It’s mid-October and time to think about cleaning up your garden!

With the unusually warm weather that many of us have been experiencing, it may be hard to think about putting the garden to bed for the winter. But we all know it must be done! So I’ve made a mini-checklist for you of autumn garden chores.

Here is my front garden…looking a little worse for wear as it begins to close down for the season.


Your Checklist to Ready the Garden for Winter:

  • Cut back your perennials. Yes, cut them down almost to the ground.
  • Be SURE to put plant markers in the ground to mark the spot for each plant. Many perennials will completely disappear: you will have no idea who or what was where!
  • Dig up and discard the annuals. No, they most probably will not come back and will only look very sad throughout the winter..
  • Fertilize your azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons and all acid loving plants.  I use Espoma Organic Holly-tone Fertilizer. It is the best for any acid loving plant. Read the label and see if it is appropriate for you. But do use it twice a year and you will definitely see a difference. My Encore Azaleas were just not blooming well until I began applying this fertilizer twice yearly.
  • Dahlias. Well, that is a entire blog post! But take a look at this article from The Spruce :
    “How to Store Dahlia Tubers Through the Winter”.      In my Zone 7b it actually is not necessary to dig up the tubers. Yes, they seem to overwinter just fine in the ground. But you will need to remember to dig them up in spring and divide to have healthier plants.
  • If your garden centers still have plants available, buy them! Any perennial will do better when planted in the fall rather than spring. I know, it seems a bit reversed, but it’s true. They can then establish a better root system by the time the warm/hot weather comes next summer and will make it through that critical first summer much better equipped to deal with heat and drought. The same holds true for shrubs (and trees, for that matter.)
  • Plant those daffodils and tulips. Depending on your zone, these need to go into the ground before it freezes. Here, in 7b, I often wait until early December and my tulips come up just fine. In fact, I just ordered them this morning (a little late, I know…) and am looking forward to the color explosion in April.

So, those are the main check points. I may have missed something…but I’ll be posting about this again.


In the meantime, take a listen to this podcast from Margaret Roach at A Way to Garden.

This is the link to her site, scroll down a bit and hit the arrow. It is a VERY GOOD discussion of how to overwinter so many plants. Listen to the end! Her podcasts feature a different gardening subject each week; she interviews and talks with so many knowledgeable garden gurus and she herself is full of so much information. I highly recommend subscribing.


Fall blooming Japanese Anemone add color as the season wanes:


I hope you will leave a comment about your own garden clean up…and just what you have planted in your garden.
Have a good weekend everyone!




Check us out!


You are invited to click on over and view my shop where I sell…how did you guess…paper products! I have had the shop open for a while, but as with any new enterprise there is always so much to do, so much to keep up with, orders to fill, upcoming local shows etc. etc. that somehow the announcement here on the blog was postponed many times. 

But now you are seeing it!

At OneNumberEight we do paper. After all, paper is how we connect! As you probably know I have been a surface designer most of my working life so this newest venture just makes sense. And while I love technology I also love paper. I keep a paper date book on my desk (but yes, I just recently started using the calendar on my iPhone…)
And I most certainly keep one of these on my desk:


This is one of my BRAND NEW PRODUCTS. Fresh from the printer.
(I have a fabulous printer here in Durham, N.C.!)

I love these jewel case calendars: they are so pretty on my desk, easy to read, each month is a new design, add a touch of color to an otherwise tech-laden desk top, and are just plain fun. So of course, I hope you will like them too! Look at the page in the shop, see the different variations, contact me with questions, and order one (or 2 or 3.) Lots in stock now but they will go fast…and I will reprint as needed.

So that is just one of my many products. Mostly I design greeting cards. And the most popular card, by far, is the iconic Beltie design.

Because this card has done so well for me, both on Etsy and here locally (after all, the Belties are just down the road in my village!) I decided to design a Christmas/holiday card from the image.

As you will see in the Etsy shop, this card is available with 1) the Merry Christmas imprint 2) Happy Holidays and 3) Blank front. Your choice.

And there is more…But I hope you will take a look around the shop and let me know what you think. I will definitely be doing more posts here, highlighting different products and keeping you up to date. I am also planning a Giveaway in a few weeks, so be sure to check back here.

We are also on Facebook and would love you to “like” our page:
OneNumberEight on Facebook

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, and any questions!












There are so many products out there to help keep us, and our house, clean.
How to decide which to use?

Let me give you some suggestions!

My Number One suggestion and recommendation is
Savon de Marseille

You may have seen these square blocks of soap either on a trip to France, or in certain stores. Traditionally this soap has been used for personal washing. Well, for me it is my go to soap for laundry. Have a spot on a washable fabric? Wine, berries, grease, coffee…. you name it, it comes out with this wonderful time-tested chunk of soap. Wet the fabric, rub the block of soap over the stain, rub in with your fingers a bit. Let it sit a while if necessary. If the spot is not entirely gone, repeat. Then put in the washer as usual.

It’s almost magic! Stains are gone.

The soap has been used in France (where it is made) to get rust stains out of old linens. It helps restore antique fabrics in a way that whiteners just cannot do. If you want to soak a large piece try shaving the block of soap and mix the shavings in water, then add the fabric to soak.

I also use mine to get spots out of our Dash and Albert cotton woven runner in the kitchen. These are great area rugs but, of course, being in the kitchen they do get spots. I rub in a bit of the soap with warm water, using a small scrub brush. I do a sort of “spot clean” all over  the rug. Put it into the washer with just a little soap and cold water wash. Line dry. It will look like new: I promise!

my now very small block of soap in the dish by the laundry sink!


Another great line of products I can recommend is
The Laundress

The product I love best is this
All-Purpose Bleach Alternative
I never, ever use Clorox bleach on clothes but use this all the time. It’s made without chemical chlorine bleach and yet it will whiten clothes, sheets, towels beautifully. I soak sheets and pillow covers overnight in the washer with several capfuls of this powder, then drain, refill the washer and wash as usual. It works every time to make linens bright again.

The Laundress is offering any of you a 10% discount coupon on any product!
Just click ON THIS LINK to go to the site and order.  Try out any of their products, take a look around their extensive and full-of-information site and see what you think!

Have you tried either of these products? We would love to hear!