flowers are gone

Well, my perennials have officially succumbed to the frost. We had one day last week, our first, of frost overnight, but most flowers didn’t seem to mind. Only my hydrangea blooms shriveled and turned an ugly brown. Last night dipped below zero and it seems the last of my coneflowers took a beating. Even my mums aren’t looking so hot anymore. I think my asters would be ok, but it appears something has been eating them – most of the little stems have been broken off. The maple tree by the garage still had most of its gorgeous yellow & orange leaves, but has pooped them all over the side lawn overnight. I guess I could do with more shredded leaves for the garden mulch, but that means I have to get out the leaf blower/sucker-upper, and that also means work which I’m really not into at the moment as I sit here sipping coffee in my warm house. I guess I do have to make a trip outside to the bottom of the driveway where my daughter waits for her school bus. *sigh*

I have three potted mums and I think I want to save them over winter in the basement (or maybe the unheated garage would be a better place [?]) and plant them in the garden in the spring. I’m not sure how much of a perennial they are in zone 5 plus they are an inexpensive annual anyway, but I want to try since my mom has said it has never worked for her. I have read that the best time to plant them would be in the spring so they have enough time to get their roots established for winter. On one plant the blooming has finished for the season and the foliage is still so green and lush that I am tempted to just plant it now and mulch like mad for the winter. I guess I really have nothing to lose if the plant does die over winter. The plant was $3.

My winter prep tasks for the garden are pretty much finished. I have shredded leaves covering my entire front gardens, I cut back the lilies, hostas, cannas (I didn’t dig up the rhizomes to store for the winter since I plan on getting new cannas in the spring for that spot – the dark leaved kind. I did layer a foot of leaves over the area where the cannas are so if they do survive the winter that would be amazing. I don’t count on it though) and crocosmias (still debating whether I should tidy up the daylilies or leave them until the spring), bundled up my barely-zone5-hardy macro hydrangeas, and I have just pruned a couple of my paniculata and annabelle hydrangeas. Now we just wait until spring.

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