I was thinking back to last year at this time and went back to read what I was doing. I found that I was more relaxed with my cleanup. I left a few areas without doing much, because I found that it was easier to do in the spring. The area, where the Lilies of the Valley are, for instance...much easier to just leave until spring. This leaves a place where wildlife can hide and keep warm. I read this just this morning... Some might call my garden “uncontrolled” but I call it wildlife-friendly. The beauty of it comes not just from the plants but from the birds, bees, butterflies, amphibians, mammals etc which have been made welcome by my creating habitats for them. Everyone can do the same by just being a little bit more uncontrolled. After the harvest, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour and leave the garden to look after itself and the wildlife. Being too tidy is the eighth deadly sin.
I am leaning in that direction. At my stage of life, I have to find ways to make things easier outside. Isn't it easier to pull the dried, dead,Lily leaves than to go out and tussle with those tough strapping leaves right now? How about Coneflowers and other seedy plants...Birds love the seed heads. I put a little support out by mine just last week, when I noticed gold finches trying to eat them and they were lying on the ground. Now they are propped up and are covered with little birds everyday. My neighbor tosses his pine needles away and burns them. I brought some of them over to my house and used them for mulch last fall. Sitting in the house last winter, I imagined little creatures cozy under that soft cover. I guess we'll have to pull the tomato plants up...and put them in the compost. Anyway, I'm going to think about this when I am out cleaning up for winter. I'll remember the quote...Being too tidy is the eighth deadly sin. Does that go for inside too?