January 21, 2022

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Kevin’s Garden Prepares for Winter

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I am Kevin Kelly, and I garden on a suburban property of a third of an acre in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b). Autumn was slow to arrive and is slow to leave. My winter preparation is now complete. I have taken cuttings of my coleus and have moved my tender plants indoors for the winter. I spread about 1,200 pounds of compost across the garden and planted 1,000 bulbs. I treasure all my leaves and have spread them around the garden. I also collect many additional leaves that neighbors raked out to the curb. I leave all the dried stems of perennials standing to provide winter habitat for the insects, frogs, and other wildlife who share my garden space. Please enjoy the photos.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsI took this photo standing just off my patio in the backyard looking east. You can still see some plants in nursery pots to the left. I was able to get them in the ground about a week before Thanksgiving. The focal point is Cryptomeria japonica ‘Black Dragon’ (Zones 5–9).

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsOur first light snow arrived, creating a nice contrast with Berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’ (Zones 4–8).

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsDinosaur kale (Brassica oleracea, cool season annual) holds up well in the cold weather. I grew a dozen plants from seed, and most spread throughout the ornamental gardens, with one in the veggie garden. This was the best-tasting kale I have eaten.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThe dried flowers of Hydrangea paniculata ‘Phantom’ (Zones 3–9) still look great and hold up well through the winter.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThis is an image of my front yard looking to the east. I have minimal grass and use it as a pathway. The plant in the container near the light pole is Salix discolor (Zones 4–8).

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsFothergilla major (Zones 4–8) shows off its beautiful fall foliage.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsHydrangea quercifolia Snow Queen™ (Zones 5–9). Oakleaf hydrangeas are wonderful native shrubs that have multiple seasons of interest. The autumn foliage is gorgeous.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsFallen leaves are present in all my garden beds. Eventually they will transform into compost and enhance the soil. I test the soil every three years and have not needed to add any fertilizer in the last 15 years.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThis is my pollinator garden, which is now in its third year. This used to be a shade garden, and I had two Callery pears (planted 25 years ago before I knew better). I cut down the invasive trees and planted a native Nyssa sylvatica ‘Tupelo Tower’ (Zones 3–9) on the left. The garden is now in full sun. It also contains native grasses and perennials.

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