Vintage Pacific NW: We’re revisiting some of our favorite stories from some of our favorite former magazine contributors. Check back each week for timeless classics focusing on food, fitness, gardening and more.

Originally published Dec. 24, 2000
By Valerie Easton, former Natural Gardener writer

THINK HOW WE ADMIRE the golden autumn foliage of birch trees and witch hazel. The flame red of maples is stunning, but it is the burnished yellows that I covet for my own garden. While autumn works its magic, remember it is possible to warm up the garden all year with yellow and golden foliage, in solids or patterns of variegation.

The predominant color in any garden, no matter how flowery, is always green. This must be why yellow is endlessly useful — it is such a perfect contrast to green. How better to brighten and lighten the deep richness of yew, fir, camellia, rhododendron and

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I try not to make excuses so I’m just going to tell the truth: everything in my garden is dead. The drought was fierce and I was sick, distracted. I couldn’t bear to look at it but I’m trying to look now.

It feels like sitting in a crypt. I’ve pulled up a damp chair and I am surrounded by skeletons, the limbs of my perennials dried, bent and snapped. The hydrangea’s flowers have turned to ghostly brown lace too soon, drooping leaves turned almost black like prayer flags. There is copper, rust and blood; piles of viburnum leaves dropped early in fright. The penstemon looks as if it has been set alight then frozen, its orange flames still and hellish. When the rains finally came, too late, the parched snails came out of hiding and ate everything that was left. Talk about overkill.

A field with dried sunflowers
‘Sunflowers with deep roots tower overhead.’
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Image for article titled Leave Your Fall Garden Alone

Photo: Simon Annable (Shutterstock)

There’s a lot of information out there—including on this site—listing garden tasks to complete in a particular month, or ahead of a certain season. And while there are always jobs you can do now to make your life easier in the future, some gardening experts say that when it comes to a pre-winter cleanup, less is more. Here’s what to know.

The case for taking a hands-off approach to fall gardening

The reason for doing minimal fall gardening work is similar to the one behind No Mow Mayand starting a “bee lawn”: Looking out for your local birds and pollinators. First, this is because some perennials’ seed heads are a source of food for birds over the winter.

And, as a whole, garden matter and leaf piles serve as a winter habitat for several species of bees, butterflies, and other

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By Jeff Lowenfels

Updated: September 15, 2022 Published: September 15, 2022

One of the reasons people still cling to chemical fertilizers is because they go to work quickly. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, usually take time for the microbes to break it down. Sometimes this can take months. This is why now is the time to apply such things to your soils so that they can benefit next year’s crops.

There are several ways to do this. The first assumes all was well this year and your plants thrived and didn’t show nutrient deficiencies. You can probably forgo a soil test for nutrients. Apply an inch or two of compost or vermicompost to the surface of all of your containers and on your garden beds. You can do it now, even though there are plants still performing.

This can be followed with an application of mulch (once enough leaves

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SRG applied to build 76 single-family townhomes on the site at 8373 W. Chinden Blvd.

The townhomes would be three bedrooms and two stories tall, spread out across a mix of four-plex and six-plex buildings. There are three different floor plans with the largest measuring 1,887 square feet, then 1,754 square feet, and 1,674 square feet.

“The difference in total square footage, building location and price creates variation for customers’ budget and layout preferences,” the application letter said. “The variation in unit depth also creates character on the Craftsman/Farmhouse building elevations. A variety in color schemes and cladding will create further unit distinctions.”

The application said a “central common space amenity” will be included. For parking, there would be two garage spaces for each unit. And there would be 38 total on-street guest parking spaces.

“The rear loaded garages for each unit are accessible from the service driveways, creating a

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