwanted guests at the party that just won’t leave! πŸ™‚

  3. number eight – trim that green hedgehog !

    It took some study, but you are referring to the patch of furry moss in the trough, right? HA πŸ™‚

  4. Great list Frances – I love that you include the taking of notes and pictures, a great reminder to learn and enjoy. Easy to get bogged down in lists of chores otherwise – although the cutting back is always so exciting because of the surrounding signs of new life. The rain is currently defeating my plans to get up to the allotment and/or cut back the perennials but happily there is always the greenhouse!

    Hi Janet, thanks. I am so glad you have that greenhouse in which to seek refuge. I love making lists, it helps keep me sane. Even though it seems winter is a permanent state right now, the bulb tips showing prove otherwise. πŸ™‚

  5. gardeningasylum says:

    I missed the cute clipboard section at Lockwoods! Wasn’t that a wonderful sort of place – now looking forward to Seattle. How wonderful that you can be looking for bulbs soon – that last photo is just beautiful.

    Hi Cyndy, thanks. Lockwoods was a dream! I wish that many more items, including many plants! could have come on the plane with me back to Tennessee! Yes, Seattle awaits! πŸ™‚

  6. No 8. Prune roses. That’s what I’m at right now. Some may say it’s a little early but I always do it mid to late Jan and always seem fine.

    As for the compost heap, I find every excuse under the sun as to why I can’t turn it! Hard work.

    It’s great when you see the first stirrings of what’s to come. I think that’s why I like Sedum so much, those little rosettes are always first to appear, just waiting for warmer days, mind you, aren’t we all?

    Hi Rob, thanks for stopping by. We prune the roses on Valentine’s Day here, or the closest to that date as the weather allows. It is a ritual of getting ready for spring. And, are we supposed to turn the compost heap? We always just take the top stuff out to a wheelbarrow and use the good bottom stuff. I guess that is turning! HA The Sedums are a delight, I agree, full of potential, even now. πŸ™‚

  7. Les says:

    I have accomplished #7, and am currently awaiting a convergence of day off, weather and motivation. So far the three have not met, perhaps I will have to proceed regardless.

    Hi Les, we are stuck at the moment on number seven here as well. Patience is a gardening virtue. πŸ™‚

  8. Janet says:

    I am still enjoying the winter interest of the few items that are showing. ….except of course for the fact that the snow/ice cap has covered them.
    Good list.

    Hi Janet, thanks. Were it not for the bulbs, many of these things would still be left standing for another month of so. The muhly is still there, totally encased in ice and snow. There are couple more areas left to cut during the next thaw phase. The hellebores are looking somewhat ratty,too. The decision of to cut or not to cut will have to be made soon as well. Spring sneaks up on us, even while it is snowing! πŸ™‚

  9. Gail says:

    Dear Frances, Verdant~That’s the word that comes to mind and delicious… It’s so exciting to see those first bulb shoots poking up and with them, the promise of spring. I am not quite ready for prime time garden cleaning. The grasses are still looking gorgeous, but, as soon as the snow is gone~off with the Susans’ seedheads! Keep warm. xxoogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. The bulbs speed up the cleaning process here. I have waited too long in previous years and stepped on the bulb buds, breaking them off. Now that is a tragedy! Not to self, cut the stuff before Christmas next year, on a warm, sunny day!

  10. Eileen says:

    Hi Frances,

    We’re still more like your last photo, but I know what you are saying. As soon as things warm up a little it will be very busy in the garden.


    Hi Eileen, thanks for stopping by. We have even more snow on the ground than in that last photo, I am sorry to say. Much of the cutting has been accomplished, it will be finished in the next warm up. We were spoiled for a few years there, with many warm and sunny winter days. That seems to have changed the last couple of seasons. I need to adjust my chore calender.

  11. Only one thing needs doing around here. Number one thing SHOVEL!

    HA Christopher, you DO need to shovel! I think you do the same chop chop that we do, but later on. It’s all those bulbs that are planted in every bed, poking their heads up. I need to clear the area so they can look purty when the time comes, without stepping all over them. It is my own doing, I admit it. πŸ™‚

  12. I so thought that looked like a hedgehog too. I needed to read the caption and it is a very pretty spot. But it does seem from the looks of things that you have some time to wait before those little shoots venture off into the sunlight.

