The Big Fall Cleanup Begins!

Actually, I’ve been picking away at cleaning up the Fernwood garden in Minocqua, WI for a few weeks already but this past weekend it began in earnest. No major freeze yet so things are still looking pretty good.  But I know if I don’t hop to it, things will get away from me…fast!   I spent yesterday and today cleaning up the “peanut garden”,  so called because it’s shaped like a peanut.  It’s made of  those cement landscape blocks…I much prefer natural stone but it came with the house so I deal with it. When we bought the house it was full of annuals and looked like this.  And, yes, there is a giant oak tree in the middle of it!


Since I’m more of a perennial gardener, I got to work filling it with some of my favorites.  First, Iris.  I planted a few tall purple bearded iris and some dwarf white iris.  It didn’t take long for them to fill the bed.  This is ‘Snow Maiden’, I love that it’s an early bloomer.


To the right of the oak tree I planted Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Silver King’…HUGE mistake!  This is one aggressive plant.  In only a couple of years it threatened to take over the whole bed.  Don’t get me wrong…it’s not a BAD plant, just bossy!  The silver foliage is a wonderful filler in bouquets.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t have it in the Peanut Garden, so out it went.


I have to learn to be more discriminating when it comes to plant choice.  I’ve made some foolish ones…Bishops Weed, Obedient Plant, Wood Violets and of course the above mentioned Artemesia. (Just to name a few!)  Earlier this summer I received a Trumpet Vine which I understand can become a nuisance.  Fortunately, it’s in a place where I can keep tabs on it and I’m also hoping my Zone 4 climate will keep it under control.


This year I used perennials in my containers along with a few annuals.  Those got dug out and transplanted into the peanut garden.  I’ll dig them out again in the spring.  I replaced the holes in the the whiskey barrels with mums which took the whole thing right into Fall. IMG_4565

There’s quite a bit more to do but tomorrow is another day and there is absolutely nothing better than spending a beautiful October day in the garden!

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as

autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

 Nathaniel Hawthorne


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