Tofino Gardening in November 2006
by Trina Mattson, Tofino
As the gardening season starts to wind down for the year and we start to put our gardens to bed for the season there are a few odds and ends to finish up before next years gardening starts up again.
Make sure that all the gardens have been cleaned up and raked of the last of the debris from fallen leaves and any annual weeds have been pulled. Plant up amaryllis for the holiday season, make a list of which seeds to order for next years crops, and get ready for the Christmas seasons poinsettias, and Christmas trees. Cut back any long whips on the rose bushes, to minimize winter damage, and check any tender bulbs that were lifted about every month to check to see if there is any rot.
Stop feeding the fish all together for the winter. Make sure the bird feeder has seed, and the hummingbird feeders are all cleaned out for the year.
Clean out the tool shed of all the dried up dirt and grass, empty out the last of the planters and repot them with spring blooming bulbs. Lime roses, lilacs and lawns. Cut branches of cedar and salal etc. for winter greenery at the front door, and if you're anything like I am and still haven't cleaned up the tools, put that on the to do list as well, although it does seem to make a good rainy winter day project, if we get one, kinda enjoying the mild fall still.
But I'm sure winter will show up sooner or later, and most trees and shrubs will perform better if they have a real dormant time and a good cold freeze. The cold also cuts down on the aphid breakouts as well.
If you need some winter colour, check out the camellia Sasanqua, yuletide is a deep red with a bright yellow center, and very scented, and there is also white and a coral available, and yes they are in bloom now, or just starting actually, and will continue to bloom throughout the winter, even under rainy conditions, and how nice would a red and white look together for Christmas. There is also winter blooming heather, also just starting to turn colour, and of course the earliest bulbs to bloom, snowdrops and snow crocus for early January colour, as well as Hamamelis or Witch Hazel and Rhodo Rosamundi towards the end of January.
Be sure to keep a list of the bulbs that you planted so when they come up you can keep track of your favorites and also if there are going to be any changes that you may want to make for the following season.
Breathe in, breathe out, and repeat as necessary I always say, enjoy the fact that for the next approximately month and a half you have nothing better to do but make list and dream about what you want to do with the garden, cause I bet this next season coming up is going to be busier than the last, so enjoy a time out.
Watch for next month's issue in it we are going to be putting in a few homespun recipes to make from some of those harvested plants you collected this year.
Trina Mattson runs the Ordinary Corner Nursery in Tofino at 619 Tibbs Place Road.