For brilliant red fall color, try the new, fast-growing ‘Redpointe’ maple (Acer rubrum). It grows 45 feet high and 30 feet wide, takes both heat and cold well, and resists chlorosis.
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrids) are the biggest and easiest bulbs to force for the holidays. For 1- to 2-foot spikes of blooms, try ‘Apple Blossom’ (pink and white), ‘Limona’ (white), or ‘Red Lion’ (red).
California poppies natu- ralize easily in western Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Scatter seeds in rough parts of the garden for flowers next spring and summer.
Throw weeds, spent flowers, and vegetable waste into a compost bin at least 3 feet wide and high.
Turn and water the pile occasionally, and you’ll have finished compost by spring.
Drain sprinkler systems and detach hoses from their bibs before hard freezes ice them up. Frost- proof hose bibs are especially treacherous—if you leave the hose attached, pipes can burst inside the house wall.
Put out suet for wood- peckers and chickadees, and hang hummingbird feeders to help Anna’s hummingbirds make it through the winter.
Put the lawn to bed for winter by mowing and edging it one last time before midmonth, when growth virtually stops until March. Keep leaves raked.
Clean and winterize tools before you put them away, sharpening shovels, hoes, and mower blades; spraying moving parts with penetrating oil; and running the gas out of power equipment.