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Fall cleanup: What to do with all the leaves?

To rake or not to rake – that has been the eternal question for homeowners every fall. Conventional thinking has always leaned toward picking up leaves; however, environmentally-minded folks make a good point when they claim that leaf litter is a natural compost and you should just leave leaves where they fall.

Both sides are right. The trick is, we need to reframe our fall clean-up thinking to reflect what it is we’re really doing -- we’re closing down our gardens and tucking them in for the winter. The goal is to stage your garden to help it transition into dormancy in the most supportive way so it can withstand whatever forces of winter are thrown at it.

Topics: Seasonal Garden Interest

Why is a Garden a Symbol of Caring?

Nature has long been used as a symbol for a wide range of human emotions, relationships, and interactions. Life, beauty, death, decay, and renewal are just a few examples. As an extension of nature, gardens are perhaps a perfect metaphor for much of what makes us human. We care for our gardens much in the same way that we care for each other. We plant seeds, tend to young plants, feed them, nurture them, and watch them grow.

Much of who we are and what we do centers around how we care for one another on many different levels. Care is central to human existence. Without caring, life would be ugly, short, and devoid of hope and spirit.

Topics: Healing Gardens

Watering in the fall - why it’s good for your plants

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “when do I stop watering in the fall?” For some that might seem like a relatively simple question to answer – “summer is the season for growing and fall is when everything starts to die, so when autumn rolls around it’s time to stop watering, right?” Well, no, not really. The question – and answer – is a little more complicated than that.

Different plants have different needs. Fall is when shrubs and perennials get busy growing their roots. After spending the summer putting all their time and energy into leaf and flower growth, and then fruit and seed production, they use autumn to take better care of their root systems.

Topics: Landscape and Garden Maintenance