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October 20, 2022

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”  - Joe L. Wheeler
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It's as if the leaves are dancing as they flutter to the ground. The trees are providing not only a spectacular show, but those leaves are a  treasure to the gardener and to pollinators. For the gardener, leaf mulch is the best mulch for perennials, trees and shrubs - better than hardwood mulch. As it breaks down, it feeds the soil - it's the best organic matter for your plants, and it's free! 
Leaves also provide habitat for pollinators that overwinter in the leaf litter. We are continually learning more about pollinators, their benefits, and their habitats. This leads us to clean up the garden in a more thoughtful way. It might mean leaving much of the landscape alone until spring and doing a major clean up then. 
It's a new way of thinking. Here are two opportunities to learn more about these topics. First, Joe Lamp'l, known to most as Joe Gardener, shares on his podcast how he creates leaf mulch every year. Listen to it here. 
A second opportunity to learn is coming up Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 as a free virtual symposium sponsored by Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Two knowledgable speakers in the field will present these two topics for you to  ponder: 
Leave the Leaves: Life in the Leaf Litter
Meaningful Maintenance: Fall Cleanup with Positive Impact
I hope you'll check them out!
October into early November is the best window for planting bulbs in Wisconsin. The weekend ahead looks like a winner, so let's get outside and plant! Here are a few of my favorite spring-flowering bulbs that are now in the shoppe: 
A Deer-Resistant Tulip!
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Tulipa sylvestris
A vigorous, delightfully scented, wild tulip with bright, buttercup-yellow flowers with a green rib running outside. Grows 10-14" and naturalizes easily.

My Favorite Daffodils
Double Daffodil
Narcissus ‘Tahiti’

Elegant & classic, award-winning, and fragrant.
Also known as the Orchid Narcissus
Narcissus ‘Thalia’

Rosemary Wreath
Rosemary, whose botanical name translates to ‘dew of the sea’, is one of the savory herbs used to flavor potatoes, chicken and meats. Here's a few ideas for using that final harvest of rosemary if you aren't wintering it over indoors. 
Make a rosemary wreath. Enjoy its fresh aroma as it fills the kitchen, then use the dried leaves in your recipes. Check out my how-to on Instagram.
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Rosemary in apple cider or hot cocoa? Hmmmm, sounds interesting. 
Check out these delicious recipes from North Shore Living by clicking on the image below.
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While you are out and about this weekend, stop in and see what's new:
- ideas for an autumn tablescape
 - hand-lettered pumpkins
- new Berg pots and houseplants
- adorable, warm jammies for little ones, 
and more.  
See you soon!
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Ladies' Night Out & Christmas Open House
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If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend. 
Until next time, you can find me on Instagram  @bellabotanicaboutique or if you are a fellow plant geek, follow along as I post plant pics @beautyseekr. 
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Falling leaves photo credit: oliver hihn