Days shorten and nights get colder. By late winter, I'll be in a fever ordering new plants, or at least regretting what I can't afford, and those practical changes I see so clearly now will fade into the background. So ... start a to do list for next spring:
1. Move the big miscanthus away from the garden path. It flops too much in the fall. A great touseled look, but it blocks the path. Replace with something more vertical: panicum, calamagrostis, a shrub?
2. Move several big Aster tartaricus 'Jin Dai' from the front garden to the back, along the transverse path to join the ones already there. They will create a corridor of late fall color against the browns and russets of the grasses. They don't get enough sun in the front to bloom.
3. Pull out the so-called Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' from the front garden. I bought these cheap at a big box store and they are impostors - at least they don't behave like the other Gracillimus I have. They're seeding themselves everywhere. Destroy all seedlings. Fortunately they're easy to recognize.
4. Remove the Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' and 'Yaku Jima' that are blocking the front entry walk and replace them with either a smaller miscanthus (Adagio?) or vertical grasses.
5. Add small bunches of low grasses (Deschampsia cepitosa, Sesleria autumnalis, carex?) and big leaved perennials (bergenia, ligularia?) along the new stone wall. For early color, perhaps some bulbs that can take the wet conditions? These will look good from the house, and interrupt the bare linearity of the wall.
6. Move the Carex grayi from north side to the woodland garden on the west. Replace with pennisetum variety.
7. Finish this list before spring.