The rain and wind of the last few days and the frost earlier in the month have pretty much finished the blooming season; fall is definitely here. We are determined to rein in the exuberance of the cup plants and the brown-eyed Susans next year and try to keep them from taking over the sidewalk; UPS and Fed Ex deliveries are now in constant danger of being snagged by overgrown prairie plants. If possible we will add another layer of mulch to the rain and the prairie gardens, and we need to clip the dead flower stalks, but otherwise there is little to do to prepare the plants for the winter ahead. After three and four summers respectively, the rain and prairie gardens are well established, healthy, and lovely. We need to increase their diversity next season, and we need to continue to fill in areas where plants are not thriving, but overall we are very pleased with the rain garden's design and with the ability of the long roots of its plants to keep water out of our basement.