One would think that after 20 plus years in the same garden , the fall regimen would be, if not carved in stone, at least proceeduraly consistant. And yet , every single year as mid-Sept comes around I stare at the gardens indeciseively, as if I'd never considered or performed a 'fall clean-up.'
There are plenty of overgrown, bloomed out and floppy plants here but I've come to appreciate seed heads and brown stuff more than I ever did in the past , and find it harder to bring myself to start wantonly chopping and slashing away. So here is the balance: No frost for another month , maybe two, so the tender stuff still prevails, yet I still need to find space for all the cool plants bought at the fall sales , also leaving room to dig holes for the bulbs before it starts to rain every other day and the garden turns into a gigantic water feature.Still have several mature shrubs that I want to remove --mature enough to require (yet unscheduled) hired hands . Grasses must remain unmolested. I must predict the first frost so I can have the pop-up greenhouse ready to go for the Echeverias , fuchsias, kalanchoes .Can't put them in ahead of time as they will burn up in our early fall daytime temps. Birch tree has to go, but I'll enjoy the fall foliage first. Hate my entry garden, but the Birch has to go before I can fix it.Dug up Clematis armandii today, to be replaced with Passifora edulis. Passiflora will have too much shade until the Birch tree goes. Passiflora edulis will have to be watered every 5 minutes until the Birch tree goes. I have my pansies for winter, but it's too damn hot to plant them and I have to hide them in the garage. I have Clematis tangutica but I have to move Betty Corning which is in it's spot. It's too damn hot to dig up and move Betty Corning, and I can't plant C. tangutica til I finish painting the arbor where it will live. It's too damn hot to paint the arbor.