There are always some nice days in November that entice gardeners outside to rake leaves, cut down perennials, clean tools and roll up hoses.
Fall, however, is a season where we must be motivated by long term garden goals, as tidiness not flowers, is the immediate gratification. But there is pleasure, of course, in just working outside since we realize winter will soon close in and closing us indoors.
We will be deprived of that exquisite freedom of being able to just open the door and walk into our gardens. It is a freedom that gardeners cherish almost as much as the others guaranteed under our constitution.
Rolling Up Our Sleeves
As we cut down our perennials, remembering not to cut down sub shrubs with woody bases such as lavender, Russian sage and candytuft, we think of how they looked when they bloomed so exuberantly.
As we pull out the annuals, those of us with some bulbs left to plant can tuck a few in the holes.
And as you cut down to about four inches the iris's sword-like leaves, inspect them for sign of borer's damage and discard any affected plants.
Robert Herrick said, "If little labour, little are our gains: Man's fortunes are according to his paines."