Well, it’s happened. We had to get the garden and backyard ready for winter. I always hate this time of the year because our beautiful backyard oasis looks so bare. Plus, I hate the cold. I really, really hate the cold.
For that reason, I am not usually the one who is out there getting everything cut back and ready for the winter. And, because I am absolutely terrified of wasps and they like to build nests in the banana trees and canna lilies. Luckily, Justin is usually willing to go out and do some of the yard work. This week, he had an adorable helper, too!
I am surprised at how many roses are still growing on the rose bushes we have. The boys brought in this bunch for me to put at my desk for a few days. The knockout rose bushes used to be at the front of the house, but we didn’t like them there so moved them into the backyard a year or two ago. They transplanted really well and continue to grow!
Tyler also brought me the last pepper that we would be able to harvest this year before they cut everything back.
As of right now, the boy’s gardens are full of weeds. I wish I could say that was something useful growing in there, but it’s not. Pretty soon, when we get a nice weekend, we are going to go out and clean up all of the garden beds.
The only thing left in the vegetable garden area is a small amount of mint. I am going to put some of that in a pot so it can continue to grow inside over the winter, then will replant it outside in the spring. All of the mint we’ve had this year came from two small starter plants, so we know it will spread and grow well out there.
Once we clean everything out, we are going to “nuke” the beds, as Justin calls it. He wants to get some heavy-duty weedkiller and destroy everything so we can hopefully cut down on some of the weeds in the spring. That’s also why I need to collect some of the mint before he does that!
There were a couple of mornings that we had frost recently, and the plants took a hit from it. After last year, we learned to keep the ginger plants how they are and let the leaves on top turn brown as a protective layer over the rest of the plant.
The canna lilies will just die off in the winter, so as soon as they start looking brown and scraggly we cut those down really low. The ground never gets cold enough for too long here to freeze the bulbs and roots, so they will grow back in the spring.
Last year, we also cut the banana trees down to only having a few inches sticking out of the ground. While they all grew back in the spring, we didn’t get any bananas off of them. It takes two years for the trees to produce, so we are hoping that leaving the main stalks up we may get bananas next year.
Our blackberry bush has seemed stagnant lately. It doesn’t look like it’s getting bigger or thicker, but isn’t dying off, either. So, for now, we are just going to leave that as it is. The few berries we’ve had, though, the birds have eaten before we could harvest them.
Surprisingly, the aloe plant that’s in the corner near the blackberry bush is growing well right now. I thought the cold would have been hard on it, but it’s very green and has a flower starting to grow about 3 feet tall.
One other thing that will probably be pulled when we get the chance is that orange tree. It had some fruit on it when we very first moved into this house (over three years ago) but hasn’t had any since. When we moved in, the tree was in the middle of the backyard, so we moved it to the corner. I don’t know if that movement did something to the tree or not, but it’s just becoming an eyesore now.
On a different note, but related to the backyard area, we had the concrete textured and painted! When we were on vacation for Thanksgiving, we had a company come in and do it. They did all of the work, including moving the pergola. I love the finished look it now has out there!