Hill Up Roses
Grafted roses need extra protection to protect the graft union from cold winter temperatures. Mound soil about a foot deep over the base of the plant, but bring this soil from another area of the garden, not from the root area around the rose.
Apply an organic mulch, such as chopped autumn leaves or shredded bark, over the root areas of shrubs and perennials. Put it down in a flat layer several inches deep over the root area. Do not cover the crown or place it against the stems or trunk as this can hold excess moisture and encourage diseases.
Go On Disease Patrol
Clean up and remove diseased and infested foliage from the garden. For example, if your roses had black spot this season, strip off all the leaves and clean up any that have fallen around the plant. Put them in the trash, not the compost. Doing this type of clean up will help limit the chance of reinfection next year.
Many garden ornaments are not freeze-proof, so they should be protected from moisture that might freeze and expand and consequently damage the piece. Some plastics also may become brittle or deteriorate due to exposure to cold and sunlight. Concrete birdbaths and terra cotta items, for example, should be stored in a dry place or dried and covered.
After a hard freeze, remove your now dead annuals and add them to the compost pile. This is a good opportunity to enrich and mulch the planting beds, clean out containers, inspect trellis work for repair or maintenance needs, and make a quick note of which plants did well or poorly.