HELEN NICOLAOU, Special to The Standard

The drastic change in the weather has certainly reminded us that winter is near and the time has arrived to finish preparing the garden before the snow flies.


After a hard frost:. Dig up dahlia and canna lily bulbs, clean up excess soil and store in peat moss in a cool dark place. Protect plants and trees with burlap wraps and shrub covers against damaging ice and heavy snow. Use Skoot taste repellent to deter rodent damage, effective for up to 6 months.


There’s still time to plant garlic and scoop up some spring-flowering bulbs for early spring colour.


Hydrangeas benefit with a couple of inches of compost, and if the soil is dry, water them well until the ground freezes, and by adding a layer of mulch, the soil will retain moisture protecting the roots from the freeze/thaw cycles through winter.


Bring in the hydrangea bloom heads to enjoy dried in their natural colours, or give them a quick spray with metallic paint. The blooms will add some glitz to arrangements, wreaths or your Holiday outdoor planters.


We were delighted at our recent virtual meeting to have Michael Erdman do a demonstration on design. Michael created two spectacular designs that evening. The first design showed our members how to create a “Traditional Mass Design” using a pumpkin as the Harvest Holiday vessel. This design was to be viewed from all sides using rich fall colours of yellow, orange, red and a splash of deep purple.


The second arrangement, Michael created a stunning Italian-inspired “Modern Mass Design” viewing from three sides. Displayed in a tall nine-inch complimentary vase, he used five vibrant contrasting colours and textures.


Michael used locally found flowers, fillers, and greenery collected from his garden and along his walk. It was inspirational on how to make use of seasonal blooms and shrubs. We were grateful for the tips and informative evening in design.


The Pine Ridge Garden Club will be meeting in person at the Nestleton Hall on Tuesday, November 16th at 7:30 p.m. for the Annual General Meeting, following all precautions regarding Ontario requirements.


Also, on Tuesday, December 7th at 7:30 p.m., there will be an in-person workshop designing a “Holiday Swag”. Sign up early at the November 16th meeting as there is limited space available for this workshop.


For information on becoming a member of this enthusiastic club of gardeners, visit our website Pineridgegardenclub.com.


Where gardeners come to bloom
“Autumn is the season that teaches us that change can be beautiful” – Unknown