Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Putting the garden to bed...................

.................I love that phrase, used mostly in England.  My cousin Sue always says it to me each Autumn and it makes me homesick.  I recall doing that to my mother's lovely garden growing up - always lots of clean up, mulching, and pruning, and making sure there was a warm place under a privet hedge for our resident Mrs. Tiggywinkle, a hedgehog who lived in our neighbor's garden in the Summer but always hibernated under our side of the hedge all Winter.  

To see an English garden with wonderful resident hedgehogs - visit my friend Rose at Second Hand RoseIf you scroll down a little way you can see the amazing Winter homes Rose is building for her little garden friends.

Of course here in my North Carolina garden there's been plenty to keep me busy lately.......but sadly no hedgehogs to tuck in for Winter.  The raccoon may have moved off since the bird feeders have not been filled (sorry birds - we'll feed you later).  The squirrels are very active, burying acorns and running up and down the large oaks to shore up their nests as Winter's blustery winds will arrive before we know it.

I do have some rogue produce coming along!  Can you believe those tiny squash I thought were Summer veggies, which appeared from a pile of compost tossed around a rose bush, now look very much like beautiful butternut squash........................

.................should I harvest them to eat in the next week?  They will most likely rot before I return in mid-November.  If you grow these Winter hard squash, any tips for picking will be appreciated.

The garden angels seem to be ready for their Winter rest, snuggled into ivy under the hydrangeas. Hopefully the Winter will not be as cold here as last year.  The bone-chilling days were many, followed by the relentless hot, very dry, Summer.  The garden may be sleeping soon, hopefully a long peaceful rest to ready for next Spring when all the beauty of Nature will return.  Meanwhile I'm enjoying the Autumn surprises.  Later, even Winter will bring a different kind of beauty when dead plants will wear early morning frosty gowns, and perhaps some snow will arrive for the Holidays!


  1. I love your blog. You make it all seems so peaceful and wonderful. Maybe if I take my computer into the garden and listen to your playlist while I'm doing all this work it will be 'lovely.' I've bought the mulch (even placed it at strategic points in the yard) and just need to get a few bundles of pine straw for the blueberrys and soon - well, someday, I'll put my Texas garden to bed.

  2. We did have a rather extreme year when it comes to the weather. Looking forward to lots of snow this winter though... just love it.

  3. No garden work for me today as it's raining but I do enjoy putting my garden to bed for the winter. I've done three really big jobs but still have lts of cutting back, weeding and mulching to do. All the birdfeeders are out now which is one if the really important autumn remains to be seen.

  4. I plan on doing some gardening this weekend, but we are not ready to put our garden to bed. We still are growing beans, peas and peppers. We also have butternut squash, that I planted in July I think. This is the first time I planted it. Our friends who are gardeners said they are ready to pick when the vine they are attached to dries out. If you pick them too soon, they will be green. Also butternut squash after picking can be kept in a cool place for up to 6 months!

  5. Mary, I love that photo of the angel with the ivy tucked all around it!! Just gorgeous!!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day and writing me a lovely note!!

    Have fun on your trip! Be safe!

  6. Love your blog. I’m a follower now.


  7. Hi Mary. Our hedgehogs tend to go to bed for the Winter in our hay barn, where there is plenty of warm hay to snuggle down into. As for putting the garden to bed, we tend to leave it until early spring, so that the birds have full use of the seeds etc. and the bugs have plenty of places in which to hide.

  8. I love the idea of putting the garden to rest for the winter. A hedgehog would be delightful. We do have the squirrels who are very busy preparing for winter. I laughed yesterday as one very ambitious squirrel climbed a little trellis in our garden and jumped onto the sunflowers, then snagged a drying blossom and carried it away. It was so fun to watch. No wonder we have sunflowers growing in unusual places in the yard.

  9. Mary, I'm glad that you shared your young life with Mrs Tiggywinkle, such happy memories to treasure. Your bird visitors will manage well until your return. Slowly but surely my garden is being put to bed too - Thank you so much for the link to my blog:o)
    Your Butternuts look wonderful (my favourites), I've never grown them, but I do know they have a good shelf life and will keep in a dry, cool place for some weeks, or why not roast and then freeze them, they'll be ready for your return.
    Your garden angel looks so serene :o) Enjoy the garden before you lave on your travels!

  10. Sweet dreams to your garden! Putting the garden to bed...what an interesting concept. I love how you talk about it. And now I'm going over to visit Rose and find out more. Gardens here, I'm afraid, never go to sleep...or so it seems to me, a non-gardener (or in other words, I really don't know what I'm talking about!)

  11. The angels sleeping, how very beautiful, the garden will sleep too.

    Lovely photographs and magical!

    Lorraine :-}

  12. I think a lot of things perked up with the change in weather, but it is getting colder now. We still have a ton of leaves to take care of yet when you have trees all around you kinda wait a while!
    Take Care,


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