The nature tips you’ll want to know this fall!

Putting the Landscape to Bed

The leaves are falling, the air is cool, and you notice the chipmunks and squirrels are busy gathering their food for the winter. It’s time to put the landscape to bed.  Put the landscape to bed?  What does that mean?  It means that it’s time to prepare your landscape to be in the best condition it can be for the following spring!  There are a few chores to take care of before the weather turns harsh.  Here’s a convenient list to keep handy:

  • Thin any perennials that have become overgrown and are encroaching on other plants.  To thin, take a spade and cut it down into the plant to thin away the piece of the plant that has overgrown.  Thinning is an excellent means of increasing airflow within the landscape, thereby reducing the onset of plant disease.  When you remove that piece, you can plant it elsewhere within the landscape or give it to a neighbor or a friend!  

  • Fall is a great time to prune fall or late-summer flowering shrubs.  Begin in the center of the plant and look for dead wood to remove. Notice crisscrossing branches and see if you can safely remove anything
    without causing structural harm.  You can now look at the plant's overall form and prune the outer branches for desired size and appearance.  Remember, good airflow within the plants and the landscape itself is crucial.

  • Cut back to approximately 3” the perennials and ornamental grasses.  If you like to leave the plants standing either for winter interest or food supply for the birds, you may do so.   

  • Do a thorough job of weeding at this time of year. You will be glad you did in the spring.

  • Remove all fallen leaves, sticks, and debris from your landscape beds. Place them in a compost pile.  They will provide winter shelter and protection for bumble bees, toads, and other hibernating species.  In the spring, the birds will appreciate the resources for nest building. 

  • If you have roses, don’t forget to prepare them for winter.  A layer of composted manure at the base of the plant, along with straw on the top, provides insulation for the roots as well as a rodent deterrent.



Meet Paige

"My name is Paige Shepard, and I am thrilled to join Churchill Gardens' design team! I am a recent graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor's in Landscape Architecture and Minors in Animal Science and Community Planning.

I grew up in Northern Berkshire County and have always enjoyed living there. My passion for animals, art, and the environment has led me to a career in landscape design. My designs strive to consider every organism affected, include deep attention to detail, and utilize my creativity to make my designs unique. I am excited to learn from Churchill Gardens and add my own set of talents to this diverse, knowledgeable team."


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