I didn't expect quite as big a deal as I got putting my garden to bed this autumn. When the new large (large!) house went in to the north of me I knew changes were a-comin' but ... the developers had whacked my 2 old pear trees which went, now, straight up considerably past the 3rd floor of the new house. The trees responded to having no secondary branches by putting out a final no-holds-barred bumper crop of fruit. Fruit which was heavy enough to damage the new house's roof & keep the new tenants awake especially during the recent windstorms.
This situation led to a sidewalk parley between the new neighbors and me: both sides expecting hissy fits and getting (Mirable dictu!) calm, rational, neighborly negotiations. Yes, the trees had to go - they were now ugly & messy. (They'd destroyed my fish pond by bombing the fish and I spent an enormous amount of time cleaning up smashed pears.) I also couldn't afford to have the trees taken down. The neighbors (it's a million $ house) offered to take the trees down, grind out the stumps and buy and plant 2 new trees - my choice. Even flipperty-gibbet me knew a win-win deal when I saw it.
The trees came down, a final crop delivered by the treemen to be saved for a famous lady photographer/canner Dina; pear wood logs saved for a carpenter friend of mine and a Stewartia tree (pale yellow & white peeling bark with camellia-like flowers) and a disanthus (a multi-trunked distant Japanese cousin of redbud trees with oval leaves turning red in sun) went in. A close friend, Edwin, helped me move the pear trees' underplantings (Solomon's seal, hydrangeas, wild geraniums, berganias, roses-of-Sharons) into pots while the trees came down & back after the new trees went in. (Some things had already gone dormant and disappeared for the winter. We'll see if they survived under and/or between the transplanted survivors.) Edwin also helped me drain the pond looking for fish survivors (one). Now if carpenter Jeremy comes and gets his logs I can plant my tulips, aliuums, croci and daffodils & be done for the winter.
You know those bags of leaves people are leaving in alleys? Snag a few for your perennial beds if you don't have enough of your own. (Stomp on the bags if you want faster decaying mulch.)
You've heard it before but if critters eat your bulbs plant fritillarias & daffodils. They're poisonous.
Don't use heavy mulches right next to tree trunks. It encourages fungi and trunk girdling (Your mama coulda told yah girdles are killers.)
Run to those plant clearance sales. I got 4 re-blooming daylilies for $8 total. Did they look awful? Yup. So what -cover 'em with leaves.