If you are building a new home or simply want to update your current home, start outside with curb appeal. Read more »
Here comes the bride — and the groom, the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen – plan ahead, practice a little, and then enjoy bring... Read more »
When you’re filling out your wish-list of wedding gifts, don’t forget to include supplies for the garden shed. With the right... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear2™ Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techn... Read more »
Nothing adds a special touch to a wedding like a handmade item. Read more »
Create a beautiful setting for your post-wedding brunch. Using these Fiskars tools will make the project even easier. 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 »
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 »
Choose our low-maintenance Photo Bypass Paper Trimmer to trim large quantities of photos with speed and precision. An easy-to-u... Read more »
Give your small outdoor space a mini makeover using a few simple tools to complete these fabulous projects. Read more »
Window treatments can turn a room from drab to fab, but if you’re on a budget sometimes hand-me-down curtains will have to do,... Read more »
If you’re not ready to fully embrace the trend for bold 70’s prints in your clothing, why not reflect it with a gloriously lou... 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 users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through fabric, our RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears feature... Read more »
Our Classic Stick Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade is ideal for crisp, controlled cuts on a wide variety of materials. A symmet... Read more »
Make clean up time a fun game for the kids! It becomes really easy for toddlers and preschoolers to match their toys to their... Read more »
Funny Face Magnet Gift Wrap is simple to make and quite literally gives each gift magnetic personality. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! 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 »
The most common complaint I hear when traveling is about soil quality for growing veggies. It may be too sandy, full of clay... Read more »
Creating a customized look is easier than you think - even when it comes to sewing up larger items such as this duvet cover an... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... 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.