The following is by Linn County Master Gardener, Claire Smith:
Euoooooooo! I sure don’t like little four legged critters running unexpectedly across my feet! Now I ‘m not afraid of little four legged critters. I just don’t like them not giving me any warning.
A chipmunk apparently had plans to create a winter habitat in a pile of leaves under my peony bushes. The little fellow and I had to come to an agreement that he and I are not sharing that space at the same time. I’m raking the leaves out of the way to eliminate the unwanted habitat and potential damage to flowers and shrubs in the bed. Removing diseased leaves and branches at the same time will help reduce diseases next season.
My peonies are going to stay all together this year. They seem to be doing fine. I am going to move the Iris though. They’re located in a rather out of the way bed and will be much too beautiful in the spring to not be enjoyed. Iris can be dug and divided right now and do not need to be planted deeply in the soil but do need to be kept moist after transplanting.
But then the decision must come, where do I transplant them. Now is a perfect time to pour a cup of coffee, wander through the gardens and assess the beds. Examine each bed from several angles. Be critical. Keeping a seasonal pictorial journal using a digital camera is such a great idea. Pictures don’t lie: do you need more height, more color, more diversity? Several Master Gardeners routinely keep a garden log. Now, you may not want to be as involved in your gardens as a Master Gardener, but even placing some markers next to your plants and keeping your purchasing receipts provides a record of what you bought when and from whom in case the plant(s) is performing fantastically or not so much and you want to add or eliminate that species.