In Vancouver BC, we have such mild winters – except last year! – that one could continue gardening through most of the year.  But at this time of year, most plants have slowed right down in their growth, and dropped their leaves, and so it is a time to “put it to bed”, do some tidying up, turning off hose bibs, removing garden hoses, and covering up pottery and other items which could be damaged if there were any harsh freezes.

The weather has been quite wet, so I’ve not been motivated to do more than the basic cleanup.  Not to mention, I am discouraged every time I go out to see the devastation the raccoons have unleashed on the lawn, digging for the juicy white grub of the chafer beetle.

This is the second year that they have dug up a large patch of lawn, rolling the turf back like carpet.  I have carefully replaced and stomped and watered the lawn dozens of times this year, and finally I’ve given up.  Next year I may try applying those nematodes which are supposedly able to reduce the number of chafer grub, at least.

I’ve been leaving my ceramic garden totems outdoors these past few winters, just wrapping them in plastic so they don’t get too wet.  (I can’t wait until next year, I have lots of new totem pieces and hope to build a few more totems, maybe a taller one too.)

I should do the same with the glass light fixtures (seen in the distance in the above photo).  But they are so broken by now, that I have a thought to just pull them out.  I don’t think I even went out to enjoy them once this past year, so I don’t know why I bother with the lights anyhow.  But they sure were pretty while they lasted.

Some of my other pottery, I’ll just take a chance on it again, staying out in the weather.  This little face planter is actually open-ended at the bottom, so shouldn’t build up water or ice, and I don’t want to cover it and smother the black mondo grass growing in it anyhow, so it will just stay out.

This little house will stay out also.  After all, it has a good solid roof on it, which should protect it from rain, and snow shouldn’t affect it either.

Here’s a closeup of that little house.  It looks beautiful among those vibrant red sweetgum leaves.

I guess I forgot to take a photo of my gunnera.  Every year, I fold back the huge leaves, once the frost has softened them, to cover and protect the delicate crown.  This year, I have 3 very strong crowns, and there were a good dozen big leaves to fold back.  Anyhow, the photo above is the berries from a patch of lily of the valley.  I don’t remember having so many berries in previous years.

For my final photo, a seed pod from my tree peony.  They don’t all develop to have large shiny seeds like this one.



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