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Midwest Regional Reports

Midwest: December Garden To-Do List

This eclectic winter container features bright curly willow stems and cotton bolls. Photo: Erin Presley

Craft your own winter container arrangement using evergreens, colorful dogwood (Cornus spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9) and willow (Salix spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9), ornamental grasses, and grapevine (Vitis spp. and cvs., Zones 5–9). Use containers of materials that will not be damaged by frost, such as stone or plastic.

tool shed
Round up your tools and clean them before winter. Photo: Danielle Sherry

Clean, sharpen, and oil tools before putting them away for the winter.

pruning in winter
Figure out what should be pruned this winter. Photo: Jennifer Benner

Make a winter to-do list of pruning jobs. From inside your home, pay attention to the shape of trees and shrubs and how they frame or highlight garden views. Tree pruning is a fun task for sunny days, and shrubs can be pruned as long as there is not too much snow on the ground obscuring the base of the plants.

—Erin Presley is a horticulturist at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.

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