A year or two ago, the local council decided that, in order to save money, it would suspend the collection of the garden waste bins over the winter. So it ceases collection at the end of November and starts again sometime in March.
I'm sure this suits the people who only use their bins to put their grass cuttings in. We never put grass cuttings in ours - they go in the chook run or on the compost heaps. We do, however, put things like morning glory, mint, other pernicious weeds or tenacious plants in ours. And about now is the time that I would be cutting things back for the winter. And the collections have now stopped. So my options are that I can cut back the flower garden and pile the cuttings up somewhere and then put them in the green bin over the course of several weeks in the spring; I can cut the garden back and take the cuttings to the council tip; or I can not cut the garden back until the spring.
Which is what we did last winter - but that was because the weather was not conducive to putting the garden to bed for the winter in the late autumn, and then we went away for six weeks. The weather is OK for gardening at the moment - a bit cold and damp, but certainly do-able. And we are not going away just yet.
I was all set to rush out and get at least one load of stuff in the bin prior to the last collection of the year - when I noticed a load of small birds messing about amongst the remaining mint flowers and in the seed heads of various flowers.
Do you know - I might leave the cutting back of some of it until late winter or early spring. We're away for a few weeks over the winter and there's no point starting to feed the birds now, only to stop mid-January. The garden will provide sufficient food for the birds until we come back. That works pretty much on all levels. Well, apart from me wanting it to look tidier. But I don't suppose we'll have many visitors coming to inspect the garden between now and March. And I can always tidy the paths and plant my bulbs and work around the overgrown herbs and creepers and climbers.
Still irritates me that the council ceases a service just at the time that I really want to use it, though :-S