My Garden this Weekend 6/10/13

2013_10060022 logoWell it seems that my gardening mojo is creeping back and I’m not just going through the motions as has been the case over the last few months.

My sons keep telling me I do too much and I have a strong suspicion they are right, they often are so I have been trying very hard to be sensible.  I have declined invitations to many things and not distracted myself by looking for events/gardens to visit and I think it is working.  This weekend is the first weekend for absolutely ages when I had no plans at all aside from the usual weekly shop and housework.


Doing as I have been told I set myself the chore of planting up bulbs on Saturday afternoon (see previous post).  Having finished planting the Cottage border I came in ready to look at the rose brochures to choose a couple of roses to add to the border – I have a short list and now I know what colour and size I am looking for I can order them.  I suspect the border’s name will change to the Rose Border.  I have been restricted on the range of plants I have used – it is mainly roses, delphinium, aquilegia and geraniums  with daffodils for spring colour.  I am hoping that with a smaller range of plants that the border will look more cohesive than before.

The Cottage Border on the left and bottom of Big Border on the right
The Cottage Border on the left and bottom of Big Border on the right

Sunday’s task was to bring  in the pelargoniums ready for winter and to tackle the over exuberant Big Border.  The pelargoniums didn’t take long and are all now nestled in the greenhouse.  I shall have to check them regularly in order to remove dead leaves as they are so prone to that grey mould that then attacks other plants.

The Big Border has suffered from a lack of foresight when I planted out the dahlias.  I was so busy looking at the colour of the flowers I failed  to take into account the height of the different plants so needless to say the largest dahlias are at the top of the border and collapsing down on the smaller ones down the slope from them.  The Salvia involucrata boutin seems to have taken very  well to its new home in the Big Border and is making a bid for world domination, with branches swooping and sweeping right across the border.  Being of a tidy mind the whole chaos was getting to be so I had a good tidy up removing about a third of the stems of the bigger Dahlias which has let in light to the smaller ones and stop the plants tipping too far over.  I also removed a few select branches from the Salvia and pulled up the last of the Cosmos and Zinnias which were beginning to look past their best.  You could almost hear some of the perennials in the border breathe a sign of relief as the air and light was allowed in.  I have been pondering how to plant this border next year – its current planting was only ever intended as a quick way of filling up the border for this year while  I planned for next.  However, I have rather liked the exuberant plants and rich colours so I think  I will do something similar but I will have to allow more room between the dahlias and plant them more strategically.  The only thing that is making be wonder if this is the best approach is that it means the Big Border may look very empty in Spring and early Summer.


I also dug up a hydrangea in the very top border along the back fence which  has been irritating me for some time.  It hasn’t flowered for the last two years and so its time was up.  I replaced it with a fig that had been lurking on the patio in a pot for the last two years, hopefully this will add to the lush foliage of the top border.  I also planted a vine that had been homeless for the last year against the fence at the top, hopefully this will add another texture to the Pyracantha that were planted against the fence back in Spring.

An Aster about to open
An Aster about to open

The final task  was to move my pot store into the garage.   I have been struggling to reach my pots nearly all year ever since we had to find a home for the wheelie bin.  Now the garage  has been freed up by my eldest not only do I have worksurface space, at the right height,  but also somewhere to store my pots and the bags of compost are also going to be stored in the garage so they don’t become sodden as they have in the past when left outside.  All this means that I can sow seeds, prick out, pot up, whatever whenever  I want regardless of the weather or what time of day it is.  It  is rather exciting and has really helped my enthusiasm return.

Lots of day-to-day jobs done then this weekend.  Some will lead to a colourful display in the Spring, some will mean the garden is ready for Winter but all have added to my general sense of well-being.  Oh and I have some plans for other parts of the garden which came to me while I was having a lie  in this morning but I will share those later.


17 Comments Add yours

  1. Yvonne Ryan says:

    The white daisy photo is so light and pretty.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Yvonne

      They are some form of Aster but again I’m not sure which.

  2. sueturner31 says:

    Well done..welcome back to the gardening fold….your photos are brilliant..

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Sue

      Thanks, am glad you like the photos. They were taken with my son’s camera which I am finding challenging not least because it doesnt make a reassuring click when it takes a photo!

  3. sueturner31 says:

    Oh..the other day I must have got rid of my ‘click somehow,I thought the camera had broken.I had a job trying to find out what I had done…all ok now.

  4. Sometimes it can become a bit of a chore actually doing too much, so taking a step back and reducing what you do can be a good thing, you can always add more again in the future as and when you have the time. I have a question, I have some wonderful pelargoniums that I would like to keep, but no greenhouse. Do you think they would keep outdoors in a cold frame? Thanks!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I have lost pelargoniums in a cold frame in a very cold winter. They dont like frost at all. I would find a cool room in the house, maybe a porch but somewhere where they are really frost free. You could insulate the cold frame with bubble wrap or horticultural fleece as well

    2. Thank you Helen, I don’t anywhere “indoors” that would be suitable sadly, hence my thoughts about a cold frame. Perhaps I will try and persuade hubby to let me have some space on his workbench in the shed and try and put some fleece around them in there. I can only try! Thanks for the advice though. Much appreciated.

  5. Pauline says:

    You have done so much over your weekend, you must be feeling very satisfied. I think we all want one of everything when we start gardening and only later realise that borders look better with more of the same, just fewer varieties. I love the planning process and hope you do too, its then wonderful when you see the results the following year.

  6. What a lovely – and productive – gardening weekend. That potting area is going to be a boon, wrestling with soggy bags of compost on a damp Autumn day is pretty wretched. Love the sound of your nascent rose border, your mojo is returning with a vengeance! Oh, and beautiful photos by the way, the camera may be a temporary solution but you are getting great shots from it.

  7. Alison says:

    Good to hear you are taking a step back and are taking it easy. I love easy weekends without lots of busy rushing around doing stuff. You need to take time to recharge your batteries.

  8. Glad to read you have your mojo back Helen! It’s so easy to find other distractions isn’t it?
    You’ve made a start – so that’s a good thing! You’ve just reminded me that I need to get onto my son to move out a set of wheels from my shed – off up the stairs now to give him a nudge in the right direction!

  9. Ricki Grady says:

    I always get a burst of energy in the fall, with cooler weather and spongy ground from the first rains. I like reading about your plans and schemes. That’s what keeps us going, don’t you think?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Ricki
      I think you are right, I’m not a fan of summer and find it quite frustrating, waiting for the weather to cool down so I can get on

  10. Anna says:

    Not sure whether you will get two comments from me Helen – gremlins at work – if so perhaps you can delete this. Just wanted to say that I’m so glad to read that your gardening va va voom has returned. Your sons seem to be eminently sensible and caring young men. It’s a fine art to learn how to pace yourself. Look forward to seeing reading about your final rose selection and the plans that came to you when you were having a lie in.

  11. I find I am much better off when I concentrate on one or two tasks at home, rather than racing around on multiple errands and visiting multiple locations (as exciting as that can be, mind you). And it’s always good to have some real space to do any garden tasks: One of the best things I did this past Spring was to really clean out our “Garden Room” (an attached shed) so I recaptured counter space and shelves for whatever needed doing.

  12. hillwards says:

    Hooray for your return of spirit, and such a productive weekend. Lovely to have a dedicated space for potting again, I have a nice high potting bench in the greenhouse, though I do trip over the bags of compost a little in summer!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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