It has been a brisk, fairly dry weekend in Portland – the kind of autumn days when it’s quite pleasant to be outside bundled up. I took advantage of the fine weather by preparing the garden for winter. I pulled up the zucchini and broccoli plants, turning them over on the soil so they can decompose in place. The chicken coop has been cleaned out and an extra fluffy layer of straw thrown in. Should keep the girls a little warmer as the weather gets cooler. All in all, we are ready for winter.

Although the final design for the yard has not been completed, I couldn’t help myself… I bought about 100 and some odd bulbs and spent yesterday afternoon poking them in the ground. 40 of them were crocuses, which I adore. They are usually the first sign of life to pop up, hinting that the end of winter must be near. A huge bag of daffodils and tulips went in the ground as well under my fruit trees. They should get some good light in those early Spring days when the fruit trees have not grown in leaves yet. As the flowers begin to fade, the fruit trees will begin to bloom.

I also got three of these totally awesome allium flowers that I can’t wait to see. They look like something from outer space. I can’t explain why really, but anything that looks like it’s from another planet instantly wins me over. I love the plant name too: Allium Gladiator. The huge round flowers should bloom at about 4″-5″ around.

We’re planning to proceed with the great sheet mulching in a few weeks. All of the grass in the yard will be gone and by Spring things should be decomposed just in time for new plants to come in. Hopefully the garden design will be done by then as well and there can be a little more method to the madness outside. If I had it all wrapped up too early, what would keep me busy this winter?

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Written by Renee Wilkinson