Cleaning Up Garden Beds

In between rain squalls, I have been running out and weeding, finishing up planting bulbs, pruning back dead perennial tops and in general trying to bring order to the chaos outdoors in the garden beds.  We are down to three good-sized and 2 small salad greens beds, and hopefully that will see us through until spring, barring horrible deep snow like last year.  On one hand, it is nice to not have all the work that comes from tending a garden in the busy summer months, but I don’t like to give things up entirely just yet.  And I have not been super thorough, because the black-cap chicadees and other birds have been enjoying the seedheads of several of the annuals that I have left for them out in the garden.  Dahlias are still blooming a bit, and a few roses on the shrubs.  I noticed a bit of blue borage, California poppy and a bit of ‘Jupiter’s Beard’ blooming.  There is a little bit of annual feverfew blooming, as well as the viburnum shrubs, with dark evergreen foliage and clusters of white flowers that the hummingbirds appreciate during the winter months.  Still a hardy fuschia flower or two hanging on as well.  A few nasturtium and chamomile flowers in the hanging baskets still carrying on, and primrose blooms.  The ‘Tuscan Blue’ rosemary (one I highly recommend–the flowers are gorgeous, and it is a wonderful evergreen plant that is edible) is starting to send out a few blue flowers very early.  The plumbago was lovely for quite a long time this fall.  With burgundy leaves highlighting the bright sky-blue flowers, it has alas succumbed to the colder temperatures and excess rain.  I still need to bring the few pellargonium I still have outside, inside for the winter.  If they are placed under lights, they will bloom all winter long.  I do a bit here an there as I have time, and it is an ongoing process for a while.  I also need to collect some maple leaves to shred and then use on the beds as mulch–if it ever stops raining long enough.  I also like to add them to the compost pile.