Garden Club Puts Monarch Garden to Bed

Sandown Garden Club members Donna Waterman, Audrey Vargish, Jane Cain, Fran Rosenau and Dale Dumphy Put the Monarch Waystation and Pollinator Garden to bed for the winter.

SANDOWN —Members of the Sandown Garden Club recently gathered on a sunny fall morning to put the Monarch Waystation and Pollinator Garden to bed for the winter.

As the days grow shorter and the nights colder, perennial plants begin to enter a dormant stage till spring. The life force that is in the green leaves of the summer plant gradually relocates to the roots. When the leaves turn yellow and brown, it’s time to cut them back.

Most herbaceous perennials, such as hostas and peonies, can be cut to the ground. Those perennials that maintain basal foliage, such as salvias and penstemons, should be cut only to the ground hugging leaves. Bypass pruners are preferred because they make a clean cut through the stem, but hedge clippers work fine.

Many gardeners like to leave the strong stems and seed heads of coneflowers and black-eyed susans as winter food for birds.

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