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.

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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.

Rudbeckia
Rudbeckia

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.

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