Well now all you serious gardeners, November is here so it's time for the annual spring clean!
Yes, of course winter is just around the corner but we all know that you sons and daughters of the soil like nothing better than to put on your gardening gloves and aprons to set about bringing order to the autumnal chaos.
This month, try thinking about the fauna as well as the flora in your own back yard.
Here are a few tips that will hopefully make life a little easier for your non-human winter visitors.
Keep the birdbath topped up.
Put out log and twig piles made from old prunings.
Replenish birdfeeders, or hang one if you have not done so in previous seasons. All feeds, including peanuts, are safe as the breeding season is now over.
Clean out nesting boxes so that birds can shelter inside them during the winter.
Leave some seed heads, rather than cutting them back, to provide food and shelter for wildlife.
Leave mature ivy uncut if possible, as it is an excellent late source of nectar for insects.
Make a leaf pile for hibernating mammals and ground-feeding birds over wintering in the UK.
Build a hedgehog hibernation box.
There is a huge range of bird foods available, but household scraps and fruit from the garden will do just as well. You can buy fat balls or live mealworms from garden centres and specialist bird food suppliers.
A budget option is to hang pieces of bacon from strings tied to tree branches. The greater the variety of food that you supply, the greater variety of birds you are likely to see in your garden. Don’t forget to put some on the ground for ground feeding birds.
And most important this month: if you are making a Guy Fawkes’ night bonfire, then do check that your pile of material for burning has not been colonised by hibernating toads or hedgehogs and keep all pets indoors.
If you've got a pond with fish:
Stop feeding fish once the cold weather sets in.
Remove leaves that have fallen into the pond and any dead foliage from floating plants, such as water lilies, and from marginal plants that overhang the edge of the pond.
Remove submersible pumps, fountains and lights if not already done.
Take precautions (float a ball or plastic milk carton tied to nearby shrub) if there is a risk of your pond freezing over as this can be fatal for fish and other pond life.
But no, you don't get away with it that easily. There's more to be done before you can snuggle up indoors:
Rub wooden garden furniture over with fine-grade steel wool, brush off, and then paint with a timber preservative.
Cut away all scruffy growth from late summer-flowering clematis. It is no more use to the plants.
Open ventilators and the door of a greenhouse for a while on a mild day to let the air blow through, but close them again in early afternoon.
Remove canes and other supports from flower borders, and sort them to find any sound enough to serve another season, then store in a dry place.
Seize every fine, dry day to dig another strip of vegetable ground, and incorporate compost.
Plant bare root roses. Trim any very long roots rather than cram them into the hole, and tread the system of roots firm against the side of the hole dug.
Lift some roots of mint and pot up, then grow on the windowsill for sprigs in winter.
Treat turf with moss killer if this has recently been a problem.
This is just about your final chance to plant spring bulbs.
Now you can go and put the kettle on!