Plant spoils du jour, courtesy of Canadian Tire:
This last, it turns out, is a tropical plant, therefore an annual. Boo. HowEVer, Fine Gardening has a nice article about how to overwinter such persnickety creatures:
In late summer, I taper off the supplemental watering and fertilizing of shrubby plants with fleshy stems and foliage...to encourage them to slow their growth. Just before the first hard frost, I cut them back gently and haul them to the basement. That’s it. A few will eventually drop their leaves, which I clean up when I get the chance.
Apparently the trick is to store them somewhere the temperature is cold but still above freezing. I don't think my basement qualifies, unfortunately, but he mentions that an attic might do it. I could give that a shot, I guess, but would have to find some way to remind myself that it's up there.
My main adventure today has been spreading mulch. Six 3-cu-ft bags did a nice job of tidying up the front garden and also the area around the climbing rose and the irises in the back corner. I'll be interested to see how well it works; it certainly looks much nicer this way. I also knocked a few items off the maintenance list - chopped down a chunk of a weed tree overhanging from the neighbour's yard (with his kind permission); sprayed Ed Lawrence's sneaky soap and water mix on a few plants that were looking suspiciously puckery around the top leaves, suggesting aphids; set the David Austin rose against a nice cedar trellis I snapped up on my shopping trip.