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Don’t look now but winter’s coming


I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and other than a brief stint down under, I have lived in this state for my entire life. If you’re not familiar Wisconsin, you probably associate the state with three things: cheese, the Green Bay Packers and cold weather. It’s no coincidence that these are the first things that come to mind when you think of Wisconsin.

So how is it that every year winter sort of catches me by surprise? I have been dragging my feet a little bit on the garden clean up. All the containers are cleaned out and put away and I cut back almost all the perennials (unlike other years I decided to cut back almost everything in fall, even though it’s said to be better for your plants to let them stand, to lighten my work load in spring). But I haven’t been good about caging some of the trees and shrubs that I like to give a little more protection to (either from the deer or from the weather). For some reason I kept thinking, “Oh, I’ll just wait for a warmer weekend day for that.”

Seeing the snowflakes fly outside my office window on Monday was a good sign that my plan was flawed. But waking up Tuesday morning to snow still on the ground was proof.

Usually we get plenty of flurries that kind of make it look like you’re in a snow globe but nothing really sticks until very late November or early December. For the first snowfall to stick to the ground was a bit disconcerting.

When I left for work Tuesday morning, it was 23 degrees outside and this is what it looked like in my yard.

The Limelight hydrangea flowers are all dry now, but I sort of like to let them stand over winter for a bit of interest.

The cardoon in the corner finally succumbed to the weather. This was my first year growing cardoons and I’ll definitely plant them again. What a great architectural plant with beautiful gray-blue foliage.

If you’re looking for some more information on how to put the garden to bed, lots of bloggers have written excellent posts about it. Heather at New House New Home offered her to-do list hereMargaret’s monthly garden chores list is always great, but her November list is especially good and here are some of my very own tips for winterizing the garden.

Looks like I’m going to need some gloves to finish up the last of the work in the garden. And I’m not talking about gardening gloves.

3 Responses

  1. Yikes! Looks cold there. We have temps in the low 70s today in DC – very strange and unseasonal. Poor plants are confused here. Erin, I'm enjoying your Instagram photos of the way home – will be snowy soon!

  2. Erin, you are too sweet for linking my blog. Thank you so much. I'm so far behind myself this year – haven't even got all my bulbs in the ground. Now that is mostly due to the fact that the order didn't arrive until this week!!! I ordered them in August and waited and waited.
    We had snow this week too – in fact there's still a dusting on the ground in the shady areas. But it's going to be warmer this weekend, so maybe Sunday I'll get to those bulbs (still have a few window boxes to change out too).
    Again – thanks, my friend.

  3. Lovely to get an insight into the arrival of winter in a completely different climate. We had our first frost this week which is a pretty good sign that seasons are changing now, but snow that sticks is something that only happens once every few years!

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