**SIGH** It’s time to put the gardens to bed for the Winter, which has none of the glamour and allure of Spring garden planting. I’ve already cleaned out the perennial bed — the only sunny spot in an otherwise shady backyard. Everybody is tucked in tight and waiting for a nice mulchy blanket covering to wait out the winter.

Further back, several of my tried-and-true’s like this luscious Beauty Berry have outgrown their allotted spaces and need a “haircut,” while others have been…well…less than tried-and-true. I’m plotting their replacements for my traditional Spring exuberance.

The bright spot, though, is the fun of container gardening, close up to the house and easy eye-candy on a dreary day. The pansies will last through the winter and perk right back up in Spring, which makes them economical as a late-season investment. Isn’t my cherub cute?

Lastly, as the tools are cleaned and put away, and I make my lists for April and May, I make my annual pilgrimage through “Gardening In Eden,” my hands-down favorite gardening book by Arthur T Vanderbilt (yes, those Vanderbilts, but of the working variety). His literary tour through four seasons in his suburban garden starts with Fall; his daily gardening ups and downs are written in engaging prose and with the eternal optimism necessary to (continue to be) — a gardener, season after season.