Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
My mother-in-law had an incredible green thumb. Among other things, she grew some of the most floriferous orchids I’ve ever seen. When she passed away, her garden suffered. A few years after she passed, I spent an afternoon helping dispose of dead plants and give a bit of nurturing care to those that were surviving. My father-in-law, who has no real interest in gardening, was concerned about one plant in particular. From his point-of-view, he killed it every year, yet it miraculously came back to life a few seasons later – every time. In reality, this sweet little Japanese maple was simply going dormant in winter and emerging from dormancy the following spring.
Plants that live for more than one season are generally called perennials, and all experience dormancy to some extent. Perennial plants may be herbaceous – meaning all of their top growth shrivels by winter as with Paeonia, Alstromeria and Gallardia. Or they may be woody like maples, barberry and hydrangeas – meaning they drop their leaves for winter, but twigs, trunks and stems remain alive above ground as roots thrive below the soil line. In both cases, these long-lived perennial plants are not dying for winter only to be reborn in spring. Rather they are fully alive under ground, and in woody plants, in their stems. Their growth systems have slowed down, and they are drawing energy from reserves stored in their roots and to some extent, in their branches. By reducing their mass through shedding their top growth, slowing their food-making factories, and huddling their resources in minimal appendages, they are better able to protect themselves from the harsh environment winter brings.
Some plants – like cypress, camellia, pine and other evergreens – do not experience dormancy in the way the aforementioned perennials do. Instead, they continue to photosynthesize throughout the year. However, even they slow down production in very cold weather.
And just to be clear: annuals are plants that live for only one season, during which time they produce seed, from which their progeny will emerge in the following year. The annual plant itself does die at the end of a season, and it won’t come back to life. Only its seed will provide the next generation.
To care for most herbaceous perennials like tall phlox, bee balm, rhubarb and sedum, cut any withered top growth (aka the dead parts above the soil line) to the ground before the garden is blanketed in snow. If they happen to have seed heads, consider leaving those intact until wild birds finish harvesting those snacks in winter. Just be sure to remove all of that spent top growth before the plant begins to send new stems upward from the roots in spring. Leaving past season detritus intact can harbor pests and disease.
To care for many deciduous, woody perennials like maples, deciduous azaleas, and crape myrtles, allow the plant to draw nutrients from the leaves in autumn. This process is what fills your garden with fall color, and provides the plant itself with extra food reserves through winter. Once the spent leaves drop to the ground, either keep a fine layer in place to help protect roots in winter or rake them up for the compost pile. If you choose to remove them in fall, be sure to apply a layer of composted mulch over your garden beds to provide nutrients and protection through winter. If you leave them in place, be sure to remove them in spring or you may have a bumper crop of pests and disease that overwinter with them.