The longest night of the year has come and the garden is pretty much put to rest.

I have my new compost bin up and I’ve decided to start using it as a kitchen compost during the winter. I’m sure that whatever birds and small mammals are around will appreciate that–good luck to anything bigger that a squirrel getting in.

Due to our really late winter (and more knee problems), only about half of the leaves have been picked up; but due to a massive windstorm a few weeks ago most of the rest have been blown to other yards or have broken down completely already. I was able to get enough to cover the raised beds and the front landscaping and that’s about it.

Due to the late winter, I was able to get almost all of my bulbs planted. As I was not sure where I’d actually be planting them, I took a page out of Laura from Garden Answer’s book and planted most of them in the now-empty pots in my backyard. So hopefully come next spring I will have a couple of hundred tulips plus some assorted daffodils, crocuses, and alliums. The tulip harvest next year should include Menton’s Exotic, Pink Impression, Finola, and Blushing Apledorn, none of which I’ve grown. (The house I bought has a few classic red tulips and yellow daffodils from a long-ago planting.) I still have a few bags of snowdrops to plant, which I am hoping to get in early next spring.

As for landscape/planting clean-up, I wasn’t able to get as much done. The magnolia and juniper bushes out front have been trimmed, but that’s about it. The large lilacs and hydrangea bushes will have to wait until next spring. The Greenstalks are mostly untouched–I’ve only pulled a few of the plants that died and will clearly not come back next spring. I did find a few that, even though they looked dead, had a huge root system so assumably they will come back next spring–or they would have if I hadn’t pulled them My chives and sprouting celery probably could have made it through the winter. Ah, well. Now I know for next year. I’ve left most of the strawberries as well as a few herbs which should all survive the winter.

Finally, I’ve brought my tiny Hardy Pomegranate tree and one of my Night-blooming Jasmine plants in to overwinter. I overwintered the pomegranate successfully last year, so that should be fine. I’m hoping by the end of summer next year it’ll be big enough to keep outside overwinter–it is the “hardy” pomegranate after all. the night blooming jasmine is still an experiment. I left one out in the cold to see how it’s do and the strongest of the three I brought inside. My youngest cat loves to chew on greenery, so I only have so much space to overwinter plants.

My hope is to start growing lettuces/herbs indoors come January, but right now I’m enjoying the downtime. Happy Yule to all! Here’s to a great gardening year next year.

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