    Hi Donna, thanks. That little bit of moss sure is cute, we like it too. We are still trying to adjust to the new paradigm of winter here. In the not so distant past, we never had snow cover for more than a few hours. We have now turned into the frozen North!

  13. I’m settling for #7 right now. it is 14 degrees out there and as far as I know there isn’t any composting happening at present, plus I have a nasty cold. I think I’ll stay in and visit garden blogs from places in the Mediterranean.

    Hi Hands, thanks for visiting, even though we are not in the Mediterranean! I am sorry you have a cold, best stay inside where it is warm, with plenty of liquids and rest. I am wondering if the snow will smoosh the compost pile down so I can put more stuff in. There are a couple more beds to clean up, when the snow melts and the ground thaws. πŸ™‚

  14. Lovely Frances. How thrilling to see the new life breaking through the earth. Lucky you! Your last photo is gorgeous. I am wondering if that is from the recent storm that has left us with nearly two feet of snow. Great compost heap!

    Hi Carol, thanks. The last shot is from Christmas, I believe. We did get nearly a foot of snow with the one you just got hit with though. My son Gardoctor built the compost bin as a Mother’s Day present. It is a sturdy one. I have a couple more beds to cut down, and the muhly grass, whenever the next thaw decides to come here. This has been a most abnormal winter so far!

  15. Catherine says:

    I am anxious to get out and start doing some of those things. Especially the cutting back part. Weather gods aren’t cooperating with us either, rain, snow, slush and cold means staying inside for a few more days. 😦

    Hi Catherine, your weather has been harsh! When we are used to doing certain things at a certain time, it messes up our equilibrium when they cannot be done. Or mine, anyway.

  16. Layanee says:

    You will just have to dream of warmer days for a while and enjoy that wonderland.

    I think you are right, Layanee. At least for a few more days, anyway. You would think this was Rhode Island or something from the snow we have had, rather than Tennessee! πŸ™‚

  17. Victoria says:

    That’s a wonderful checklist. I’m just going to copy it into my own notebook, and if it ever stops raining here in London, I might get around to doing some of them. I love your phrase”strolling with thoughtful intent”. I am very good at that.

    Hi Victoria, thanks. I do hope your wonderful tropicals did not suffer damage from this crazy snowy winter we have both had! I am glad to hear it is rain instead of snow keeping you from gardening. πŸ™‚
    ps, I am so excited to think of seeing you again in Seattle!

  18. Cindy, MCOK says:

    I love the snow-dusted bottle tree! I’ll have lots of cutting back to do next month on shrubs and woody perennials. I hold off on those until the danger of a hard freeze is past.

    Thanks Cindy. The blue and white is a good match. Cutting is the big job here in late winter, to neaten up before the growing starts in spring.

  19. I am for more of #4 and getting to the rest manana.

    Hi Carolyn, number four is fun and can be done in stolen moments when weather allows. The rest can wait, as you say. πŸ™‚

  20. Lola says:

    A good list to follow. I need to do the cutting soon as it’s much warmer here & things start early. Time to plant cool time veggies.
    I have to get the ambition first. Seems I don’t like to be out in the cold any more.

    Hi Lola, thanks. The cold can be daunting, that is for sure! It was cold when the cleanup shown in the post was done, but the temps were above freezing. I bundled up and found that once moving, it wasn’t too bad. Good luck with those veggies! We have some time to go yet before that can happen, a couple of months, but time moves ever onward. πŸ™‚

  21. Town Mouse says:

    Quite a list. I wouldn’t want to run around with pruners in the snow myself, but I admire those who do. And furthermore, I’m just so glad we have garden waste pickup (the city composts). I mainly use my composter for a few leaves and cuttings from cooking.

