The Fall Cleanup…

October has been a glorious month allowing me to spend my time enjoying two of my favourite things…the fall season and gardening.

Although many of my shrubs and hedges haven’t started to turn the warm shades of autumn, the elm tree shimmers a spectacular golden hue against the blue, blue skies we’ve enjoyed this month.  It’s no surprise that nature has found a way to showcase these primary colours …the same combination that has found its way into many decorating schemes (Provence) and fashion combinations (navy blazer with brass buttons).



This past week I’ve planted more tulips and alliums in my front garden beds.  The arrival of tulips this past May extended the summer garden season by three weeks.  As the tulips were dying off, the perennials were waking up.  Bulbs are the first plants to poke their heads out after a long winter bringing such simple beauty.  Although planting bulbs is a back-breaking job, the pay off is well worth it!



***This is an aerial view of a tulip field in Holland.  It’s no wonder it’s a gardener’s dream to visit Amsterdam in the Spring!



As I’ve been pulling out annuals from containers and cutting back perennials in the garden beds, I’ve wondered (once again!) if I could plant perennials in containers.  Like all amateur gardeners, I have had some successes in my garden, but I’ve NEVER had spectacular floral displays in my pots.

The perennial bed under my front window faces north, however, it’s so overgrown you’d think it was in the deepest jungle.  The ferns and lily of the valley have overrun the hostas and dogwood, growing up through cracks in the paving stones and into the hedges close by.  It had never occurred to me before to grow lily of the valley in a container (as shown above).   I did try digging up some ferns and planting them in urns this past spring, but strong winds wreaked havoc on that plan. I will try again next spring,  and I’m seriously considering transplanting some of the lilies of the valley into pots too.

The white alliums planted in the containers (shown above) add height and interest to otherwise simple plantings.  I think this display would be beautiful across the back of my house.   Something to consider over the winter…


I found this information on Pinterest that you may find helpful if you, too, have been thinking of planting perennials in containers.  If you use plants that are 2 zones hardier than where you live, the chances of overwintering in containers are more successful.




Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  Many of us will not be with our families this weekend, but there is still so much to be thankful for.

Stay safe,

xox Judy








4 thoughts on “The Fall Cleanup…”

  1. When I had excess lily of the valley, I’d always plant some in wide, shallow pots and put them in the garage after they’d gone dormant. Then I’d bring them into the house one at a time and put them in a sunny windowsill. The winter sun is so much weaker that they would emerge much like they do outdoors in spring. When they’d bloom, the house smelled fabulous, and I had flowers for weeks and weeks. My bulbs haven’t arrived yet, but since I’m still planting garlic, I’m in no rush. As long as they are in the ground by Thanksgiving, all is well. I have one large pot that contains a perennial “Autumn Bride” coral bell. It’s been in the pot for 5 years now, and blooms like crazy. When it’s not blooming, the foliage is a lovely foil for other “temporary” plants I tuck in (primulas and violas in spring, coleus and marigolds in summer)

    1. Hi Carolee, Thank you for the great information. I love your ideas on lily of the valley and will try this over the winter. Lily of the valley smells heavenly and I can only imagine what your home smelled like when you brought them indoors. Lucky for you, I think your growing zone must be higher than mine which is a 4. ❤️

  2. Beautiful fall in your garden and all around us! Happy Thanksgiving, Judy, and the best of health.

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