    Thanks Town Mouse. You are lucky with your city pickup. Our town takes branches and I have made good use of that service many times, especially with the thorny rose canes from giants like Killer and Thorny. We don’t prune in the snow, however. Although the way things are going here this year, we might end up doing so! πŸ™‚

  22. Alistair says:

    Hi Frances, I am itching to get out and do all these jobs. Long time since I have seen (Nigella love in a mist)first seeds we ever did sow, Oh, very early for pruning Roses.

    Hi Alistair, thanks for visiting. We are currently snowed under, no more cutting for a while here either. We prune the roses on Valentine’s Day. It makes it easy to remember when to do it! We do love the Nigella, it has seeded all over and we allow it to stay and bloom before yanking it. Some is allowed to set seed of course. πŸ™‚

  23. Liisa says:

    While your photos make me long for spring, I think I would like to enjoy just a little more winter before tackling all of those chores. The landscape looks so fresh and clean under its wintry blanket. But, it will all melt soon enough, and I will be reminded of all the work I need to do. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year to you, Frances!

    Hi Liisa, thanks and the same good wishes back to you! We enjoy a little snow every once in a while, too. But the norm here is to be able to work in the garden, bundled up mind you, all winter. I guess we have a new norm. πŸ™‚

  24. Frances, I was going to say… and then, I spotted that last photo. THAT’s why the robins have decided to remain up north this year! πŸ˜‰

    Hi Shady, thanks for visiting. We had a warmer spell last week, above freezing, that allowed me to do lots of cutting down. Then the snow came, again. You enjoy those robins for a bit longer. There are no patches of bare earth for them to poke around in for worms at the moment! πŸ™‚

  25. One says:

    That blood grass is gorgeous. Wish I could have it in my garden. But if is surviving through winter, most probably it is not suited here.

    Hi One, thanks for stopping by. The blood grass may need a chill dormant period, as many of our plants do. There are probably similar plants that might give the same impression that will grow in your tropical paradise, though. πŸ™‚

  26. debsgarden says:

    I’ve been stuck on # 7 for a while! But I’m itching to get out there. I also need to transplant several shrubs. Should have done that last fall, but it’s not too late.

    Hi Deb, itching is the perfect word to describe how we feel too when weather prevents us getting outside to work in the garden. There is much that needs doing, including some transplanting. Let us hope we both have time before it gets too hot too soon, as sometimes happens! πŸ™‚

  27. You’ve inspired me to get my own list started…I’ve been so busy with the inside organization of January that I’ve neglected my garden muse…time to get busy!

    Hi Cat, thanks for visiting. Inspiration is sometimes needed to get going on the garden again after the holidays. So far it hasn’t gotten so bad that I am doing housework though. HA Thank goodness for the internet! πŸ™‚

  28. Ilona says:

    It is too cold here – I am hibernating! Love your pictures which remind me of the spring that is coming, albeit not for months yet.

    Such a lovely garden, in all seasons.

    Hi Ilona, thanks so much. We are enduring a forced hibernation here with the cold and snow. I am ready to rebel, get bundled up and go outside to work, but the frozen white stuff is covering everything, dadburn it! πŸ™‚

  29. Frances you gave me a chuckle! I was totally drawn into each pic thinking… wow, she’s doing this now? Then the snow pic appeared. My gardens are a deep freeze under a frozen tundra. It will be awhile before the clipboard comes out.

    Hi Meredehuit, thanks. I am glad you were amused! We had a week of above freezing temps and I was able to get a lot of cutting back done, then the snow returned, before I was done. I suppose that will slow down the bulbs coming up so I can finish whenever this white blanket melts. I hope that is soon! πŸ™‚

  30. Rose says:

    As I was reading this, I was thinking, “Lucky Frances! She has bulbs coming up already and can get out in her garden and do actual work.” But I see from the last photo Winter is still holding its grip on your garden, too. The list can wait–time to sit back and relax a little and enjoy the view.

    Hi Rose, thanks. There are bulbs coming out of the ground, they are simply under nearly a foot of frozen snow! I did manage to get a good start on the cut cut cutting, but had to wait it out this week. I do hope to get back out there soon. Relaxing inside is not to my liking! πŸ™‚

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